New York Asian Film Festival Announces Second Wave of 2023 Titles, Award Honorees and Guests

New York Asian Film Festival Announces Second Wave of 2023 Titles, Award Honorees and Guests


Renowned international stars and acclaimed filmmakers expected to attend NYAFF’s opening night red carpet and present some of the festival’s most anticipated premieres     

New York, NY (June 22, 2023) – Tickets go on sale June 23 at 12pm ET for the 22nd edition of the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), presented by the New York Asian Film Foundation and Film at Lincoln Center (FLC), running from July 14–30, 2023 at FLC, with a special weekend of screenings (July 21–23) at a new venue, the historic Barrymore Film Center in Fort Lee, New Jersey, the birthplace of the motion picture industry in America.

The 22nd edition will include eight world premieres, nine international premieres, thirty-two North American premieres, three U.S. premieres, and sixteen East Coast/New York premieres, showcasing the most exciting new action, comedy, drama, thriller, romance, horror, and art-house films from Hong Kong, Japan, China, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Singapore, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

NYAFF is pleased to unveil the nine wildly diverse and remarkable titles nominated for this year’s Uncaged Award for Best Feature Film Competition, which shines a spotlight on feature filmmakers whose singular cinematic visions should be internationally heralded, and celebrates their passion, imagination, and willingness to take risks.The winner of the Uncaged Award will be selected by a jury, composed of prominent figures from the film industry bridging Asia and the United States, to be announced.

The Uncaged Award nominees are: The Abandoned (Tseng Ying-ting, Taiwan), a masterful blend of police procedural with psychological themes and social issues, as a female cop pursues a serial killer; Abang Adik (Jin Ong, Malaysia), a raw, neorealist drama about two immigrant brothers whose unshakeable bond is sorely tried by an unspeakable act; Back Home (Nate Ki, Hong Kong), a hallucinogenic horror opus in which a young man who can see ghosts returns to his childhood home and is trapped in a waking nightmare; Faces of Anne (Rasiguet Sookkarn and Kongdej Jaturanrasmee, Thailand), a horror thriller that examines, in high-concept fashion, profound and daunting questions about identity and the meaning of life; Flaming Cloud (Liu Siyi, China), an exquisite homage to Disney movies and Chinese folklore in which a young man embarks on a phantasmagorical journey; Greenhouse (Lee Sol-hui, South Korea), a gripping, slow-burn drama-cum-thriller about a woman whose plans to be reunited with her son are shockingly upended; Home Sweet Home (Takumi Saitoh, Japan), a sublime horror story in which the perfect family buys the perfect house, only to discover that it is not; Mountain Onion (Eldar Shibanov, Kazakhstan), a hilariously offbeat family comedy in which two resourceful siblings embark on a journey to save their parents’ failing marriage; and Redemption with Life (Zhang Wei, China), a dark meditation on capitalistic corruption in which classic codes of honor and loyalty are put to the ultimate test.

The NYAFF 2023 Centerpiece Film is the International Premiere of Lee Byeong-heon’s Dream, one of the year’s most highly anticipated blockbusters, with the director in attendance. Both pulse-raising and heartwarming, the story is inspired by the real-life Korean team that participated in the 2010 Homeless World Cup, featuring South Korea’s superstar Park Seo-joon as a virtuoso soccer player-turned-coach and K-pop sensation Lee Ji-eun, best known to the world as IU, as cynical producer.

NYAFF’s 2023 Screen International Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award will go to maverick filmmaker Junji Sakamoto, a singular writer-director who has primarily worked outside Japan’s studio system and challenged himself to do something utterly different with each film. Even after 30 films, five of them shot partially overseas, he continues to produce surprising work that shares little more with his earlier titles than a male-centric focus, sumptuous visuals, provocative characters, and a humanist heart. Since his debut nearly 35 years ago, Sakamoto has genre-hopped with enviable dexterity and no fear of controversial topics, creating work that is both bold and poetic, including Face (2000), KT (2002), Children of the Dark (NYAFF 2008), The Projects (2016), Ernesto (2017), and My Brother, the Android and Me (2022). He will appear at NYAFF with his latest masterwork, the jidaigeki eco-fable Okiku and the World.

Inaugurated last year, NYAFF’s 2023 Best from the East Award honors a singularly outstanding performance in a film, and this year, the award is being bestowed on Korean actress-musician Lee Hanee, star of NYAFF’s Opening Film, Killing Romance. Lee’s absolutely dazzling comedic performance as a former superstar whose would-be dream marriage takes her to the depths of an existential hell and back proves the actress an unstoppable force of nature. Also not to be missed is her turn as a total badass (who may or may not be a spy) busting heads and taking names in Lee Hae-young’s Phantom. She will be on hand late in the festival to receive her award and introduce the screenings of both films. A beauty queen, taekwondo black belt, scuba diver, competitive skier, prodigy of traditional Korean music, and Goodwill Ambassador, Lee was a television host and musical theater star before embarking on her illustrious career as a film and TV actress in 2009. Recent highlights include her star turns in megahit Extreme Job (2019), Black Money (2019), and her role in NYAFF 2022 closing film, Alienoid (2022).

As previously announced, the 2023 Screen International Rising Star Asia Award goes to Japanese star Ryohei Suzuki, many of whose films have been screened at NYAFF in the past. The busy actor first earned international attention for his role in HK: Forbidden Super Hero (NYAFF 2013), as well as Tokyo Tribe (NYAFF 2015) and One Night (NYAFF 2019). His performance in Last of the Wolves (NYAFF 2021) won him Best Supporting Actor accolades at the Japan Academy Prize, among many others. He will be on stage for the award ceremony and a Q&A for his latest film, Egoist.

NYAFF’s 2023 Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema will go to wunderkind Thai filmmaker Lee Thongkham for his outrageous action movie sendup Kitty the Killer, an anarchic tale of female assassins that goes for the jugular with gleeful abandon. He started Thongkham Films during the throes of the pandemic, directing its inaugural feature, The Maid (2020). The gonzo horror movie became the first Thai Netflix Original Film. Lee next directed the Thai-Chinese kaiju movie, The Lake (2022). He then produced the insane slasher satire Night of the Killer Bears (2023). Thongkham Films has already proven a production powerhouse with several more ambitious projects in the pipeline.

Also previously announced, actor and producer Louis Koo, one of Hong Kong’s biggest stars, is being honored with NYAFF’s Extraordinary Star Asia Award. Koo will be on stage for the award ceremony, as well as to introduce his new heart-thumping lifesaving drama Vital Signs.He also appears with compatriot legends Aaron Kwok and Sean Lau for the first time on the big screen in genre maestro Herman Yau’s The White Storm 3: Heaven or Hell. Making its North American premiere at NYAFF, the latest entry of the hit franchise ratchets up the gonzo action while blurring the lines between good and evil.

NYAFF is delighted to welcome even more creative forces from across Asia and the diaspora to meet the audience in New York: singer-dancer-actor Anson Kong, a member of Cantopop supergroup Mirror and star of Uncaged Competition film Back Home, along with the film’s director, Nate Ki; actor Gong Myoung, who showcases his versatile ability in Killing Romance after starring in TV series Lovers of the Red Sky and blockbuster Extreme Job. Japanese star Takumi Saitoh, director of the Uncaged Competition film Home Sweet Home; Rebound director Chang Hang-jun; Kwak Eun-mi, director of A Tour Guide, about a young North Korean defector; Anastasia Tsang, director of the love letter to nighttime Hong Kong, A Light Never Goes Out; Wanweaw Hongvivatana and Weawwan Hongvivatana, directors of Thai teen romance You & Me & Me; director Isher Sahota and producer Jon Tarcy with their hilarious diasporic film, The Effects of Lying; Aizzah Fatima, writer-star of NYAFF 2020’s Audience Award winner Americanish and moderator for The Effects of Lying Q&A session; Laha Mebow, Taiwan’s first indigenous female director; Philippines director Quark Henares and actress EJ Jallorina with Where Is the Lie?; and Eunice Lau, director of the hard-hitting documentary A-Town Boyz.

NYAFF will celebrate opening night on July 14 with its beloved Opening Night Market Soirée, featuring live music and Asian food stalls serving scrumptious delights. The Monday Matsuri to Midnight event takes place all afternoon and evening on July 24, with screenings of Japanese films, Japanese music, and Japanese delicacies.

Masterclasses with filmmakers and panels, including the Asian Diaspora Filmmaker Forum, a panel discussion bringing together producers, directors to share their experiences in the film industry and offer insight into their creative processes, participants to be announced.

NYAFF Closing Night will conclude this year’s festival with a fabulous awards ceremony and the world premiere of a new all-star family-friendly animation blockbuster, to be revealed in a future announcement.

The New York Asian Film Festival is co-presented by the New York Asian Film Foundation and Film at Lincoln Center. It takes place from July 14–30, 2023 at FLC’s Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street), and July 21–23 at Barrymore Film Center (153 Main Street, Fort Lee, NJ). It is curated by executive director Samuel Jamier, associate director Claire Marty, and programmers David Wilentz, Karen Severns, Koichi Mori, and Jenny Lin.

FULL LINEUP (78 Films)
(Please note the program is still subject to change.)

– Killing Romance | dir. Lee Won-suk, South Korea, 2023 | North American Premiere

– Dream | dir. Lee Byeong-heon, South Korea, 2023 | International Premiere

– The Host | dir. Bong Joon-ho, South Korea, 2006 | Special Screening

– 2023 | World Premiere

Films that tell stories about characters confronting different cultures
– Mountain Woman | dir. Takeshi Fukunaga, Japan, USA, 2022 | North American Premiere
– The Sunny Side of the Street | dir. Lau Kok-rui, Hong Kong, Malaysia, 2022 | New York Premiere
– A Tour Guide | dir. Kwak Eun-mi, South Korea, 2023 | North American Premiere

Films that captivate, comfort, and cheer
– Bear Man | dir. Park Sung-kwang, South Korea, 2023 | North American Premiere
– Gaga | dir. Laha Mebow / Chieh-Yao Chen, Taiwan, 2022 | East Coast Premiere
– I Love You, Beksman | dir. Percival Intalan, Philippines, 2022 | North American Premiere
– Marry My Dead Body | dir. Cheng Wei-hao, Taiwan, 2022 | East Coast Premiere
– Rebound | dir. Chang Hang-jun, South Korea, 2023 | New York Premiere

Films that blur the clear-cut lines of East-West identities
– The Effects of Lying | dir. Isher Sahota, U.K., 2023 | North American Premiere
– Shaky Shivers | dir. Sung Kang, USA, 2023 | East Coast Premiere
– A-Town Boyz | dir. Eunice Lau, USA, 2023 | World Premiere

Films grounded in the lives of those in marginalized communities, with narratives that examine pressing issues
– 12 Weeks | dir. Anna Isabelle Matutina, Philippines, 2022 | International Premiere
– December | dir. Anshul Chauhan, Japan, 2022 | North American Premiere
– Eye of the Storm | dir. Lin Chun-Yang, Taiwan, 2023 | International Premiere
– Glorious Ashes | dir. Bui Thac Chuyên, Vietnam, France, Singapore, 2022 | North American Premiere
– In Broad Daylight | dir. Lawrence Kan, Hong Kong, 2023 | North American Premiere
– Vital Signs | dir. Cheuk Wan-chi, Hong Kong, 2023 | North American Premiere

Innovative new work that tweaks and twists genre conventions
– #Manhole | dir. Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, Japan, 2023 | East Coast Premiere
– Geylang | dir. Boi Kwong, Singapore, 2022 | North American Premiere
– Kitty the Killer | dir. Lee Thongkham, Thailand, 2023 | International Premiere
– Mad Fate | dir. Soi Cheang, Hong Kong, 2023 | North American Premiere
– Miss Shampoo | dir. Giddens Ko, Taiwan, 2023 | North American Premiere
– The White Storm 3: Heaven or Hell | dir. Herman Yau, Hong Kong, 2023 | North American Premiere

Highlighting emerging voices and promising works by up-and-coming directors
– Bad Education | dir. Kai Ko, Taiwan, 2022 | North American Premiere
– The Cord of Life | dir. Qiao Sixue, China, 2022 | New York Premiere
– Extreme Festival | dir. Kim Hong-ki, South Korea, 2023 | International Premiere
– Hail to Hell | dir. Lim Oh-jeong, South Korea, 2022 | North American Premiere
– A Light Never Goes Out | dir. Anastasia Tsang, Hong Kong, 2022 | U.S. Premiere
– Mayhem Girls | dir. Shinichi Fujita, Japan, 2022 | International Premiere
– You & Me & Me | dir. Weawwan Hongvivatana, Wanweaw Hongvivatana, Thailand, 2023 | North American Premiere

Exceptional films, regardless of premiere status
– Art College 1994 | dir. Liu Jian, China, 2023 | North American Premiere
– Egoist | dir. Daishi Matsunaga, Daishi Matsunaga, Japan, 2023 | New York Premiere
– A Hundred Flowers | dir. Genki Kawamura, Japan, 2022 | New York Premiere
– Motherhood | dir. Ryuichi Hiroki, Japan, 2022 | U.S. Premiere
– Phantom | dir. Lee Hae-young, South Korea, 2023 | North American Premiere
– A Woman | dir. Wang Chao, China, 2022 | North American Premiere

Original films that break away from formalistic and/or narrative conventions
– Everyphone Everywhere | dir. Amos Why, Hong Kong, 2023 | North American Premiere
– In Her Room | dir. Chihiro Ito, Japan, 2022 | North American Premiere
– Nomad (Director’s Cut) | dir. Patrick Tam, Hong Kong, 1982 | East Coast Premiere
– Okiku and the World | dir. Junji Sakamoto, Japan, 2023 | North American Premiere
– Where Is the Lie? | dir. Quark Henares, Philippines, 2023 | New York Premiere

– Empty Nest | dir. Zhang Wei, China, 2020 | North American Premiere
– Factory Boss | dir. Zhang Wei, China, 2014 | Special Screening
– Redemption with Life | dir. Zhang Wei, China, 2023 | World Premiere (also in the Uncaged Competition)
– The Rib (Director’s Cut) | dir. Zhang Wei, China, 2018 | Special Screening

– The Abandoned | dir. Tseng Ying-ting, Taiwan, 2022 | North American Premiere
– Abang Adik | dir. Jin Ong, Malaysia, 2023 | North American Premiere
– Back Home | dir. Nate Ki, Hong Kong, 2023 | World Premiere
– Faces of Anne | dir. Rasiguet Sookkarn, Kongdej Jaturanrasmee, Thailand, 2022 | North American Premiere
– Flaming Cloud | dir. Liu Siyi, China, 2023 | World Premiere
– Greenhouse | dir. Lee Sol-hui, South Korea, 2022 | North American Premiere
– Home Sweet Home | dir. Takumi Saitoh, Japan, 2023 | North American Premiere
– Mountain Onion | dir. Eldar Shibanov, Kazakhstan, 2022 | North American Premiere
– Redemption with Life | dir. Zhang Wei, China, 2023 | World Premiere (also in Filmmaker in Focus)

– Borderline | dir. Kong Son-hee, South Korea, 2022 | World Premiere
– Confusion of the Afternoon | dir. Yung-Chieh Lee, Taiwan, 2023 | East Coast Premiere
– Goose Mountain | dir. Hu Rui, Chen Liaoyu, China, 2023
– Handwritten | dir. Jaime Sunwoo, USA, 2022 | New York Premiere
– Hidari | dir. Masashi Kawamura, Iku Ogawa, Japan, 2023
– Impurrfection | dir. Chiang Yao, Taiwan, 2022 | New York Premiere
– The Kidnapping (Old Man Yang) | dir. Gu Yang, Liu Kuang, Chen Liaoyu, China, 2023
– Little Pig Demon (Nobody) | dir. Yu Shui, Chen Liaoyu, China, 2023
– Ship Down the Well | dir. Chen Xi, Zhou Xiaolin, Chen Liaoyu, China, 2023
– What We Leave Behind | dir. Kang Nam-jin, South Korea, 2022 | International Premiere

– All Your Fault, PD | dir. Kim Sun-yeun, South Korea, 2022 | North American Premiere
– Fix Anything | dir. Lê Lâm Viên, Vietnam, 2022 | North American Premiere
– Infant (Perzent) | dir. Karash Zhanyshov, Kyrgyzstan, 2022 | U.S. Premiere
– Kumbang (Bugs) | dir. Gwai Lou, Malaysia, 2023 | World Premiere
– Neo Portraits | dir. Gazebo, Japan, 2023 | International Premiere
– Pufferfish | dir. Mohamad Kamal Alavi, Iran, 2023 | World Premiere
– Resellers | dir. Lee Seung-ju, South Korea, 2022 | International Premiere
– A Roadside Banquet | dir. Peiqi Peng, United States, China, 2023 | East Coast Premiere
– Sweet Refuge | dir. Maryam Mir, USA, 2023 | East Coast Premiere
– Will You Look At Me | dir. Shuli Huang, China, 2022

Tickets for the 22nd edition of the New York Asian Film Festival go on sale June 23 at 12pm ET, with early access for FLC Members beginning June 23 at 10am ET. Tickets are $17 for General Public; $14 for students, seniors (62+), and persons with disabilities; and $12 for FLC Members. See more at FLC and save with a 3+ Film Package or FLC All-Access Passes ($249 for General Public and $199 for students). Note: Opening Night and premium events are excluded.

Opening Night tickets for Killing Romance are $25 for the General Public and $20 for FLC Members, students, seniors, and persons with disabilities. Those who wish to attend the Opening Night screening and the Night Market can get tickets for $50 for the General Public and $40 for FLC Members, students, seniors, and persons with disabilities.

Premium events––including screenings of Killing Romance, Egoist, Home Sweet Home, Vital Signs, Phantom, and Closing Night film (to be announced)––are $25 for the General Public and $20 for FLC Members, students, seniors, and persons with disabilities.

Standard-priced screenings at NYAFF are eligible for the FLC Dinner + Movie combo. For $30, receive one ticket to an NYAFF screening and a select menu item at Café Paradiso, located in FLC’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Learn more here.

For additional information, please visit Film at Lincoln Center at, New York Asian Film Festival at, and follow us on social media @filmlinc and @nyaff.

Barrymore Film Center will be screening films on July 21–23, with pricing to be announced at

● Film at Lincoln Center (FLC), July 14–30, 2023
Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, New York, NY
● Barrymore Film Center, July 21–23, 2023
153 Main Street, Fort Lee, NJ

Celebrating its 22nd edition in 2023, the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) is North America’s leading festival of Asian cinema. It was called “the best film festival in New York” by The Village Voice and “arguably the world’s best-curated program of new and classic Asian cinema” by IndieWire. Launched in 2002, the festival showcases a wildly diverse lineup of singular titles each year, ranging from mainstream blockbusters and art-house eccentricities to genre and cult classics. It was the first North American film festival to champion the works of Johnnie To, Bong Joon Ho, Park Chan-wook, Takashi Miike, and other auteurs of contemporary Asian cinema. Notable festival guests have included Lee Byung-hun, Ryoo Seung-wan, Masami Nagasawa, Sammo Hung, Lee Jung-jae, and Jackie Chan. Since 2010, NYAFF has been produced in collaboration with Film at Lincoln Center.
For more information, visit and on social: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, #nyaff2023.

The New York Asian Film Foundation Inc. is America’s premier 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the exhibition and appreciation of Asian film culture in all its forms, with year-round festivals and programs, and a view to building bridges between Asia and America. The New York Asian Film Foundation’s flagship event is the annual New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which has been presented in collaboration with Film at Lincoln Center since 2010. Now celebrating its 22nd year, NYAFF is North America’s leading festival of Asian cinema. The foundation’s other events and initiatives include special screening events and an annual Winter Showcase at the SVA Theatre.

The New York Asian Film Festival, a program of the New York Asian Film Foundation, is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.

Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; and the presentation of podcasts, talks, special events, and artist initiatives. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned Lincoln Center arts complex, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.

Film at Lincoln Center receives generous, year-round support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. For more information, visit and follow @filmlinc on Twitter and Instagram.

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