Filmoteca Española and Casa Asia present a selection of the winning films from the last edition of the AFFB | Asian Film Festival Barcelona (2017). Of all the films, Filmoteca has selected eight titles that are the most representative of this great geographical area extending from Central Asia, the former Soviet republics, to Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. Among the more than one hundred films screened at the festival, the eight Films to be presented at Filmoteca were awarded by some of the five juries of the last edition of the AFFB: the Official Jury, Panorama, NETPAC, Special Sections (Cathay Pacific) and Discoveries (Film Schools). They are experimental and independent films, which is often outside the commercial circuits and somehow only penetrates Europe through festivals that proactively incorporate Asian film in its programming. The selected titles reflect narratives that are built from its territory, navigating the division between space and place, developing the location and time of the action and happenings. Hence, a production like Dawn of the Felines (Best Screenplay for the Official Section) tells stories that the viewer can relate to not so much by the cinematographic aesthetic but by what is narrated. It is a film that gathers three stories of girls who work as “escorts,” but whose loneliness makes them more fragile, finally humanizing them. The topics that are referenced in this programme have to do with the domestic and daily life of large cities in developed countries such as Japan, Iran, New Zealand and India or emerging countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Afghanistan. A Father’s Will, Children of Genghis and Wolf and Sheep are films that narrate the great contrasts still existing between urban life and the rural world, trying to show the distance that in theory is closing between the differences of both landscapes. In A Father’s Will, the diaspora in both directions exposes the extent to which large migrations can affect those involved; first, when they arrive at the place of reception, and second, when they return to their country of origin, where changes that have occurred prevent their rapid adaptation. In Children of Genghis, the Mongolian traditions of wrestling, horse racing and archery defend tradition in the face of change and progress accredited to a second period. Afghanistan, in turn, is one of the most narrated countries in film taking into account what it had contributed to the world history of cinema in the past, although it has scarce native production. In Wolf and Sheep (Best Film in the Panorama Section) a secret country is revealed that at first glance is not seen, while tradition and customs are imposed on a particularly rural society.. The remaining titles of the sample give continuity to topics and problems that lend themselves to the great stories of a contemporary society in which the discrepancias are at the source of great complexity of the conflicts that arise due to the impossibility of integrating tradition and modernity in a global era. For more information about the festival: http://asianfilmfestival.barcelona
Tuesday July 3 rd 2018, 19.00h
DAWN OF THE FELINES, Dir. Kazuya Shiraishi | Japan | 2016 | 84 ‘| VOSE
Three girls who work as escorts live under the sky of Ikebukuro in Tokyo. They work for the same escort service, although they feel alone in their personal lives. Masako has a great deal of debt. Takada, an important client, is unemployed and socially retired. Rie, a housewife, deals with an old widower, Kaneda. Meanwhile, Yui is a single mother with two children, but she is enamored with a young boy so she neglects them. Negative emotions such as aversion, hatred and dispute accumulate in this world of affections that are as prone to an energetic generation as to the sordidness of their parallel lives. As if it were a documentary, Shiraishi uses satire to reference women living in poverty, which still reflects a serious social problem in Japan. Dawn of the Felines won the Best Screenplay Award in the Official Section of the AFFB 2017.
Thursday July 5 th 2018, 21.30h
A FATHER’S WILL, Dir. B. Mukul, D. Zhapar Uulu | Kyrgyzstan | 2016 | 120 ‘| VOSE
After living in the United States as an immigrant for the past fifteen years, Azat flies to the village of his family in Kyrgyzstan. His father, Murat, died a year ago in the United States and his last wish was to return the money he had borrowed from his neighbors in his town. Azat finds his house in ruins. Murat’s younger brother, Choro, and all his friends and acquaintances left a long time ago. Despite the hostility shown by the neighbors to Azat, he rebuilds the family home and pays his father’s debts. One day, Choro returns and answers the most important question of Murat’s last will. A Father’s Will won the Cathay Pacific Award for Best Director.
Friday July 6 th 2018, 18.00h
CHILDREN OF GENGHIS, Dir. Zolvayar Dorj | Mongolia | 2017 | 101 ‘| VOSE
The traditional Mongols had a custom based on three cultural games: Mongolian fighting, horse racing and archery. This film is based on that tradition of horse racing. The best horse racing coach in town, Bold, has a valuable horse that has not yet found a rider. Dambii lives with his wife, Dolgor and their three children, Dorj (12 years old), Bymbaa (8 years old) and Nanzaa (4 years old) in a rural area of Mongolia. All Dambii’s sons have a knack for riding. Bold decides to ask Dambii’s eldest son, Dorj, if he wants to be his horse’s rider. But, the average son of Dambii, Bymbaa, feels rejected for not having been chosen and decides to train his horse in secret. Children of Genghis won the Special Mention Award within the NETPAC 2017 section and the Cathay Pacific Best Photography Award at the AFFB 2017.
Tuesday July 10th 2018, 20.15h
WOLF AND SHEEP, Dir. Shahrbanoo | Afghanistan | 2016 | 86 ‘| VOSE
In rural Afghanistan, people invent and tell stories that are mysterious and full of imagination in order to try to explain the world in which they live. The shepherd children are the owners of the mountains, but they know that boys and girls are not allowed to be together. The boys practice with their slingshots to fight against the wolves, while the girls smoke secretly and play games simulating marriage, dreaming of finding a husband. They whisper about Sediga because they think a curse weighs on her. Qodrat, also eleven years old, becomes the attention of gossip when his mother remarries a man who already has two wives. Qodrat wanders alone through the most isolated places in the mountains, where he meets Sediga and they become friends. Wolf and Sheep won the award for Best Film within the Panorama Section of the AFFB 2017.
Wednesday July 11 th 2018, 19.30h
RAILWAY CHILDREN, Dir, Prithvi Konanur | India | 2016 | 120 ‘| VOSE
Raju escapes from his home at age twelve and arrives in the unknown world of the railway platforms. He is timid and insecure and falls into the hands of a gang. Raju meets one of its members, Jollu—of the same age—who teaches him the tricks of life on the platforms. One day, after a fight with another member of the gang, both lose their daily collection of water bottles and receive an unfair punishment from the leader. Raju thus understands the cruelty of life on the platforms. With the passing of the days, the two become obsessed with being considered men and not children. They realize that while the platforms are divided by gangs that sell fake drinking water, the trains are, nevertheless, open to everyone. Raju and Jollu meet another boy who lives on the platforms and start selling water for themselves while risking their lives. Railway Children won a special mention from the Jury of the Panorama Section, within the AFFB 2017.
Wednesday July 18 th 2018, 18.00h
A FLICKERING TRUTH, Dir. Pietra Brettkelly | New Zealand | 2015 | 91 ‘| VOSE
A Flickering Truth is an outstanding film by director Pietra Brettkelly and a revealing documentary about the current state in Afghanistan today through displaying different events. The protagonists are a group of film enthusiasts who dedicate themselves to digging, preserving and restoring millions of hours of film of Afghanistan’s film past. It was destroyed by the Taliban who saw cinema as part of Western culture and that it must be eliminated. Ibrahim Arify, who was imprisoned for making films under the Mujahideen and had to leave for Germany to start a new life, is the one who leads the efforts to recover this past. He has returned to reconstruct the history of Afghan cinema and to bring a little order to a country where resources are scarce and there is a very difficult need to fight. While Afghanistan is swinging towards an unpredictable future, A Flickering Truth revolves around the world of three dreamers, the destruction caused by 100 years of war and the attempt to restore 800 hours of film archives. A Flickering Truth won the Best Young Jury Film Award (Film Schools) at the AFFB 2017.
Friday July 20 th 2018, 18.00h
HOURA, Dir. Gholamreza Sagharchiyan | Iran | 2015 | 79 ‘| VOSE
In the desert lives a teenager named Hadi within a small garden with his family. Railway contruction and expansion directly affects this family since the waterway has been destroyed. Therefore, the garden is drying up and Hadi tries to do everything possible to preserve it, as it is the only memory that his mother has left. Houra, his younger brother, has fallen ill and refuses to talk. Hadi only expects him to recover soon after the death of his mother. Houra won the Best Screenplay Award, within the Young Jury Section (Film Schools), of the Asian Film Festival. Barcelona, 2017.
Tuesday July 24 th 2018, 20.15h
A HOUSE OF 41ST, Dir. Hamid Reza Ghorbani | Iran | 2016 | 90 ‘| VOSE
A middle-class family in Tehran falls apart when one brother kills another for money. The initial dispute between Mohsen and his brother Morteza takes place over the glassware of his widowed mother. They raise their voices and fight. The police cordon off the area and remove the body of Morteza in a bag. The tragedy takes place in the building where the family lives, divided into three different apartments. Mohsen, the murderer, has disappeared leaving the women of the family the responsibility to resolve the situation. Although they do not shed a tear. A House of 41st won the award for Best Director, Hamid Reza, within the Panorama Section of the Asian Film Festival. Barcelona, 2017.
Film Series: From July 3 to 24, 2018
Place: Filmoteca española de Madrid | C/ Santa Isabel, 328012 Madrid
Entrance: General: 3 € per session and room. 20 € for the subscription of 10 sessions
Student: 2 € per session and room. 15 € for the subscription of 10 sessions.
Organised by: Casa Asia and Filmoteca Española de Madrid