Sunday, March 09, 2008

After Euros, back to Asian Cinema

I am almost done watching the 16 films for my Euro 2008 Film Festival. After that, I want to tackle Asian Cinema again as it has been almost a year since I last focused exclusively on Asian films. Ideally, one day I would like to pair the Asian soccer tournament with a matching film festival but it would be very difficult for me to find all the films of the nations taking part. For example, these were the 16 teams that took part in 2007's Asian Cup, which was won by Iraq:

Group A: Iraq, Australia, Thailand, Oman
Group B: Japan, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Qatar
Group C: Iran, Uzbekistan, China, Malaysia
Group D: Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Indonesia, Bahrain

I would have no luck in getting films from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar or UAE. Until a few years ago, there were no films being made in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and some of the other Middle East nations. But that is changing now. In the last 2 years, a film from Saudi Arabia and even Kuwait have been made. So far these films have only have been confined to a handful of screenings in the Middle East and have not traveled outside the region (although there was a report of a Cannes screening for the Saudi film).

When it comes to Asian cinema, it is easier to find films from India, Hong Kong, Japan, Iran, China, South Korea and Taiwan. Although there are plenty of other Asian countries who produce quality films, their films are unfortunately harder to track down. In recent years, thanks to film festivals, I have been fortunate to have viewed films from Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and even Iraq (just one film, Ehlaam). But I would like to sample more films from these other Asian countries.

So the Asian Cinema spotlight would be an attempt to find films from as many Asian countries as possible, while also tracking down some newer films from the more established Asian film nations.

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