Asian World Film Festival Announces Competition Slate (Exclusive)

TheWrap is a partner on the inaugural festival, which runs Oct. 26 – Nov. 2 and features 14 Oscar-submitted films in competition

Last Updated: October 13, 2015 @ 9:50 AM

Oscar-submitted Cambodian film “The Last Reel,” Iraq’s award-winning “Memories on Stone” and Turkey’s Jury Prize winner from the 2014 Venice Film Festival “Sivas” lead the competition entries in the first Asian World Film Festival (AWFF), the festival announced Tuesday.

The festival, which takes place October 26 – November 2, 2015, features select foreign language films from the 50 eligible countries in the Asian World region, including films that have been officially submitted as their country’s Oscar and Golden Globe considerations. Films will screen at ArcLight Cinemas in downtown Culver City and the luxury iPic Theaters in Westwood.

As previously announced, South Korea’s “The Shameless” will officially open the event while Taiwan’s official Oscar submission, “The Assassin,” is the official closing night film on November 2nd.

The U.S. film premieres include “Utopia” (Afghanistan), “Jalal’s Story” (Bangladesh), “Moira” (Georgia), “Heavenly Nomadic” (Kyrgyzstan), “Void” (Lebanon) and “Jackpot” (Vietnam). The screening for “Unsolved Love” (Yakutia, Sakha Republic) will mark its North American premiere.

Other films in competition include “12 Citizens” (China), “Moira” (Georgia), “Court” (India), “100 Yen Love” (Japan), “Talakjung vs Tulke” (Nepal), “The Wanted 18” (Palestine) and “How to Win at Checkers” (Thailand).

“We want our festival to be the voice of the voiceless cinema that comes from the far corners of the World like Yakutia, Buryatia, Tuva, most of Central Asia & the Middle East and so many others,”  Executive Director Georges Chamchoum said in statement.

The festival was created by “Heavenly Nomadic” producer Sadyk Sher-Niyaz  to bring a broad selection of Asian world cinema to Los Angeles, drawing greater recognition to the region’s filmmakers and strengthening ties between the Asian and Hollywood film industries.

“On average, 23 countries from the eligible 50 countries submit for awards consideration and the Asian World Film Festival provides a much-needed platform,” festival artistic director Ken Hanada said. “We are delighted to present the work of passionate, often unknown, filmmakers and are proud to help expand the reach and influence of their vision.”

Following the Opening Night Red Carpet Awards Gala and Opening Night Film, the Festival features seven days of films at ArcLight Cinemas in downtown Culver City and the luxury iPic Theaters in Westwood. Throughout the week there will also be expert panels on subjects such as Film Financing and Distribution, PR, Marketing and Awards Campaigns and Cross Cultural Collaborations in the Festival’s Filmmaker Lounge located at the Culver Hotel.