Tired of seeing yet another Hollywood cash-grab headlining your local theaters? Ready for something that isn’t, perhaps, a superhero movie full of white people blowing things up and shooting off shitty one-liners?
It’s every Asian cinephiles favorite time of year: the New York Asian Film Festival, y’all. For its 17th annual event, the fest is serving up a full slate of the best and most groundbreaking films from across Asia–quite of a few of which are North American or even world premieres.
The massive lineup (60 movies, y’all) includes films from China and Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Phillippines. After many of the screenings, attendees will also get the chance to pick the brains of some of the directors and actors themselves in candid Q & A sessions.
Opening Night kicks off the festival on June 29 with the North American premiere of DYNAMITE GRAFFITI, an “unorthodox” biopic about the struggles of Japanese porn mag mogul Suei Akira, responsible for bringing not just smut to the GP, but high art from now-acclaimed writers and photographers. The centerpiece film, screening on July 12th, is MEN ON THE DRAGON, an heartwarming dramedy about a group of salarymen that join their company’s dragon boat team and end up discovering new depths in their own lives. Finally, Closing Night will end the festival with a big-ass bang: the world premiere of Erik Matti’s BUYBUST, a no-holds-barred action flick starring Filipino superstar Anne Curtis (also in NYAFF pick SID AND AYA) and WWE champ Brandon Vera. Curtis reportedly trained for months to shoot the film, so prepare for heavy ass-kicking (but also social commentary) as Curtis and Vera take on a legion of druglords, including one 3-minute un-cut action sequence featuring Curtis against a horde of thugs in the heavy rain. Curtis, Vera, and Matti will all be in attendance.
But these are just the tip of the cinematic iceberg! There are 57 other worthy films screening through the two-week event–running the genre gamut from blood-bumping historical action to searing meditations on modern society to satirical sex comedies. It’s the stuff that rarely gets released in America, so it could be your only chance to see it–at least, on the big screen.