The New York Asian Film Foundation and Film at Lincoln Center announce the 23rd edition of the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), running July 12–22 at Film at Lincoln Center, with additional screenings from July 22–28 at the SVA Theatre and July 13–15, 18–21, and 23–25 at LOOK Cinemas W57, plus a special collaborative presentation of films at the Korean Cultural Center New York.

“For so many, Asian films start and end with Parasite or Everything Everywhere All At Once (who could blame them?), but the real action is happening in the trenches of Asian cinema, where audacious auteurs and daring debutantes are unleashing a tidal wave of talent that’s about to crash on American shores,” said Samuel Jamier, festival director and president of the New York Asian Film Foundation. “This year’s festival is like sriracha sauce—it’s spicy, it’s tangy, it’s got a kick that’ll wake up your senses. And it’s hard to find right now! We’ve got more fresh faces than a K-pop band. It’s a blockbuster year for us, and we can’t wait to share these passionate stories with equally passionate audiences in the city that never sleeps—although they might want to catch a nap before our late-night screenings! Whether you’re a die-hard cinephile or just looking for a wild ride, we got you covered.”

The festival will host the premieres of 20 feature debuts, its largest lineup of newcomers ever, and features an amplified number of films focusing on LGBTQ+ characters and themes, including several that represent touchpoints in queer cinema. 

Opening Night is the July 12 world premiere of Park Beom-su’s Victory, a cheerleading epic that’s like Bring It On meets Parasite, with a dash of Teen Spirit. Screen International Rising Star Asia honoree Lee Hye-ri (of 3rd-gen K-pop band Girl’s Day) will be on hand alongside her co-star Park Se-wan (of Life Is Beautiful and 6/45) and director Park. 

Hong Kong has always been the beating heart of NYAFF, and this year’s HONG KONG PANORAMA, co-presented and backed by the generous support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY), is a testament to Hong Kong’s unparalleled cinematic legacy, showcasing a broad array of films that exemplify its unique blend of artistry, innovation, and sheer entertainment value. A star-studded lineup of Hong Kong luminaries will be in attendance, including living legend Tai Bo, who will be honored with this year’s Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award; director Ho Miu-ki of Love Lies; the creative trio of director Chow Kam Wing, screenwriter Lam Tsz Ki, and actress Kuku So, who will appear for the world premiere of For Alice; the multi-hyphenate talent Sasha Chuk, who will be present for the North American Premiere of Fly Me to the Moon; and the charismatic Angus Yeung, who hits the ground running as an action star with Inexternal, whose world premiere is proof that the Hong Kong martial arts movie tradition is alive and kicking. Soi Cheang’s Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In, which played at Cannes last month, will make its North American premiere with producer John Chong and actor Philip Ng in attendance for Closing Night.

As part of this panorama, the festival is turning a much-deserved FILMMAKER-IN-FOCUS on Hong Kong auteur Ray Yeung, showcasing his most transcendent, era-defining LGBTQ+ films, including his 2015 masterwork, Front Cover, set in the high-fashion world in New York; 2024 Berlin Teddy Award winner All Shall Be Well, which Yeung will introduce with the luminous lead, Patra Au, and producers Stanley Guingon and Michael Werner; and his 2019 feature Twilight’s Kiss (Suk Suk).

There will also be a special Spotlight on 852 Films with Hong Kong singer-actor-producer Josie Ho, who returns to NYAFF to introduce and re-introduce some of her most daring projects, most notably Onpaku, a surreal, V-cinema-style terror extravaganza from horror meister Shugo Fujii, and Janell Shirtcliff’s unclassifiable 2021 debut Habit (International Version), in a cut never before screened in North America.

This year’s enhanced Thai program, THAI TREASURES, presented with support from the Thailand Creative Culture Agency (THACCA), is a full-bodied celebration of Thai film culture, boasting six new films and the largest movie delegation ever to attend the festival. The lineup runs a gamut from genre scorchers to beguiling coming-of-age frolics. Highlights include the effervescent Not Friends, a disarmingly imaginative teen saga from the Thai studio behind Bad Genius (NYAFF 2017), and You and Me and Me (NYAFF 2023), with director Atta Hemwadee, producer Baz Poonpiriya (director of Bad Genius and One For the Road), and the film’s young stars Anthony Buisseret and Thitiya Jirapornsilp in person for its North American premiere. At the other end of the tonal spectrum is Supposed, the haunting final film from the late Thanakorn Pongsuwan, who’ll be honored posthumously by his producer Siwaporn Pongsuwan in attendance. She’ll be joined by the ACTOR-IN-FOCUS Ananda Everingham (also appearing for Pattaya Heat), who stars as a fatalistic lady-killer, and Chayanit Chansangavej, who makes an unforgettable turn as “that obscure object of desire.” Everingham resurfaces in the eerie folk horror The Cursed Land, which mines fertile terrors from Thailand’s ethnic Muslim communities. Its horror auteur Panu Aree and his lead will be on hand to expound on his inspired integration of ethnic representation and supernatural chills.

For more visceral genre highs, the lineup includes Pattaya Heat, a pastiche of postmodern crime theatrics set in Thailand’s infamous sin city—it’s what you’d get if Tarantino spent quarantine penning a Bangkok flophouse folly. Kongkiat Komesiri, the genre maestro behind the beloved Khun Pan fantasy franchise, will be in attendance with his latest, WWII zombie actioner Operation Undead, which   reaffirms Thailand’s cinema as captivatingly shapeshifting. And Thai cinema superstar Putthipong “Billkin” Assaratanakul will take the NYAFF stage for the North American premiere of record-breaking film How to Make Millions Before Grandma Dies

The TAIWAN TRANSCENDENT section, generously supported by the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, shows a cinema in full, defiant bloom, irreverent toward binaries of high/low art, and freely pivoting between profound introspection and mercurial passions. Leading man Austin Lin and acclaimed actress Nikki Hsieh are set to attend with their film Suffocating Love. On the arthouse end of the Taiwan lineup is the masterful debut of Hwarng Wern-ying, Be With Me, executive produced by Hou Hsiao-Hsien. The turbocharged, star-studded action/comedy Breaking and Re-entering brings wunderkind director Leo Wang and star Kent Tsai to the festival in person, and Hsiao Ya-Chuan’s Old Fox is a stark yet lyrical morality tale set against the social upheavals of Taiwan’s economic boom years.  

A two-film sampling of Taiwan’s cinematic intoxicant of choice—the “Boys Love” rom-com renaissance—includes The Time of Huan Nan, a coming-of-age tale that perceptively probes the eternal tangles of yearnings and societal repression, and A Balloon’s Landing, director Angel Teng’s metaphysical charmer starring Hong Kong heartthrob Terrance Lau and Taiwan’s Fandy Fan. 

Other notable films include Salli, directed by Chien-Hung Lien, featuring Esther Liu as a sexy, sassy chicken farmer, and the captivating Japan-Taiwan coproduction 18×2 Beyond Youthful Days, starring Hsu Kuang-han (also known as Greg Hsu, of Marry My Dead Body fame, NYAFF 2023).

Co-presented with Korean Cultural Center New York (KCCNY), KOREAN FRONTLINES serves as a potent reminder of why Korea remains the undisputed king of the cinematic shock to the system. Leading the charge is this edition’s Centerpiece Presentation, The Killers, an anthologized hit man odyssey destined for cult fame. This world premiere presentation brings together a group of visionary directors—all NYAFF alumni—including Chang Hang-jun, Kim Jong-kwan, Lee Myung-Se, and Roh Deok, along with incandescent actress Shim Eun-kyung (Miss Granny, Sunny). 

Another standout is The Guest, a film whose deceptively benign title masks a tense, uber-creepy thriller, with director Yeon Je-gwang and lead actor Lee Ju-seung in attendance. Kim Da-min will attend the North American premiere of her wonderfully off-kilter feature debut FAQ, a whimsical fantasy centering on an exceptionally smart little girl who befriends a bottle of clairvoyant makgeolli (rice wine). The film heralds Kim as a major new voice in Korean cinema. Equally original (but a lot more unsettling) is Yoon Eun-Kyung’s The Tenants, a monochromatic nightmare about bathroom and attic squatters.

A trio of the year’s most popular Korean films—12:12: The Day, The Roundup: Punishment, and Exhuma—will be showcased at the brand-new building of the Korean Cultural Center New York. 

The films of this year’s JAPANORAMA, partially supported by the Japan Foundation, range from the sumptuous nostalgia of period pieces to the neon-soaked, karaoke-fueled underbelly of crooning yakuza, all tied together with a generous helping of VFX sorcery and the odd cross-border romance. 

Kento Yamazaki, the festival’s Best from the East honoree and the undisputed king of the Japanese screen, delivers a tour de force of regal charisma and smoldering intensity in the latest chapter of the Kingdom franchise, Kingdom: Return of the Great General. Other highlights include 90 Years Old – So What?, a hilarious, life-affirming dramedy based on the irrepressible spirit of award-winning author Aiko Sato; Brush of the God by 88-year-old legendary stuntman Keizo Murase; and Bushido, with NYAFF stalwart Kazuya Shiraishi going full samurai with star Tsuyoshi Kusanagi as the ronin protagonist.  

A real gem in the lineup is Shimako Sato’s Yin Yang Master Zero, the first-ever big-budget fantasy directed by a Japanese woman. Starring Kento Yamazaki and Shota Sometani, and featuring sumptuous visual effects from Shirogumi (the Oscar-winning team behind Godzilla Minus One, led by Sato’s husband, Takashi Yamazaki), this is a film that doesn’t just push boundaries—it obliterates them. It’s a stunning showcase of what’s possible when you put a woman at the helm of a blockbuster production.

Nobuhiro Yamashita’s (Linda Linda Linda) Let’s Go Karaoke! delivers a little musical madness, while Shusuke Kaneko’s pitch-black mystery-thriller Gold Boy proves that even the darkest of tales can shine brightly.   

A second wave of NYAFF announcements will be made next week, highlighting the Uncaged Competition lineup and jury members, the Shorts Showcase Competition lineup and jury members, exciting new titles, special guests and award honorees, master classes and panels, and other unmissable events. NYAFF is also thrilled to host the Opening Night Market on July 12 and the Matsuri Night on July 23, both with live music and Asian food stalls, as well as other parties and receptions.

The New York Asian Film Festival is co-presented by the New York Asian Film Foundation and Film at Lincoln Center, and takes place from July 12–22, 2024 at FLC’s Walter Reade Theater (165 W 65th Street), and from July 22–28 at the SVA Theatre (333 W 23rd Street). There will also be screenings July 13–15, July 18–21, and July 23–25 at LOOK Cinemas W57 (657 W 57th Street), and a special collaborative lineup at the Korean Cultural Center New York (122 E 32nd Street). NYAFF is curated by executive director Samuel Jamier, associate director Claire Marty, programmers David Wilentz, Karen Severns, Koichi Mori, Thailand expert Donsaron Kovitvanitcha, and China Region Consultant Dana Fukazawa; the short film program is curated by Elliot Gong.

FIRST WAVE OF LINEUP (40 feature films) – more titles to be announced
(Please note the program is still subject to change.)

HONG KONG (presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office)

All Shall Be Well. ©2023 Mise_en_Scene_film production

All Shall Be Well | dir. Ray Yeung, Hong Kong, 2024 | East Coast Premiere
Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice | dir. Kim Chan, Dee Lam, Hong Kong, 2022 | Special Screening
Fly Me to the Moon | dir. Sasha Chuk, Hong Kong, 2023 | North American Premiere
For Alice | dir. Chow Kam Wing, Hong Kong, 2024 | World Premiere
Inexternal | dir. Yuen Kim-Wai, Hong Kong, 2024 | World Premiere
Love Lies | dir. Ho Miu-ki, Hong Kong, 2024 | North American Premiere
Twilight’s Kiss | dir. Ray Yeung, Hong Kong, 2019 | Special Screening
Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In | dir. Soi Cheang, Hong Kong, 2024 | North American Premiere

JAPAN (presented with the support of Japan Foundation)

©2024 “The Yin Yang Master Zero” Film Partners

90 Years Old – So What? | dir. Tetsu Maeda, Japan, 2024 | North American Premiere
Brush of the God | dir. Keizo Murase, Japan, 2024 | International Premiere
Bushido | dir. Kazuya Shiraishi, Japan, 2024 | North American Premiere
Gold Boy | dir. Shusuke Kaneko, Japan/China, 2023 | North American Premiere
Kingdom: Return of the Great General | dir. Shinsuke Sato, Japan, 2024 | International Premiere
Let’s Go Karaoke! | dir. Nobuhiro Yamashita, Japan, 2023 | North American Premiere
Onpaku | dir. Shogo Fujii, Japan/Hong Kong, 2022 | New York Premiere
The Yin Yang Master Zero | dir. Shimako Sato, Japan, 2024 | North American Premiere

SOUTH KOREA (Co-presented with Korean Cultural Center New York)

Victory. 2024 Copyright ⓒMindmark & Annapurna Films All Rights Reserved

12.12: The Day | dir. Kim Seong-su, South Korea, 2023 | Special Screening
Exhuma | dir. Jang Jae-hyun, South Korea, 2023 | Special Screening
FAQ | dir. Kim Da-min, South Korea, 2023 | North American Premiere
The Guest | dir. Yeon Je-gwang, South Korea, 2023 | North American Premiere
The Killers | dir. Lee Myung-Se, Chang Hang-jun, Kim Jong-kwan, Roh Deok, South Korea, 2024 | World Premiere
The Roundup: Punishment | dir. Heo Myeong-haeng, South Korea, 2024 | Special Screening
The Tenants | dir. Yoon Eun-Kyung, South Korea, 2023 | North American Premiere
Victory | dir. Park Beom-su, South Korea, 2024 | World Premiere

TAIWAN (presented with the support of Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York)

©2024 “18×2 Beyond Youthful Days” Film Partner

18×2 Beyond Youthful Days | dir. Michihito Fujii, Japan/Taiwan, 2024 | North American Premiere
A Balloon’s Landing | dir. Angel Teng, Taiwan, Hong Kong, 2024 | International Premiere
Be With Me | dir. Hwarng Wern Ying, Taiwan, 2023 | East Coast Premiere
Breaking and Re-entering | dir. Leo Wang, Taiwan, 2024 | North American Premiere
Old Fox | dir. Hsiao Ya-Chuan, Taiwan, 2023 | East Coast Premiere
Salli | dir. Lien Chien-Hung, Taiwan, 2023 | East Coast Premiere
Suffocating Love | dir. Liao Ming-yi, Taiwan, 2024 | North American Premiere
The Time of Huan Nan | dir. Leading Lee, Taiwan, 2023 | International Premiere

THAILAND (presented with the support of Thailand Creative Culture Agency – THACCA)

Pattaya Heat. ©Wanderer Pictures

How to Make Millions Before Grandma Dies | dir. Pat Boonnitipat, Thailand, 2024 | North American Premiere
Not Friends | dir. Atta Hemwadee, Thailand, 2023 | North American Premiere
Operation Undead | dir. Kongkiat Komesiri, Thailand, 2024 | World Premiere
Pattaya Heat | dir. Yang Shupeng, Thailand, 2024 | North American Premiere
Supposed | dir. Thanakorn Pongsuwan, Thailand, 2023 | North American Premiere
The Cursed Land | dir. Panu Aree, Thailand, 2024 | North American Premiere

U.S.

Front Cover. Courtesy of Focus Features

Front Cover | dir. Ray Yeung, U.S., 2015 | Special Screening
Habit (International Version) | dir. Janell Shirtcliff, U.S., 2021 | Special Screening

NYAFF TICKET PRICING AND INFO

Tickets for the 23rd edition of the New York Asian Film Festival go on sale June 20 at 2pm ET, with early access for FLC Members beginning June 20 at 12pm ET. Tickets are $19 for General Public; $17 for students, seniors (62+), and persons with disabilities; and $14 for FLC Members. 

See more at FLC and save with a 3+ Film Package ($17 for General Public; $14 for students, seniors (62+), and persons with disabilities; and $12 for FLC Members. Note: Opening Night and premium events are excluded.

Opening Night tickets for Victory 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 include Kingdom: Return of the Great General and more to be announced. Premium event tickets are $25 for the General Public and $20 for FLC Members, students, seniors, and persons with disabilities.

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