14 Amazing Asian Films To Watch Out For At The 2016 Venice International Film Festival

Posted on 24 August, 2016 by Team Wishberry

Image Courtesy: www.labiennale.org

Every year the Venice Biennale hosts a gala to appreciate art, music, theatre, architecture, dance, and most notably, films. The Venice International Film Festival is a part of this annual extravaganza, which will be commemorating its 73rd year, bringing a mix of diverse and fascinating films from all over the world to their screens from the 31st of August to the 10th of September.


Damien Chazele’s La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling – one of the most anticipated films of 2016 will open the festival. While there are just two Indian films that will premier at the event, the festival will witness a whole bunch of interesting projects from many of our neighbouring countries.


We’ve put together a whole list of Asian films that will be screening at this prestigious festival. Do take a look.


Events In A Cloud Chamber

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Nominated for Best Documentary on Cinema (India)

Three time National Film Award winning director, Ashim Ahluwalia’s 20-minute documentary film will premier under the Venice Classic category. The film is a remake of Indian artist Akbar Padamsee’s experimental project that he made in 1969.


Mukti Bhawan – Hotel Salvation

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Chosen under the Biennale College category (India)

The Biennale College of Cinema is a creative community that provides a team of international experts to work on development of a project. It is a unique opportunity for filmmakers to receive training, project development, production support and festival screening through a series of 3 workshops.

Director Shubhashish Bhutiani’s debut film Kush, had its World Premiere at the 70th Venice International Film Festival and won the Orizzonti Prize for Best Short Film.

Mukti Bhawan, follows the story of a father and son who take off to Varanasi after the father wakes up from a strange dream.


The Woman Who Left


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Competing for the Golden Lion (Philippines)

Director Lav Diaz's drama also known as Ang Babaeng Humayo examines economic disparity in the modern Filipino society through the eyes of a woman released from prison 30 years after being framed and wrongly convicted.

The Woman Who Left is the only Asian film that will be competing for the Golden Lion.


White Sun


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Competing in the Orizzonti section (Nepal)

The film’s director Deepak Rauniyar is a Berlinale Talent Campus and TIFF Talent Lab alumnus. His debut feature film – Highway, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival which was the first Nepali film ever to premier at an International festival.

White Sun communicates the realities of life post war between states. The plot follows a rural Nepali family’s attempts to cope with the weight of a decade long civil war.




Competing in the Orizzonti section (Nepal)

An elderly couple are the last two living souls in an abandoned Nepalese village. The mysterious mask-making duo is faced with a dilemma after a dear friend leaves without saying goodbye.


500,000 Pee  

Competing in the Orizzonti section (Thailand) 

At an archaeological site in Lampang, fossils of a Homo Erectus were unearthed. 17 years later, the site is completely forgotten and locals at times visit the spot for religious activities. One evening a cinema truck screens a film at the site as an offer to the ancient ghost. During the screening something unexpected happens.


Director Chai Siris is known for his collaborative storytelling format with people from various professions such as fortunetellers, construction workers, and housewives. His work deals with reconstruction of personal and social history.


On The Origin Of Fear  

Competing in the Orizzonti section (Indonesia)

The plot of director Bayu Prihantoro Filemon’s film is based on the trauma of witnessing reproduction of real violence for cinema.

Tasked with overdubbing the roles of both - the torturer and victim for one of Indonesia’s most politically contentious movie, a voice over artist transforms into the embodiment of a whole era’s cruelties and sufferings.


Laavor Et Hakir – Through The Wall


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Competing in the Orizzonti section (Israel)

Set in an Israeli orthodox Jewish community, a young woman is determined to marry on the date of her planned wedding, after her fiancé leaves her.


Director Rama Burshtein debuted with Fill the Void - a story of a religious Jewish woman who must make a decision whether to marry her late sister's husband or not.




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Competing in the Orizzonti section (Iran)

A young girl informs her father she’s been kidnapped and asks him to bring the ransom money. Panicked, her father and brothers go to Tehran to look for her. They are unaware of the fact that the girl has eloped with her boyfriend and now spends her time in the company of a band of street musicians.


Director Parviz Shahbazi has been working back to back on projects that are critically acclaimed, for almost 20 years now. He is known for his debut feature - Traveler from the South, Whispers and Deep Breath.


Good News  


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Competing in the Orizzonti section (South Korea)

Director Giovanni Fumu is well known for his work on 7, Rue de L’Arbalete and Portrait of An Angry Man. His upcoming film, Good News, touches upon the concept of sex education for teenagers in Korea.


Miljeong – The Age Of Shadows

Out of Competition (South Korea)

Set in the 1920s, the film follows the activities of the Heroic Corps - an anti-Japanese independence organization that existed under the Japanese colonial period in South Korea. A Korean-born Japanese police officer, finds himself in a dilemma between the demands of his reality and the instinct to support a greater cause.


Kim Jee-Woon is known worldwide for his previously directed films like I Saw The Devil and The Good, The Bad, The Weird. He also made his Hollywood debut with Arnold Schwarzenegger with The Last Stand.




Out of Competition (Japan)

Based on the manga created by Hiroya Oku, Gantz: O directed by Yasushi Kawamura is a CGI anime sci-fi film. The plot follows the story of two friends who are forced to kill aliens in a game organized by the ‘Gantz’ sphere after they are resurrected from the dead.




Competing in the Orizzonti section (Japan)

An elite man, his wife and and their child are murdered by an unknown assailant. The case initially made the headlines, but remained unsolved. A year later, a reporter attempts to dig up information on the case, that leads him to the truth of the murders. The film is directed by Kei Ishikawa with Satoshi Tsumabiki in the lead role.


Ku Qian – Bitter Money

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Competing in the Orizzonti section (Hong Kong)

Not much is disclosed about Ku Qian, on the internet yet. However, the film’s director Wang Bing is one of the most celebrated directors in Chinese documentary filmmaking. He is known for his debut film Tie Xi Qu, 'Til Madness Do Us Part

and Ta’ang.


The festival will be screening commendable films from all over the world. For more details, visit www.labiennale.org/.


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