Aperture: Asia & Pacific Film Festival

APERTURE: ASIA & PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL

– journeys in moving image through Asia & the Pacific –

London / part 2: 11-15 September

Close-Up Cinema / DocHouse

Genesis Cinema / The Horse Hospital

 

on tour: July-October

Tyneside Cinema / HOME (Manchester)

Filmhouse (Edinburgh)

Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow)

 

Following its launch last year, Aperture returns for its second edition, continuing our commitment to presenting some of the boldest, most daring and striking films from the Asian and Pacific regions to wide and diverse audiences across the UK. Aperture is the only UK film festival to cover the whole of the Asian region and also to explore Oceania.

Aperture aims to present a stronger platform for cinema from the Asian and Pacific regions, bringing some of the freshest new independent Asian films and moving image works alongside classic titles and lesser-known historical works to UK audiences, with a particular focus on under-represented and under-acknowledged areas of cinema. Further to the first edition of Aperture, we continue our focus on artists’ moving image, our Southeast Asian strand, and we continue to spotlight women in cinema – both in front of and behind the camera.

We’re thrilled to be hosting Singaporean filmmaker Daniel Hui in London for the first complete show of his full body of work to date, including the UK premiere of his latest film Demons. We’re also delighted to welcome Yih Wen Chen to the UK for the world premiere of her moving documentary Eye on the Ball, with audio-description, on the Malaysian blind youth football team.

 

Presented by Day for Night in partnership with the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM), University of Westminster

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Supported by

APERTURE 2019 BROCHURE


DOWNLOAD APERTURE 2019 BROCHURE HERE >>

 

APERTURE/LONDON: PART 2

We continue the second edition of Aperture this year with our part 2 programme dedicated to Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on documentary. We’re delighted to be welcoming directors Daniel Hui (Singapore) and Yih Wen Chen (Malaysia) as well as producer Daniel Mattes of Anti-Archive (Cambodia). Here’s a summary of the programme with full details and booking links (click on dates/venues) below.

 

11 Sep, 6.30pm: DEMONS +Q&A, Genesis Cinema (Daniel Hui, Singapore 2018, UK Premiere)
12 Sep, 6.30pm: EYE ON THE BALL +Q&A, DocHouse (Yih Wen Chen, Malaysia 2019, World Premiere)
13 Sep, 8.15pm: SNAKESKIN +Q&A, Close-Up Cinema (Daniel Hui, Singapore 2014, UK Premiere)
14 Sep, 8.15pm: ECLIPSES +Q&A +drinks, The Horse Hospital (Daniel Hui, Singapore 2011, UK Premiere)
15 Sep, 6pm: DIE TOMORROW +intro, Close-Up Cinema (Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, Thailand 2018)

 

Other related non-festival screenings:
10 Sep: LAST NIGHT I SAW YOU SMILING +Q&A, Open City Docs, Regent Street Cinema (Kavich Neang, Cambodia 2019)
19 Sep: COURT +intro, Rich Mix (Chaitanya Tamhane, India 2014), screening as part of On the Edge of the Fold, curated by Viknesh Kobinathan (National Film & Television School)

APERTURE/DIRECTOR FOCUS: DANIEL HUI

With each edition of Aperture, we throw a spotlight on outstanding young and emerging Asian filmmakers through a dedicated director focus. Aperture’s first edition saw a series of events with Filipino filmmakers Shireen Seno and John Torres from the collective Los Otros. This year we’re delighted to invite Singaporean experimental filmmaker Daniel Hui to London for the first show of his full body of work to date, including the UK premiere of his latest work, Demons.

 

Daniel Hui is a filmmaker and writer from Singapore. His films have been screened at film festivals around the world including Rotterdam, Busan, Yamagata, DocLisboa, FIDMarseille, Singapore, Taipei, Seoul, Bangkok, Manila and Vladivostok. He is one of the founding members of 13 Little Pictures, an independent film collective whose films have garnered critical acclaim internationally.

 

 

 

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11-14 Sep: Genesis Cinema / Close-Up Cinema / The Horse Hospital

 

APERTURE/DIRECTOR FOCUS: DANIEL HUI

DEMONS

Daniel Hui, Singapore 2018, 83 mins, English, UK Premiere

Ambitious young actress Vicki lands the lead part in a new theatre production. What appears to be the opportunity of a lifetime turns out to be the beginning of a story of abuse of power at the hands of director Daniel, for whom sadistic violence and artistic practice are inseparable. However, power dynamics can change, and ultimately Vicki rises above the persistent abuse and exacts her revenge.

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Wed 11 Sep: Genesis Cinema, London + director Q&A

 

SNAKESKIN

Daniel Hui, Singapore 2014, 105 mins, English, UK Premiere

Hui’s acclaimed second feature is a fascinating interrogation of Singapore’s mythic narratives of national history and collective identity. Purporting to be old film footage from 2014, as pieced together by the survivor of a cult in 2066, Snakeskin weaves together a series of individual reflections on Singaporean class and society and the nation’s film industry, to present an unsettling psychogeography of the contemporary city state. Reminiscent of the work of Chris Marker, this hypnotic essay film reveals the ghosts of oppression and control that haunt present day Singapore.

Read more>>

 

Fri 13 Sep, 8.15pm: Close-Up Cinema, London + director Q&A

ECLIPSES

Daniel Hui, Singapore 2011, 104 mins, English, UK Premiere

Deploying the director’s signature ambiguous blend of documentary and fiction, Eclipses is both an exploration of Singaporean family, class and race, and an experiment in film form. Initially focusing on a woman as she slowly begins to re-engage with society after the death of her husband, the film then branches out to document the different characters surrounding her, including the director’s own family. Elliptical and quietly affecting, Hui’s debut feature signalled the emergence of a distinctive new voice in Singaporean cinema.

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Sat 14 Sep: The Horse Hospital, London + director Q&A

DANIEL HUI SHORTS

Intimate and impressionistic, Hui’s early shorts exhibit the director’s longstanding concerns with the history of Singapore’s film industry and the country’s complex class and racial dynamics. Gently questioning and observing, these films demonstrate the development of a unique filmmaking talent.

Animal Spirits (2013, 9 mins)

No Images (2011, 9 mins)

One Day in June (2010, 11 mins)

Rumah Sendiri (2010, 21 mins)

Sayang (2010, 8 mins)

Wanderlust (2009, 5 mins)

Dreams of Youth (2008, 24 mins)

Read more>>

 

Sat 14 Sep: The Horse Hospital, London + director Q&A

ASIA THROUGH THE APERTURE

WORKSHOP #3: Daniel Mattes and Daniel Hui in conversation

Daniel Mattes, producer of Cambodian director Kavich Neang’s award-winning Last Night I Saw You Smiling and part of collective Anti-Archive, and subject of this year’s Aperture/Director Focus Daniel Hui and part of collective 13 Little Pictures, will join us for a discussion on their artistic practice and collectives in Southeast Asia.

+ screening:

New Land Broken Road (Kavich Neang, Cambodia/Malaysia 2018, 15 mins)

Animal Spirits (Daniel Hui, Singapore 2013, 9 mins)

Wanderlust (Daniel Hui, Singapore 2009, 5 mins)

Read more>>

 

Wed 11 Sep, 12.15pm-2pm: Close-Up Cinema, London

SPECIAL EVENT: World Premiere

EYE ON THE BALL

Yih Wen Chen, Malaysia 2019, Malay/English + English subtitles for the hard-of-hearing & audio-description, 79 mins

Losing their vision didn’t stop a group of blind boys’ aims of becoming professional footballers. Led by their impassioned coach, the amateur team unexpectedly win gold at the 2015 ASEAN Para Games. However, they have their title to defend at the 2017 ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur and must improve their world rankings to qualify for the World Blind Football Championship. A moving portrait of overcoming obstacles and reaching for one’s dreams.

Read more>>

 

Thu 12 Sep, 6.30pm: DocHouse, London World Premiere + director Q&A

Sat 14 Sep, 6pm: HOME, Manchester + director Q&A

Tue 17 Sep, 6.30pm: Tyneside, Newcastle + director intro

Main Programme

DIE TOMORROW

Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, Thailand 2017, Thai + English subtitles, 75 mins, cert 12A, London Premiere

Comprising six segments, this heavy theme is tackled with wit and a delicate touch by Thamrongrattanarit. Death often comes unexpectedly – what happens the day before is usually quite ordinary. Friends celebrate their graduation, siblings meet again, a couple separates… An uplifting reflection on fate and the fleeting nature of life.

Read more >>

 

15 Sep, 6pm: Close-Up Cinema, London

16-19 Sep, Glasgow Film Theatre

Tue 1 Oct, 6:15pm: Filmhouse, Edinburgh

FOCUS: TAIWAN

POETIC VOICES: A Trip Through the Taiwanese Avant-garde of the 1960s

 

FOCUS: TAIWAN

The 1960s marked a period in Taiwanese film history, which for the most part was dominated by mainstream popular Taiwanese language films and strong censorship, amid a repressive political climate. However, a growing movement of young intellectuals and artists, increasingly influenced by Western avant-garde movements, began experimenting with film, challenging the boundaries of cinema, and presenting their own bold responses to the concept of the avant-garde.

Kindly supported by

THE END OF THE TRACK

Mou Tun-fei, Taiwan 1970, Mandarin + English subtitles, 91 mins, restored from 35mm

Banned during the Kuomintang regime for its homosexual undercurrents and for its political overtones, The End of the Track is a landmark in Taiwanese cinema. Friends Tong and Yong-sheng are inseparable. When Yong-sheng dies in an accident, Tong’s life plunges into darkness

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Wed 4 Sep, 6.15pm: HOME, Manchester

Mon 28 Oct: Filmhouse, Edinburgh

 

previous screening:

5 Jun: Close-Up Cinema, London

In partnership with:

THE MOUNTAIN (Richard Yao-Chi Chen, Taiwan 1966, Mandarin + English subtitles, 20 min, restored from 16mm)

A MORNING IN TAIPEI (Pai Ching-jui, Taiwan 1964, 20 min, silent, restored from 35mm)

MODERN POETRY EXHIBITION/1966 (Chang Chao-tang, Taiwan 1966, 12 min, silent, restored from 8mm)

LIFE CONTINUED (Chuang Ling, Taiwan 1966, 14 min, silent, restored from 16mm)

Accompanying music soundtrack courtesy of Rocket Girl

Read more>>

 

previous screening:

5 Jun: Close-Up Cinema +intro by Dr Victor Fan, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, King’s College London

Main Programme

KABUL, CITY IN THE WIND

Aboozar Amini, Afghanistan/Netherlands/Japan/Germany 2018, Farsi + English subtitles, 88 mins, London Premiere

In this unassuming documentary, Aboozar Amini presents the parallel ‘normal’ everyday lives of 12 year old Afshin and his younger brother Benjamin, and a bus driver in war-torn Kabul. This nuanced film is a love letter to a city and a country ravaged by war, in which its inhabitants strive for a better life in the face of adversity.

Read more >>

 

Sun 8 Sep, 3.45pm: HOME, Manchester

Wed 23 Oct: Filmhouse, Edinburgh

 

previous screening:

Wed 12 Jun, 6.30pm: Rio Cinema, London +Q&A with director Aboozar Amini

SPECIAL EVENT: Opening Film

THE GENTLE INDIFFERENCE OF THE WORLD 

Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Kazakhstan 2018, Kazakh/Russian + English subtitles, 100 mins, UK Premiere

Following her father’s death, Saltanat is forced to swap her quiet rural life for the city to find ways to pay off a debt left behind by her father in order to save her mother from prison. Her loyal yet penniless friend and admirer, Kuandyk, follows her to make sure she is safe. What ensues is a noir-esque road trip, as the two of them run into trouble and desperately seek to find a way out.

Main Programme

NERVOUS TRANSLATION

Shireen Seno, Philippines 2018, Tagalog/English + English subtitles, 90 mins, cert PG

8 year old Yael is a shy, contemplative girl, who lives with her mother, while her father works abroad. Her only connection to him is the recorded tapes he sends her mother, which she secretly listens to incessantly. When she sees a TV ad for a pen that can translate nervous thoughts, she becomes obsessed in finding this ‘magic’ pen. Set in 1988, the film captures a certain moment in Philippine history, while drawing connections to today – the complexity of the family unit and migration, an obsession with consumer electronics, and the power of nature to remind us of what really matters.

Read more >>

 

Mon 16 Sep, 6pm: Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle

 

previous screening:

Aperture x MUBI:

Sun 9 Jun, 8.30pm: Regent Street Cinema, London

Main Programme

AYKA

Sergey Dvortsevoy, Russia/Germany/Poland/ Kazakhstan/China 2018, Kyrgyz/Russian + English subtitles, 100 mins, UK Premiere

Exploring the plight of young female Kyrgyz refugees in Moscow, Ayka centres on one young woman’s harrowing story, powerfully portrayed by Sergey Dvortsevoy with a standout performance by Samal Yesyamova in the role of Ayka. A story of struggle and survival in the face of extreme hardship and exploitation as an illegal migrant worker.

Read more >>

 

Mon 16 Sep, 6.15pm: Filmhouse, Edinburgh

 

previous screening:

Tue 11 Jun, 6.30pm: Rio Cinema, London

Main Programme

PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK

Peter Weir, Australia 1975, English, 115 mins, cert PG

On Valentine’s Day, 1900, a party of schoolgirls from Appleyard College picnicked at Hanging Rock near Mt. Macedon in the state of Victoria, Australia. A group of girls and a teacher walked off towards the rock, drawn to its mystical nature, some never to be seen again. The inexplicable disappearance sparks an obsession in the search for the missing among all involved. Peter Weir’s cinematic adaptation of Joan Lindsay’s beguiling novel is a beautifully shot, unsettling, eerie tale that remains as potent today as when it was first released in 1975, with its dreamlike mixture of horror, mystery and suppressed love. A classic masterpiece, beautifully restored in 2K.

Read more >>

 

Thu 19 Sep: Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle

Sun 22 Sep, 1pm & 6pm: Filmhouse, Edinburgh

 

previous screening:

9 Jun: Regent Street Cinema, London

FOCUS: TAIWAN

A TOUCH OF ZEN

Combining martial arts, ghost story and Buddhist mythology, this classic wuxia film paved the way for the likes of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers. A painter and his mother live near an allegedly haunted abandoned mansion. Unknown to them, a warrior and her mother have taken refuge there following the assassination of their loyal minister father by the wicked Wei. After an army is sent to pursue the escapees, the group fortify the mansion with traps and false intimations of the ghosts within. However, things take more unsettling turns…

Read more >>

 

Sun 12 Oct: Filmhouse, Edinburgh

 

previous screening:

9 Jun: Lexi Cinema, London

Main Programme

NAKORN SAWAN

Puangsoi Aksornsawang, Thailand 2018, Thai + English subtitles, 77 mins, UK Premiere

Following the death of a mother, a family set out on a spiritual boat journey to accompany her to “heaven”. In parallel, a documentary on the director’s parents and ultimately her mother’s passing unfolds. A hybrid of fiction and documentary, this intriguing debut blurs the distinctions between memory, fact and fiction in a quiet contemplation on life and death.

Read more >>

 

Aperture x Femspectives:

Wed 16 Oct, 8.30pm: CCA, Glasgow + intro by Lauren Clarke, Co-Founder & Festival Producer, Femspectives

 

previous screening:

Aperture x Essay Film Festival:

Sat 8 Jun, 3.30pm: Birkbeck Cinema

Main Programme

THE SWEET REQUIEM

Tenzing Sonam/Ritu Sarin India 2018, Tibetan + English subtitles, 91 mins

A young Tibetan woman who lives in exile in Delhi, is secretly haunted by an incident from her childhood. As a child she fled Tibet with her father, making a perilous journey on foot across the Himalaya, which ended in tragedy. One evening she unexpectedly encounters the guide who abandoned them on that journey. As memories are reawakened, she embarks on a quest for the truth, culminating in a final confrontation. A gripping drama offering a perspective on the reality of escape from Tibet, with a glimpse into a less familiar story of migration and the refugee experience.

In partnership with Dharamshala International Film Festival

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Read more>>

 

Sun 20 Oct, 8pm: CCA, Glasgow

 

previous screening:

Fri 7 Jun, 6.30pm: Birkbeck Cinema + panel discussion

Main Programme

RENEWAL: Artists’ Moving Image from New Zealand

This curated programme of artists’ moving image from New Zealand explores themes of (re)awakenings, endings, memories, and renewal.

Curated by Mark Williams, CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand

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Kindly supported by

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previous screening:

Main Programme

THE OPEN DOOR

Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk, Bhutan 2018, Dzongkha + English subtitles, 15 mins, London Premiere

A four-act short following the life of Pema, from birth to adulthood, each act representing a different season and a different phase in her life – from the time of Bhutan’s bartering trade with Tibet in the early 20th century through to democracy in the 21st century.

In partnership with Dharamshala International Film Festival

Read more >>

 

previous screening:

7 Jun: Birkbeck Cinema

ASIA THROUGH THE APERTURE

WORKSHOP #2

In partnership with CREAM, University of Westminster, Aperture hosts a second workshop continuing discussions arising from the first Asia Through The Aperture Workshop held last year. Asia Through the Aperture is an ongoing discussion series exploring contemporary and historical Asian moving image culture and art and reframing discussions around ‘curating Asia’ and moving image practice. This second workshop will address issues around present day artistic approaches to history, and in particular finding radical approaches to presenting history through curatorial practice.

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8 Jun: Birkbeck Cinema, London

ASIA THROUGH THE APERTURE: Curated Shorts

MUD, DRONES AND SPIRITS

Who is your primary audience? Is it human? This screening presents a selection of recent works of artists’ moving image from Asia that stages a dialogue between human and nonhumans. These works see the beyond human as also entities that embody history, speculate futures, and tell their own stories. Together they question the assumption that humans are the only audience of cinema.

Curated by May Adadol Ingawanij and Julian Ross.

Read more>>

 

previous screening:

8 Jun: Birkbeck Cinema, London

ASIA THROUGH THE APERTURE: Curated Shorts

BETWEEN THE LIVING AND THE DEAD

Who is your primary audience? Is it human? This screening presents a selection of recent works of artists’ moving image from Asia that stages a dialogue between human and nonhumans. These works see the beyond human as also entities that embody history, speculate futures, and tell their own stories. Together they question the assumption that humans are the only audience of cinema.

Curated by May Adadol Ingawanij and Julian Ross

[image credit: Mud Man, in cooperation with Aichi Trienniale 2016 ©Chikako Yamashiro, Courtesy of Yumiko Chiba Associates]

Read more>>

 

previous screening:

8 Jun: Close-Up Cinema, London + intro by May Adadol Ingawanij

Main Programme

AUTUMN, AUTUMN

Jang Woo-jin, South Korea 2016, Korean + English subtitles, 78 mins, UK Premiere

Jihyun has an interview in Seoul before taking a train home, sitting next to a middle-aged couple. After failing his interview, Jihyun drowns his sorrows and narrowly escapes a dangerous situation thanks to a friend. They head to a temple, but he misses the last ride home. The middle-aged couple also head to the temple, opening up to each other as they recall memories of their first loves. The night passes like a dream before they head back to Seoul…

Read more >>

 

previous screening:

Aperture x London Korean Film Festival:

11 Jun: Lexi Cinema, London

Main Programme

BNK48: GIRLS DON’T CRY

Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, Thailand 2018, Thai + English subtitles, 110 mins, UK Premiere

Thamrongrattanarit digs deep into the emotions of the girls who form the 48 strong Bangkok band BNK48, modelled on the Japanese idol band AKB48, in which only 16 of the girls are chosen for each recording or performance. The girls talk openly about their feelings – what it’s like to be the most popular girl, never being chosen to perform, and the pressures of a never-ending popularity contest.

Read more>>

 

previous screening:

 

INFO

Festival Team

Curator & Artistic Director: Sonali Joshi

Festival Producer: Chonpel Tsering

Festival Consultant/Shorts Curator: May Adadol Ingawanij

Shorts Curator: Julian Ross

Asia Through the Aperture team: Sonali Joshi, May Adadol Ingawanij, Julian Ross

Marketing: The Next Day Agency

Festival Coordinator: Duncan Harte

Graphic Design: Xiaofeistudio

 

Promotional Partner:

Acknowledgments:

Aboozar Amini, Matthew Barrington, Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, Tim Calvert, Davide Cazzaro, Yih Wen Chen, George Clark, Lauren Clarke, Helen Dewitt, Laila Dickson, Ceilidh Dunphy, Victor Fan, Dmitry Frolov, Daniel Hui, Tuyet Huynh, Hyun Jin Cho, Vinita Joshi, Viknesh Kobinathan, Daniel Mattes, Janet McCabe, James Mudge, Kavich Neang, Sonali Rai, Ritu Sarin, Don Saron, Eric Sasono, Kate Saunders, Jasper Sharp, Tenzing Sonam, Kate Taylor, Darig Thokmay, Jo Walsh, Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk, Mark Williams

Anti-Archive, Beta Cinema, Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI), Chang Beer UK, Chinese Visual Festival, CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand, Essay Film Festival, Eureka Entertainment, Femspectives, The Festival Agency, GDH 559, Gumar Films, In*ter*is*land Collective, London Australian Film Festival, London Korean Film Festival, GemArts Masala Festival, M-Line Distribution, The Match Factory, MUBI, NANG, New Zealand High Commission, The Next Day Agency, R.AGE, Rediance, Royal National Institute of Blind People, Rocket Girl, Taiwan Film Institute, Taiwan International Documentary Festival, White Crane Films

* contact: aperture@day-for-night.org

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