Aperture: Asia & Pacific Film Festival


– journeys in moving image through Asia & the Pacific –


London / part 1: 4-13 June

Birkbeck Cinema / Close-Up Cinema / Lexi Cinema /

Regent Street Cinema / Rio Cinema


London / part 2: 11-14 September

touring around the UK: July-October

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 seeks to bridge the gap within the UK festival landscape as the only UK film festival to cover the whole of the Asian region and also to explore Oceania, as well as reflecting on the inherent links and blurred boundaries between Asia and the Pacific, particularly within transnational contexts.

Aperture is a collaborative initiative, seeking to forge strong partnerships with other like-minded festivals and organisations. We’re delighted to be partnering with Essay Film Festival, London Korean Film Festival, MUBI and NANG for this second edition. We’re also thrilled to be working on a joint programming initiative with Dharamshala International Film Festival in northern India. We’ll be showing three outstanding South Asian films that featured in their last edition and we look forward to seeing Aperture titles reaching audiences in the Himalayas later this year!

The festival is presented in London in two parts – part 1 taking place 4-13 June, and part 2 from 11-14 September, while the festival will tour various locations around the UK from July to October.

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





Promotional Partner:


OPENING FILM: 4 June, Rio Cinema, London


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.

CLOSING FILM: 13 June, Rio Cinema, London


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.

Kindly supported by


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

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.

Accompanying music soundtrack courtesy of Rocket Girl

+ intro to shorts programme by Dr Victor Fan, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, King’s College London

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)

Wed 5 Jun, 6pm: Close-Up Cinema

book tickets

5 June, Close-Up Cinema, London


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.

With thanks to Taiwan Film Institute for supporting these screenings

In partnership with:

Read more>>

Wed 5 Jun, 8pm: Close-Up Cinema

book tickets


6 June, Close-Up Cinema, London

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

+ intro


Courtesy of CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand






Kindly supported by the New Zealand High Commission

High Commission logo - black






6 June, Close-Up Cinema, London


Nan Triveni Achnas, Mira Lesmana, Rizal Mantovani, Riri Riza, Indonesia 1999, Indonesian + English subtitles, 100 mins

An omnibus of four short films inspired by the Dogme95 movement, this film marked an important transition in Indonesian filmmaking and its aesthetics by providing an avenue to imagine filmmaking as a personal creative venture, and a departure from filmmaking as part of a socio-political disposition that was controlled by the dictatorial state. Portraying individualism, dreams and loneliness in an urban environment, this omnibus captures the artists’ aspirations for filmmaking to be a tool for personal expression as well as to redefine identity politics in one of the most ethnically and socially diverse nations in the world.

+ intro by Eric Sasono, Indonesian film critic and PhD candidate at King’s College London

Read more>>

This screening is jointly presented with NANG to mark the launch of the latest issue of NANG, Issue 6: Manifestos

Thu 6 Jun, 8pm: Close-Up Cinema
book tickets


7 June, Birkbeck Cinema, London


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.

+ panel discussion

Read more>>


+ short film:


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


Fri 7 Jun, 6.30pm: Birkbeck Cinema

book tickets

8 June, Birkbeck Cinema, London


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.

+ curated shorts programme:

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>>

Sat 8 Jun, 10.30am: Birkbeck Cinema, London

book tickets

8 June, Birkbeck Cinema, London

Aperture x Essay Film Festival:


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.

This screening is held in partnership with BIMI/Essay Film Festival

Kindly supported by


Sat 8 Jun, 3.30pm: Birkbeck Cinema

book tickets


8 June, Birkbeck Cinema, London


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>>

Sat 8 Jun, 8.30pm: Close-Up Cinema, London

book tickets

9 June, Lexi Cinema


King Hu, Taiwan 1969, Mandarin + English subtitles, 179 mins, cert 12A

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…


Sun 9 Jun, 2pm: Lexi Cinema

9 June, Regent Street Cinema


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.


Sun 9 Jun: Regent Street Cinema, London

9 June, Regent Street Cinema


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.


This screening is jointly presented with MUBI

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

11 June, Rio Cinema


Sergey Dvortsevoy, Russia/Germany/Poland/ Kazakhstan/China 2018, Russian/Kyrgyz + 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.


Tue 11 Jun, 6.30pm: Rio Cinema

11 June, Lexi Cinema

Aperture x London Korean Film Festival:


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…


This screening is jointly presented with

Tue 11 Jun, 6.30pm: Lexi Cinema

12 June, Rio Cinema


+ Q&A with director Aboozar Amini

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.



Wed 12 Jun, 6.30pm: Rio Cinema

Related Non-Festival Screening


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.

Kindly supported by


Wed 12 Jun, 8.45pm: BFI Southbank


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



Matthew Barrington, Davide Cazzaro, Yihwen Chen, Laila Dickson, Victor Fan, Dmitry Frolov, Tuyet Huynh, Hyun Jin Cho, Vinita Joshi, Viknesh Kobinathan, Janet McCabe, James Mudge, Ritu Sarin, Don Saron, Eric Sasono, Jasper Sharp, Tenzing Sonam, Kate Taylor, Jo Walsh, Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk, Beta Cinema, Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI), Chang, Chinese Visual Festival, Eureka Entertainment, The Festival Agency, GDH 559, Gumar Films, London Korean Film Festival, M-Line Distribution, The Match Factory, MUBI, NANG, New Zealand High Commission, The Next Day Agency, Rediance, Reel Suspects, Rocket Girl, Taiwan Film Institute, Taiwan International Documentary Festival, White Crane Films


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

* follow: Facebook – @ApertureAsiaPacific / Twitter – @ApertureAP

* sign up to our mailing list here