First Annual SCREENSHOT: Asia Film Festival Embraces a Wide Range of Asian and Diaspora Experiences | Screen | Pittsburgh


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Photo: Kino Lorber Studios

Satoko gets more than she bargained for in Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest The wife of a spy.

Asian and diasporic films and media have become increasingly popular in the United States, from the proliferation of K-dramas on Netflix to major accolades for films such as Minari, The farewell, and Parasite. But Asia is not limited to East Asia, and SCREENSHOT: Asia Film Festival seeks to celebrate the wide range of contemporary Asian and diasporic films.

The first annual SCREENSHOT: Asia Film Festival will run from Wednesday October 6 to Sunday October 10. The festival will present nine films and three short films representative of Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Diaspora. Screenings will take place primarily on and around the Pitt campus, with the closing ceremony at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

“As the previous film festival was not continuing, we thought it would be really exciting to present it to Pitt,” says Lynn Kawaratani, deputy director of partnerships and programming at the Center for Asian Studies and co-chair of the festival. movie. “That way it will hopefully survive us. ”

SCREENSHOT: Asia is a collaboration between the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh and the Media Studies Program. It started in 2019 and includes other programs, such as Silent Asia, a silent film and performance event that pairs older films with contemporary artists. The name Screenshot refers to both traditional forms of Asian media, such as shadow play, as well as modern technology used by people to view media, such as phones and laptops.

“We wanted to harness the myriad of different technologies, not just cinema, that are influencing Asian media today, right? So we wanted to think about it in a really holistic way: “What does contemporary Asian media look like?

The festival will feature films that delve into the mystical, such as Khyentse Norbu’s 2019 Nepalese film Looking for a woman with fangs and a mustache, as well as thrillers that pay homage to classic filmmakers, like the 2021 Japanese film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa The wife of a spy. Selected films will grapple with death and murder, as well as sexual assault and corruption. A full list is available on the SCREENSHOT Asia website.

Strayer and Kawaratani plan to limit future festivals to films from the previous year. But, for this year’s festival, the selections go back to 2019 to give people the chance to see movies that haven’t had full theatrical releases due to the pandemic since watching a movie as part of a in-person community is an experience that many people have been missing for years.

To make sure people feel comfortable attending, in-person screenings will be limited to 50% of capacity. Masks are mandatory in covered rooms and vaccinations are expected. Virtual projections are also available to select films including The wife of a spy and Indian film 2021 by Gaurav Madan 12×12 (Barah by Barah). The latter will also feature a guest conversation between co-writer and producer Sunny Lahiri and Pitt Associate Professor of English and Film Studies Neepa Majumdar.

“We want to think about why you’re coming out for the experience, and part of that is just like, ‘Hey, there’s this amazing movie that maybe didn’t get the job done. [in theaters], ‘”Says Strayer. “Let’s watch it together.”

SCREENSHOT: Asian Film Festival. Wed Oct 6-Sun Oct 10 Various places.
$ 5 to $ 10 per session. Free for Pitt students.

About Monty S. Maynard

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