From vicious, life-destroying phone scams to balletic battles between equally corruptcops and yakuza, NYAFF offers films that reflect on contemporary society while offering extreme genre pleasures. There are self-referential takes on cinematic zombies, existential date nights, and teens finding their own corners of the world despite familial and societal expectations.After last year’s Sweet Sixteen, this year’s program is dubbed the Savage Seventeenth edition with four world premieres, three international premieres, 21 North American premieres, three U.S. premieres, and twelve New York premieres, showcasing the most exciting comedies, dramas, thrillers, romances, horrors and arthouse films from East Asia.

Savage Seventeen: The festival has a rich history of presenting films that deal with the social issue ofteenage bullying. Many of these have proven to be launching pads for some of Asia’s biggest stars, and the subject is at the root of such modern classics as All About Lily Chou-Chou, Whispering Corridors, and Confessions. In a year when youths in the U.S. are standing their ground and demanding political change, NYAFF presents the North American premieres of three films about teenagers who just won’t take it anymore: Kim Ui-seok’s After My Death, Ogata Takaomi’s The Hungry Lion, and Naito Eisuke’scompetition title Liverleaf.

More than ever, the festival aims to show that Asia is a beacon of cinematic excitement, its films as rich in provocative artistry and as emotionally compelling as those of its Western counterpart. In the age of algorithm-dictated curation and Eurocentrism, NYAFF holds two convictions: that taste in films cannot be deduced or reduced to one’s browser history; and that the best in new cinema is rising from the East.

Opening Night is the North American premiere of Tominaga Masanori’s Dynamite Graffiti, an unorthodox and sprightly drama based on the life and times of Japanese porn magazine king Suei Akira, who cultivated future artists such as Araki Nobuyoshi and Moriyama Daido. This spirited tale of sexual exploitation is an ode to free expression, proving that the so-called “smut” of today might very well become the art of tomorrow. The film is a metaphor for the humble origins of the festival as a Chinatown-born grindhouse showcase introducing the works of Johnnie To and several of the modern masters of Korean cinema.

Closing Night is the world premiere of Erik Matti’s BuyBust from the Philippines. On the surface, it is structured like an action film in the vein of The Raid, with superstar Anne Curtis and MMA worldchampion Brandon Vera as narcs taking down a drug kingpin against insurmountable odds over one unrelenting rainy night. The film employed 309 stuntmen and features a wildly ambitious three-minute, one-cutaction scene. Being a Matti film, it also offers a searing perspective on the ongoing drug war and broader issues of political corruption. The director and stars will attend the screening.

The Centerpiece is the world premiere of Sunny Chan’s Men on the Dragon, starring Francis Ng and Jennifer Yu. Always central to the festival’s DNA, Hong Kong cinema demonstrates the resiliency of an industry whose identity is easily blurred with Mainland China, but on which it also exerts a considerable influence and provides storytelling expertise and craftsmanship. The film is a quintessential underdog story about a group of blue-collar workers who reluctantly join their company’s dragon boat team. A directorial debut of a veteran Hong Kong screenwriter, Chan’s film is being presented one year after NYAFF had a special focus on first-time directors from the territory. Chan and actress Jennifer Yu will be among the attending guests.



Co-presented with Confucius Institute Headquarters and China Institute

  • Dude’s Manual (Kevin Ko, 2018)
  • End of Summer (Zhou Quan, 2017) – New York Premiere
  • The Ex-Files 3: The Return of the Exes (Tian Yusheng, 2017)
  • Looking for Lucky (Jiang Jiachen, 2018) – International Premiere
  • The Looming Storm (Dong Yue, 2017) – North American Premiere
  • Old Beast (Zhou Ziyang, 2017) – New York Premiere
  • Wrath of Silence (Xin Yukun, 2017) – New York Premiere

    Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York

  • Beast Stalker (Dante Lam, 2008) – Tribute to Dante Lam
  • The Big Call (Oxide Pang, 2017) – North American Premiere
  • The Brink (Jonathan Li, 2017) – New York Premiere
  • The Empty Hands (Chapman To, 2018) – New York Premiere
  • House of the Rising Sons (Antony Chan, 2018) – World Premiere
  • Men on the Dragon (Sunny Chan, 2018) – World Premiere
  • Operation Red Sea (Dante Lam, 2018) – Tribute to Dante Lam
  • Paradox (Wilson Yip, 2017) – New York Premiere
  • Unbeatable (Dante Lam, 2013) – Tribute to Dante Lam

  • Buffalo Boys (Mike Wiluan, 2018) – US Premiere
  • JAPAN (14)

  • Blood of Wolves (Shiraishi Kazuya, 2018) – North American Premiere
  • Dynamite Graffiti (Tominaga Masanori, 2018) – North American Premiere
  • The Hungry Lion (Ogata Takaomi, 2017) – North American Premiere
  • Inuyashiki (Sato Shinsuke, 2018) – North American Premiere
  • Kakekomi (Harada Masato, 2015) – Tribute to Harada Masato, New York Premiere
  • Kamikaze Taxi (Harada Masato, 1995) – Tribute to Harada Masato
  • Liverleaf (Naito Eisuke, 2018) – North American Premiere
  • Midnight Bus (Takeshita Masao, 2017) – North American Premiere
  • One Cut of the Dead (Ueda Shinichiro, 2018) – North American Premiere
  • River’s Edge (Yukisada Isao, 2018) – North American Premiere
  • The Scythian Lamb (Yoshida Daihachi, 2017) – New York Premiere
  • Sekigahara (Harada Masato, 2017) – Tribute to Harada Masato, New York Premiere
  • Smokin’ on the Moon (Kanata Wolf, 2017) – International Premiere
  • The Third Murder (Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2017) – New York Premiere
  • MALAYSIA (2)

  • Crossroads: One Two Jaga (Nam Ron, 2018) – North American Premiere
  • Dukun (Dain Said, 2018) – International Premiere

  • BuyBust (Erik Matti, 2018) – Tribute to Erik Matti, World Premiere
  • Neomanila (Mikhail Red, 2017) – New York Premiere
  • On the Job (Erik Matti, 2013) – Tribute to Erik Matti
  • Respeto (Treb Monteras, 2017) – North American Premiere
  • Sid & Aya: Not a Love Story (Irene Villamor, 2018) – New York Premiere
  • We Will Not Die Tonight (Richard Somes, 2018) – World Premiere
  • SOUTH KOREA (10)

  • 1987: When the Day Comes (Jang Joon-hwan, 2017)
  • After My Death (Kim Ui-seok, 2017) – North American Premiere
  • The Age of Blood (Kim Hong-sun, 2017) – International premiere
  • Counters (Lee Il-ha, 2017) – North American Premiere
  • Hit the Night (Jeong Ga-young, 2017) – North American Premiere
  • I Can Speak (Kim Hyeon-seok, 2017)
  • Little Forest (Yim Soon-rye, 2018) – New York Premiere
  • Microhabitat (Jeon Go-woon, 2017) – North American Premiere
  • The Return (Malene Choi, 2018) – East Coast Premiere
  • What a Man Wants (Lee Byeong-hun, 2018)
  • TAIWAN (5)

  • Gatao 2: Rise of the King (Yen Cheng-kuo, 2018) – North American Premiere
  • The Last Verse (Tseng Ying-ting, 2017) – New York Premiere
  • Missing Johnny (Huang Xi, 2017) – New York Premiere
  • On Happiness Road (Sung Hsin-yin, 2017) – North American Premiere
  • The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful (Yang Ya-che, 2017) – New York Premiere
  • THAILAND (3)

  • Premika (Siwakorn Jarupongpa, 2017) – North American Premiere
  • Sad Beauty (Bongkod Bencharongkul, 2018) – North American Premiere
  • Tears of the Black Tiger (Wisit Sasanatieng, 2000)
  • Recent News

    In Theaters February 15, 2019

    YESTERDAY - Trailer

    MA - Trailer

    THE MULE - 4K UHD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Release Date

    STAN & OLLIE - Digital, Blu-ray™ & DVD Release Date

    Lionsgate Joins Actiview & Nyle DiMarco to Make Its Critically Acclaimed Film WONDER the First Live Action US Film to Have American Sign Language Interpretation

    THE HUSTLE - Trailer


    On DVD and Blu-ray February 12, 2019

    CHILD'S PLAY - Trailer

    Film Mode Entertainment Announces The North American Release Of BROKEN GHOST


    USC Libraries Scripter honors “Leave No Trace” and “A Very English Scandal”

    PET SEMATARY - Trailer 2

    Business is Booming in Berlin for Film Mode Entertainment’s RABID and PROJECT ITHACA

    More News

    DVD Release Schedule

    Movie Release Schedule

    Movie Reviews