Barcelona is once again hosting one of the most interesting film festivals on the current scene, the Asian Film Festival of Barcelona – BAFF 2009. From April 30th to May 10th, the city will witness the largest show of Asian cinema in Spain. Led by Carlos R. Ríos and Amaia Torrecilla and organized by 100,000 Retinas, the event celebrates its eleventh edition with more acceptance than ever, looking to Japan as the new Asian cinema promise.
This year, the festival presents many innovations: for the first time, the NETPAC prize will be awarded to the best Asian film that is shown at other festivals such as Venice, Cannes, Rótterdam or Berlin. A new section will be established for the inexperienced directors who are the future promise of Asian cinema and their works, and the ‘Guest Country’ has been removed to encourage new sections focusing on all cities, directors and film themes.
The prizes are divided into the following sections: the Durián de Oro prize for the best film, awarded by Asia House, with prize money of 6,000 euros, to the director whose filmography does not exceed three films; the D-Cinema Award for Best Film in This Format; and the Cinematk Award, which spreads throughout Spain the winning film and its exclusive screening on the Cinematk TV channel.
This year, 14 films are taking part in the official section. The films come from countries such as Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and China/Hong Kong. What is outstanding is the participation of a large number of new directors, but also some established ones such as Naomi Kawase, who will present her latest film. BAFF is also honored to present Takito Yojiro’s Oscar-winning film Departures in Spain. Other notable titles include Ocean Flame, Junji Sakamoto’s Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly, Kim Ki-duk’s Chameleon (Dream), Takeshi Kitano (Achilles and the Tortoise). With so much cutting-edge work, it’s difficult to make a list of the best works from this festival.
These are the official spaces of the festival: CCCB, Aribau Club Cinema, Caja Madrid Cultural Center and Rex Cinema. The tickets, which can be purchased in advance on telentrada.com and servicaixa.com, cost 6 euros per single session, 25 euros for 5 sessions and 45 euros for 10 sessions.
The BAFF festival has given Asian films greater recognition and shed the label of ‘cult cinema’. Over the past ten years, the festival has discovered great talents who are now among the heavyweights of the contemporary film scene. Rent your apartments in Barcelona now and enjoy the best Asian cinema in the city.