Asian Film Festival Film

Asian Film Festival of Dallas Announces Film Lineup for 23rd Edition (July 25-28) 

Written by John Wildman

Ning Hao’s Chinese comedy The Movie Emperor is the
Opening Night film, Centerpiece is Marc Marriott’s Japanese Tokyo Cowboy, 
and Soi Cheang’s Hong Kong Action-Adventure film 
Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In 
will close out AFFD

The Asian Film Festival of Dallas (AFFD) announced the film lineup for this year’s 23rd edition of the film festival. Taking place July 25-28, AFFD’s Opening Night selection is Ning Hao’s Chinese comedy The Movie Emperor, Centerpiece will be Marc Marriott’s fish-out-of-water tale Tokyo Cowboy, and the Closing Night selection is Soi Cheang’s Hong Kong action-adventure film Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In. A special Saturday Showcase selection following AFFD’s red carpet celebration will be Yeon Je-gwang’s South Korean thriller The Guest. All screenings will take place at the Angelika Film Center Dallas (5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, #230).

AFFD Executive Director Thomas Schubert, said, “The programming for this year’s edition of the film festival goes back to the basics of what AFFD has been delivering to Dallas audiences for more than two decades now: striking dramas, high comedies, action, thrillers, horror, and insightful documentaries for and about Asians and Asian Americans. The Angelika will once again play host to appearances and conversations with our filmmakers and talent, and we will celebrate their work both as we screen their films and through our other special events and parties that truly make the Asian Film Festival of Dallas a can’t miss event for DFW film lovers.”

Opening night on Thursday, July 25, features Ning Hao’s The Movie Emperor. The satire centers on a former Hong Kong film star who takes on a role in a modest indie drama to revive his career. To prepare for his role, he immerses himself in rural life in mainland China, struggling to adapt to the daily way of life most everyone deals with due to his arrogance and detachment from reality. Marc Marriott’s Tokyo Cowboy screens as the Centerpiece selection on Friday, July 26. In the film, a brash efficiency expert arrives in Montana, having convinced his Tokyo bosses he can turn a profitless US cattle ranch into a premiere-performing asset. However, having taken off his suit and dressed like a cowboy in an attempt to fit in, he winds up having a life-changing experience. Director Marc Marriott will be in attendance and will participate in a post-screening Q&A.

Additional highlights include Daniel Driensky and Sarah Reyes’ documentary Art is Love: Nepal. The screening will be the rare occurrence of AFFD spotlighting a film made by local filmmakers and features Texas artist Sean Starr on a journey to Nepal, where he explores and documents traditional and handcrafted arts that are at risk of disappearing. Both the directing duo, Driensky and Reyes, as well as the documentary’s subject will be in attendance and participate in a post-screening Q&A. Karan Tejpal’s Indian drama 

Stolen delivers a South Asian offering about two brothers who are unexpectedly enlisted to help a panicked woman find her lost child. ​Yamaguchi Yudai’s One-Percent Warriordelivers the samurai-style combat goods in a story about a legendary, aging action film star drawn into the real world of violence when feuding yakuza gangs infiltrate the set of his latest feature.    

To purchase badges, tickets and for more information please go to:

2024 Asian Film Festival of Dallas Film Festival Official Selections


The Movie Emperor  
Director: Ning Hao      
Country: China; Running Time: 126 minutes
The Movie Emperor is a satirical comedy directed by Ning Hao. The film centers on Lau Wai-Chi, a former Hong Kong film star, who takes on a role in a modest indie drama to revive his career. To prepare for his role as a peasant farmer in the 1960s, Lau immerses himself in rural life in mainland China. His journey is marked by a series of comedic mishaps, highlighting his struggle to adapt to the common people and their way of life due to his arrogance and detachment from reality.


Tokyo Cowboy          
Director: Marc Marriott            
Country: Japan; Running Time: 118 minutes
Brash businessman Hideki arrives in Montana having convinced his Tokyo bosses he can turn a profitless US cattle ranch into a premiere-performing asset. Yet when his Hardee’s-burger-loving Japanese Wagyu-beef expert fails him, Hideki is poised to misfire magnificently unless he identifies a missing element that’s key to the transformation… himself.


Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In
Director: Soi Cheang  
Country: Hong Kong; Running Time: 125 minutes    
Chan Lok-kwun is a troubled youth who accidentally enters the Walled City and discovers a unique sense of order amidst the chaos. As he navigates this treacherous environment, he forms close bonds with other key figures, including Shin and Twelfth Master. Under the leadership of Tornado, a legendary and feared underworld figure, Chan and his allies strive to protect the Walled City from the villain Mr. Big, a crime lord hired by the colonial government to destroy their sanctuary. 


The Guest      
Director: Yeon Je-gwang        
Country: South Korea; Running Time: 76 minutes    
Someone is watching you behind the screen. Min-cheol, who works at a motel, makes dirty money by filming illegal sex videos of the guests. Although feeling guilty, he has no choice but to continue the job to pay loan shark debts. On one rainy night, he witnesses a guy strangling a drunk woman to death through the hidden camera. Still debating between selling this provocative footage and reporting a crime, Min-cheol now must make a decision.


A Childless Village   
Director: Reza Jamali
Country: Iran; Running Time: 81 minutes      
A Childless Village is set in a remote village where, twenty years ago, an old filmmaker named Kazem made a film about the sterility of the women villagers. To protect their dignity, the women stole and burned the footage. Now, it is revealed that the men are infertile, not the women. Kazem, with his assistant, attempts to record interviews with the infertile men to uncover the truth. 

A Long Shot  
Director: Gao Peng     
Country: China; Running Time: 117 minutes
In the early 1980s, factories declined in Northeast China, and thefts occurred one after another. After the sharpshooter Gu Xuebing retired, he became an ordinary officer in the factory security department. He admires Xiao Jin, a single mother, and accidentally finds that Xiao Jin’s son, Geng Xiaojun, is wandering on the edge of crime. Gu Xuebing is determined to bring him back to the right path.

Moscow Mission       
Director: Herman Yau
Country: China; Running Time: 128 minutes
Tough Chinese detectives go on a mission to Moscow to hunt down ruthless robbers who have been plaguing the trans-Siberian railway with violence and chaos.

Ms. Apocalypse        
Director: Lim Seon-ae            
Country: South Korea; Running Time: 116 minutes  
Yeong-mi is an accounting manager at a factory and is often ridiculed for her dowdy appearance and nicknamed ‘Ms. Apocalypse’ by her colleagues. The only person who shows her kindness is Do-yeong, a delivery driver, whom she secretly admires. As her feelings for Do-yeong grow, Yeong-mi discovers that he has been embezzling company money. Despite this, she strives to protect him, which leads to her being arrested for aiding his crime. This dramatic turn of events coincides with the societal panic over the impending turn of the millennium. After serving her time in prison, Yeong-mi encounters Do-yeong’s wife, Yoo-jin, who presents her with an unexpected and compelling offer, leading to an unlikely friendship between the two women.

Director: Yung-Chi Chen        
Country: Taiwan; Running Time: 79 minutes
Namesake follows the lives of multiple characters sharing the same name, exploring the unique stories and emotional struggles that come with their shared identity. Each character navigates personal challenges, social expectations, and their search for self-identity, all while being linked by their common name. The film delves into themes of identity, connection, and the impact of names on one’s life journey.

Old Fox
Director: Hsiao Ya-Chuan
Country: Taiwan; Running Time: 111 minutes
Old Fox follows a young boy who befriends his landlord, nicknamed Old Fox, and tells the story of Taiwan’s rapidly changing society of the late 1980s.

One-Percent Warrior
Director: Yamaguchi Yudai    
Country: Japan; Running Time: 96 minutes  
After his devastatingly fast, samurai-style combat approach sets filmmakers against him, a legendary action star (Tak Sakaguchi) films his own movie—on turf claimed by feuding yakuza gangs, including Japan’s deadliest martial arts assassin.

Post Truth      
Director: Chengpeng Dong    
Country: China; Running Time: 112 minutes
After being imprisoned for standing up for a friend, middle-aged Wei Ping’an struggles to rebuild his life. Upon his release, he takes a job as a cemetery salesman. In his difficult new role, he is determined to clear the name of his deceased client, Han Lu who was the victim of online slander. Driven by a promise, Wei Ping’an embarks on a challenging journey to uncover the truth behind the rumors. His path is fraught with obstacles, including confrontations with his own sister, Wei Ruyi, and relentless pursuit by the wealthy and powerful Mr. Feng. Through these trials, Wei Ping’an gradually realizes that doing what one believes is right brings the greatest peace of mind.

Rose & Samurai 2: Return of the Pirate Queen    
Director: Hidenori Inoue         
Country: Japan; Running Time: 174 minutes
Set in the 17th century on the Iberian Peninsula, Anne de Alwida, a pirate queen, and Goemon Ishikawa, a master thief, navigate various challenges and comedic mishaps while protecting the seas. Their journey highlight’s themes of bravery, loyalty, and the clash between arrogance and humility.

Director: Karan Tejpal
Country: India; Running Time: 94 minutes    
In the wee morning hours at a remote railway station in rural India, a chance encounter changes the lives of a few young people forever. Gautam Bansal is there to pick up his brother Raman for an extravagant destination wedding. Their already tenuous relationship and the thin veneer of familial love are challenged when they chance upon Jhumpa Mahato. A broken woman with little to her name, Jhumpa is beside herself with panic when she wakes from her slumber to discover her infant daughter missing. A series of unfortunate incidents embroil the two brothers into Jhumpa’s pitiful endeavor to be reunited with her young child. ​Raman, ever on a crusade for justice and righting the world’s wrongs, believes it’s their moral duty to come to the helpless women’s aid. Gautam, believes more in the pleasures of a privileged life, and hardly cares to know more about what does not concern him. ​This perilous journey through the unforgiving hinterlands thrusts the young men out of their sheltered existence, compelling them to confront the harshness of reality. 

The Tenants  
Director: Yoon Eun-Kyoung   
Country: South Korea; Running Time: 88 minutes    
The Tenants is set in a dystopian future Seoul, plagued by severe environmental pollution and exorbitant living costs. The protagonist, Shin-dong, is an office worker who faces eviction by his landlord. Unable to afford a new place, he follows a friend’s advice to rent out part of his current home to complicate the eviction process. He ends up renting his bathroom to a peculiar newlywed couple, leading to a series of bizarre and unsettling events. 


Art is Love: Nepal     
Directors: Daniel Driensky, Sarah Reyes      
Countries: United States/Nepal; Running Time: 71 minutes
The film features Texas artist Sean Starr on a journey to Nepal, where he explores and documents traditional and handcrafted arts that are at risk of disappearing. The documentary showcases a variety of Nepali artisans, including Thangka painters, woodcarvers, singing bowl manufacturers, paper makers, basket weavers, and traditional musicians and dancers. These artists share their craft and the cultural significance behind their work, which has been passed down through generations. The project aims to highlight the importance of preserving these art forms in a rapidly changing global landscape dominated by technology. 

Director: Kenji Tsukamoto      
Country: Unites States; Running Time: 86 minutes   
Ashima follows elite rock climber Ashima Shiraishi as she travels to South Africa to attempt to become the youngest climber to master one of the world’s most challenging climbs. Accompanying Ashima is her father and coach Poppo, a former avante-garde dancer who brings an eccentric, tough-love approach to Ashima’s training. Examining the sacrifices required to achieve at the highest level and the complex relationship between immigrant parents and their children, this is an intimate coming-of-age story about climbing, family, and pursuing the American Dream.


Benkyodo: The Last Manju Shop in J-Town         
Directors: Akira Boch, Tadashi Nakamura     
Country: United States; Running Time: 15 minutes  
Ricky and Bobby Okamura wrestle with closing their beloved family-owned manju shop after serving the San Francisco Japantown community for 115 years.

Director: Tomoaki Kaneko
Country: Japan; Running Time: 12 minutes
Yuki, a devoted mother, finds joy in sharing her only daughter Sara’s photos on social media. Caught in the pursuit of fame and validation, she increasingly risks reality for the perfect “photogenic” shot, becoming deaf to her husband’s warnings. Her obsession for likes and approval leads her down a dangerous path, ending in a tragic transformation: Yuki becomes a lonely old woman, mourning the loss of Sara, a daughter sacrificed to the altar of social media perfection.

Director: Kim J.Y. Han
Country: United States; Running Time: 13 minutes
It’s 1997, and 9-year-old Jimin just moved to California. Jimin refuses to speak to her father who stayed behind in Korea, but when a major financial crisis devastates their home country, all hopes that he can join them in America dissipates. Now, Jimin must gather the courage to take the next steps alone.

Cuppa Chai                                        
Director: Amit Kaur
Country: United Kingdom; Running Time: 10 minutes
After the death of her Nani Ji, eighteen-year-old Mira arrives back in her hometown and is confronted by the fact that she knows very little about the woman who passed away. She must learn more about her grandmother’s life the only way she knows how, through the perfect cup of tea and halwa.

Director: Caitlin Boston
Country: United States; Running Time: 11 minutes
Molly is a young Asian woman trying to figure out where her father’s body is after his sudden death by suicide. Due to a challenging relationship with her mother, the location is being withheld from her.

For Roy                                              
Director: Vivian Cheung
Country: Canada; Running Time: 12 minutes
Inspired by true events, an imaginative Asian-Canadian girl attempts to fold a thousand cranes as she learns to lose her father during his final days in the hospice.

Happy Doomsday                                         
Director: Sol O
Country: Republic of Korea; Running Time: 13 minutes
A survival dark suspense comedy, in which the story follows two women who, after being rejected in the same final job interview, chance upon each other in an online community. They make a pact to end their lives together on the rooftop of the company building. However, as the night progresses, they find themselves challenged by unexpected obstacles, leading to an unexpected turn of events.

Director: Dohyun KIM
Country: Republic of Korea; Running Time: 13 minutes
A young lady with crippled legs gets white shoes as a keepsake left by her deceased mother. Maid Midori wants these beautiful shoes for her own.

Director: Vu Hoang
Country: United States; Running Time: 14 minutes
A young Vietnamese American man revisits treasured memories of helping his mother, and fulfills a childhood promise he made to her, paying the ultimate price.

Director: Al Chang
Country: United States; Running Time: 11 minutes
In their pursuit of viral fame, a group of young women’s social media recording session turns perilous when they’re stalked by an internet serial killer.

Director:   Taeyoung Kim        
Country: Republic of Korea; Running Time: 25 minutes
A social media “Voice Club” where they communicate only with their voices leads to outrageous lies.

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John Wildman

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