Arthouse Asia Film Festival 2022

South Asia's one and only industry focus boutique film festival.

Narrative Fiction Feature

A Bird Flew In

Director Kirsty BellUnited Kingdom, 91 minutesWhen lockdown is imposed, the cast and crew of a film are taken from the set and sent home – alone. Actors without an audience. Directors without a script. Couples who fall apart. While others come together.A film composed of six interlinked narratives, 'A Bird Flew In' explores what happens when we are freed from external distractions and forced to find meaning in our lives and loves.

A Woman At Night

Director Rafael KapelinskiUnited Kingdom, 81 minutesThe narrative follows Yiling Li, a Chinese woman who has recently moved to London and lives with her stoic and detached cousin. Struggling to settle in and wanting to find some stability, Yiling Li eventually finds a job at a real estate agency. She overhears a phone call regarding a large monetary exchange for the opportunity to visit a serial killer’s old flat at night. With mounting financial pressures Yiling Li decides to steal the keys in order to rent the flat out hourly to the eager patrons.

Jai Bhim

Director Tha Se GnanavelIndia, 148 minutesWhen a tribal man is arrested for a case of alleged theft and goes missing from police custody, his wife turns to a human-rights lawyer Chandru, who makes shocking discoveries to help bring justice.

Jasmine Road

Director Warren Sulatycky
Canada, 120 minutes
A widowed conservative cowboy takes in a Syrian refugee family of Arabic ice cream makers.

Leda

Director Samuel Tressler IV
United States, 75 minutes
Haunted by memories and divine visions, a young woman struggles through trauma and pregnancy in a poetic reimagining of the Greek myth.

Lotus Never Dies

Director Amorn Harinnitisuk
Thailand, 85 minutes
Kati and Baitong have fallen in love at first sight. Baitong is pregnant 3 months but her old boy friend dumped her. Kati used to have a wife but she was drown dead. Baitong wants to get the baby out then Kati proposes marriage to. Kati loves Baitong so much. He sticks to won’t be a day that they’ll be parting. The power of spiritual bond they’ve never stayed apart even 1 meter or 1 second. A morning, Kati woke up and not see Baitong that hand wash at the backyard. He’s so angry taking a rope to tie-up wrist each other. Finally Baitong has 9 months pregnant. While he hurries to take her to pre-natal clinic, Baitong disappears magically.

The Road To Eden

Director Bakyt Mukul, Dastan Zhapar Uulu
Kyrgyzstan, 116 minutes
A retired writer, Kubat Aliev, is living his last days as a famous and poor writer in a society increasingly concerned by wealth. A widower, he has no children and his only wish is that literature continues to bring enlightenment to his small and disillusioned nation. He sees the possibility of a continuation in his friend, a younger and an equally talented writer, Sapar. However, Sapar is very ill and is in need of an expensive treatment. On the day that Kubat decides to sell his apartment to save the bed-ridden writer’s life, he learns his own younger businessman brother is beaten up by collectors for debts.

Narrative Fiction Short

20 dB

Director Hiroyuki Nishiyama
Japan, 15 minutes
A high school girl, Uta, walks alone in a forest with an audio recorder in hand.
In order to wake up her friend Hiyori, who is in a vegetative state, she visits places from their shared memories and records the sounds there.
On the bed in the hospital room, on life support, her friend does not wake up. Only the cold, inorganic noise from the electrocardiogram resounds in the room.
She continues going to that hospital room every day, letting her friend listen to the sounds that she has recorded.

A Silent Warble

Director Debanjan Majhi
India, 14 minutes
A silent short narrative of a blind foley artist and how he roams around the world heritage city of Ahmedabad, India collecting sounds in his unique recorder. The film is heavily sound designed with ASMR technology, and is a metaphorical reflection of what natural sounds are we missing out in the chaos and cacophony of a mechanical city of this era.

Alaska

Director Michalis Giagkounidis
Greece, 18 minutes
Katerina and Alkis live with Grandpa. Their parents have gone to Alaska to seek their fortune. When Grandpa falls and does not get up, things become difficult. Fortunately, there is always dancing.

All That Is Lost

Director Arijit Kundu
India, 15 minutes
For seven years , a nameless woman remembers her beloved in her daily chores. She mourns her loss in every way . Her life is nothing but a relic of the past . One day , she decides to start a new life from this vicious cycle of lamenting and melancholy .

Bablu From Babylon

Director Abhijeet Sarthi
India, 40 minutes
In a parallel world, ‘Bablu’, a lonely old man working for ‘Babylon’, a company that owns all the trees & plants, goes on an assignment and accidentally encounters a rebel group planning a secret mission against ‘Babylon’.

Cheepatakadumpa

Director Devashish Makhija
India, 24 minutes
‘CHEEPATAKADUMPA’ follows three women over less than a day as they awaken their naughty teenage alter egos when they meet again after years, unleashing mischief on each other, and in turn on the biased patriarchal belief systems of the India they were born into. In a masculine culture that is unduly serious about making the rules that women are expected to live by, can Teja, Santo and Tamanna find true and happy rebellion in the gasping throes of this mischief?

Clinton

Director Prithviraj Dasgupta
India, 28 minutes
One winter Sunday at a boarding school in Kalimpong, 10-year-old Clinton has to face the toughest day of his life. In order to save himself, he sacrifices his most priceless possession and reveals his own hidden strength.

Cycle

Director Devashish Makhija
India, 20 minutes
'Cycle' is the story of a wronged young tribal woman who, in the absence of systemic justice, turns rebel, but struggles to be able to fulfil all the expectations that the path to retribution demands.'Cycle' is a multilingual short film shot on a phone camera as found footage, and filmed in three uninterrupted long takes. The film features a large and ethnically varied cast, most of who were facing a camera for the first time ever.

Hilum

Director Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan
Philippines, 27 minutes
Set in a rural coastal village in the Philippines, Mona trains under her mother to start work as a professional mourner-for-hire. After a botched performance, Mona retreats from her mother’s fury, and seeks out a shaman to cure her inability to cry.

Like A Midnight Dream

Director Sharan Venugopal
India, 37 minutes
Oru Paathiraa Swapnam Pole (Like a midnight dream) explores the story of Sudha, an entrepreneur and a mother of a college girl, who finds her world turned upside down when a doctor suspects that she might have cancer. Her worries deepen even further when one day she goes through her daughter's laptop and accidentally finds a nude video of the daughter hidden in it.

Manu

Director Shinku C.
India, 18 minutes
Set against the backdrop of bustling New Delhi, the story quietly follows a specific day in the mundane routine-driven life of a young boy called Manu. Manu is a nineteen-year-old, introverted, repressed boy who loves art, and belongs to a middle-class religious family in India. On this particular day, a series of events brings him finally to confront himself, and in the end, leaves him in a dilemma to bring the change in his life or not.

Mutya

Director Jon Cuyson
Philippines, 8 minutes
MUTYA is an experimental short film that questions our understanding of physical, emotional, and psychological distance. Through a fictionalized conversation between a transgender resort worker and her seafarer boyfriend, the film investigates the complexities of intimacy and relationship entanglements amidst economic and personal challenges.

Nafs Said

Director Huma Hussain
United States, 14 minutes
Nafs Said is a story about an Indian-Muslim housewife, Maryam, whose mundane life is abruptly interrupted by an opportunity to explore her desires.Maryam is a new immigrant in America and has always craved independence. However, the norms of her culture have ensured that she relies on her husband even for simple things like going to the grocery store. Despite this being a source of unease and frustration, Maryam resigns herself to a relationship that allows women to only participate passively.Nafs Said is a study of the rhythms of domestic life.

Perfect Storm

Director Morag Brownlie
New Zealand, 14 minutes
During the perfect storm of the pandemic, the beauty of nature and the connectivity of humanity endures. On the wild west coast of Auckland ( New Zealand ) we follow one mans enforced isolation. Pacing into the unknown, wondering if those dear to him, will ever be seen again.

Only The Wind Knows The Truth

Director Mriganka Goswami
India, 14 minutes
A missing case connecting four lives, takes the shape of an event that soaks a man with the rain of guilt and endless wind.

Seedlings

Director Debraj Naiya
India, 15 minutes
War ends and people start celebrating their victory. Few children who have been born and brought up amidst this are finding themselves unable to fit in, in this grandiose arrangement as all of this is making them frightened of some new battles.

The Salon

Director Nitya Misra
India, 13 minutes
Often, a haircut is not just a haircut. Women get haircuts for various reasons - maybe for a change of style; or for a noble cause; or sometimes it could simply be because of boredom.In “The Salon”, Nimmi, a middle-aged woman, strikes up a conversation with her hairstylist, and works through a loss while getting her hair cut.Through the course of a haircut, this short film explores both the conversations we have with others and with ourselves.

Transit

Director Ariq Anam Khan
United Kingdom/Bangaladesh,
13 minutes
For a man on the verge of poverty in a third-world country, a migrant-worker visa can often be a lifeline. But Abdur Rouf must patiently wait for this change of fate, as a visa to Italy is not guaranteed for someone of his stature. Living in a chaotic, bustling, and unforgiving city can be claustrophobic and Rouf resorts to canvassing on buses just to support his family. In addition to his financial constraints, Rouf’s major disappointment lies with his wife not being able to bare children till now.But despite a gloomy and unpredictable future, Rouf continues to look for a turning point in his life.

Transit

Director Ariq Anam Khan
United Kingdom/Bangaladesh,
13 minutes
For a man on the verge of poverty in a third-world country, a migrant-worker visa can often be a lifeline. But Abdur Rouf must patiently wait for this change of fate, as a visa to Italy is not guaranteed for someone of his stature. Living in a chaotic, bustling, and unforgiving city can be claustrophobic and Rouf resorts to canvassing on buses just to support his family. In addition to his financial constraints, Rouf’s major disappointment lies with his wife not being able to bare children till now.But despite a gloomy and unpredictable future, Rouf continues to look for a turning point in his life.

NOn-Fiction Feature

Backstage

Director Lipika Singh Darai
India, 85 minutes
The film portrays the lives and times of puppeteers of Odisha, India. It documents four forms of puppetry; the glove, the string, the rod and the shadow, which are now being performed by their last generation of artists. After them, the art form will probably die. The folk art form, which is as vulnerable as its performers who mostly belong to the lower strata of the society in terms of caste and economy, is experiencing a silent death. The filmmaker builds a personal narrative to trace the time a dying art form is going through.

Father

Director Deng Wei
China, 97 minutes
Filmmaker Deng Wei’s grandfather Zuogui has been blind since the age of three, living most of his life as a fortune teller and raising many children. Now approaching the final chapter of his life, Zuogui lives a life of bitter discontent toward his son (and Wei’s father) Donggu, a businessman who is set on earning the respect not afforded him as a child. Donggu works as a property developer to provide his family with a good life, but when a job-site accident forces him into financial hardship, it prompts a re-examination of his priorities and values—one that may lead the father and son to finally form a bond of respect, perhaps even love.

From Here

Director Christina Antonakos-Wallace
United States, 89 minutes
From Here is a hopeful story of artists and activists based in Berlin and New York whose lives hang in the balance of immigration and integration debates. Our protagonists move from their 20s into their 30s as they fight for citizenship, start families and find room for creative expression. This sensitive and nuanced documentary captures their journeys to define what it means to “belong” in societies that are increasingly hostile to their existence. Filmed over a decade in two of the world’s largest immigration countries–the U.S. and Germany–their individual stories echo the millions of young people from immigrant families.

Hostile

Director Sonita Gale
United Kingdom , 97 minutes
Hostile is a feature-length documentary focusing on the UK’s complicated relationship with its migrant communities. Told through the stories of four participants from Black and Asian backgrounds, the film reveals the impact of the evolving ‘hostile environment’ - a term used by the UK government in 2012 to illustrate the atmosphere they wanted to create for migrants, with the intention of provoking them to leave of their own accord. Hostile explores how the lives of international students, members of the Windrush generation and so-called ‘Highly-Skilled Migrants’ have been affected.

Nasima

Director Heather Kessinger
United States/Bangaladesh,
97 minutes
A little girl’s dream of riding the waves threatens to change the course of history for an entire nation.Selling trinkets on the beach, 7 year old Nasima’s attention is caught by something out on the water and immediately she is transfixed: surfing has come to Bangladesh. Nasima instantly knows what she wants and that is to surf the waves. She will become the first female surfer in Bangladesh, a place where women don’t even swim in public, let alone ride waves

Non-Fiction Short

In Search of Gold

Director Basav Biradar
India, 35 minutes
Set in the once-thriving colonial gold mining township of Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), IN SEARCH OF GOLD attempts to understand the different lived and remembered histories of people who built this highly profitable enterprise. Aided by the grim imagery of now-defunct mining operations, the film brings together narratives of collective socio-political struggles of the past, nostalgia for the lost privilege, and the anxiety of an uncertain future, in a fragmented society.

Somewhere a Season

Director Harsh Hudda
India, 19 minutes
Somewhere A Season is about the rhythm of change within the continuity of life in a distant forest; about the lingering of the past in the present.This piece was shot in the Dang forests of Gujarat. The forest-dwellers have seen multitudes of alterations throughout their existence. Even though they still keep bees and rear cows, a new rhythm prevails. A new existence within nature, reminiscent of nature's flow.

The Yak in The Dark

Director Lobsang Gyatso
China, 5 minutes
Desire is like a silver mirror, beauty and ugliness, virtues and sins, sentiment as murderous, the essence of everything is emptiness, like an unenlightened yak projecting its figure as an imaginary enemy in the darkness, attacking or escaping it; whereas Buddha's epiphany can transform everything into the truth of being, as in the desert, where the people familiar with mirages know the inability to reach the promised oasis. For him, this silver mirror represents a gesture, the chaos of disconnection——The Yak in The Dark.

what's Your Story?

Director OP Srivastava
India, 51 minutes
The film explores the ecosystem of independent cinema in India. It is an Indie about Indie cinema in India.
Independent films or Indie films are broadly defined as the low-budget films, which are made by filmmakers independently without the support of established studios or the production houses. These films are driven by individual filmmaker’s desire or passion to tell a story or to give way to their expressions or their point of view using the medium of cinema.

A Tale of Threads and Fingers

Director Sudha Padmaja Francis
India, 33 minutes
This film documents the handloom weaving cooperative societies of North Kerala. The film foregrounds labour and the labourer/weaver as opposed to many a films that make this about "handicraft", culture or heritage.

Animation Short

311

Director Rachel Bavaresco
United States, 4 minutes
Three one one is a visual exploration of how intricately and beautifully connected people’s lives are. Starting at an apartment building at sunrise, the film takes the audience through windows and walls into living spaces and rooftops, but banality starts to take a different shape and form as we move from each vignette to the next. The residents, although unaware, play a role in the surrealist logic: one man’s mindless actions make up the world of another.

Fossil

Director Anton Cla
Belgium, 12 minutes
An old man's vision of a drowning world is clouded. He decides to take radical actions inflicting damage to his surroundings. Instigating a self-destructive chain of events, coming from the dark abyss of his subconsciousness.

Magic Dream

Director Tomás Welss Barkan
Chile, 11 minutes
A magician wants to convince with his magic and brilliance, but his capability exceeds the limits of his own control, leading him to a show full of violence and abuse.

On / Off

Director Nicolas P. Villarreal
Argentina, 7 minutes
Endless distractions threaten to destroy creativity.

The Chair

Director Ronnie Cramer
United States, 7 minutes
A woman encounters a chair with strange properties, but can't decide if the experience is exciting or annoying. Created old-school style, using only pen and paper, and made up of 2,700 individual drawings

Seen it

Director Adithi Krishnadas
India, 12 minutes
The ever-vibrant Mr. P. N. K Panicker has several shockers up his sleeve. He takes the viewer along a moonlit stroll and paints a quirky picture of the supernatural encounters he has had.

International Video Art

Flõ

Director Leena Patoli
Czech Republic, 5 minutes
An experiential film made for an atmospheric and textural music piece by Angad Berar, with the intent to create an incomplete pause.

Glitch - Objects

Director Kostiantyn Mishchenko
United States, 10 minutes
Data manipulation changes the information inside the digital file to create glitches. Databending involves editing and changing the file data. + experimental music creates a special effect. An attempt to establish contact with the viewer. Not an easy task.

Husk

Director Kostiantyn Mishchenko
Malaysia, 12 minutes
A short escape from the cities, from work, from social media to be alone with himself for a while, perhaps in search of inner serenity and contentment? Can he find self-acceptance? Or devoured by the endless void inside of his own husk.

Kerel

Director Kostiantyn Mishchenko
Philippines, 15 minutes
Trapped in a cargo ship during the lockdown, Kerel, a gay Filipino seafarer is confronted by his memory and recalls his complicated past, present, and future self.

Margaritki

Director Anastasia Vyadro
Russia, 10 minutes
A surreal world of women existing in a confined space, in a closed community, in the absolute "here". All events and actions are looped, tomorrow there will be a New day, a new dedicated, a new rebel, a new outcast. Self-preservation. Desire for approval. Leadership versus friendship. Follow the crowd and their wild will or be out of the circle. System or death.

She Moved The Prairie

Director Cheyla Clawson, Bret Jones
United States, 26 minutes
She Moved the Prairie is a dance film based on the work women did both in the home and on the land in the early 20th century on farms and ranches.

The Builder

Director Kobi Vogman
Israel, 10 minutes
A ladder is coming to life in a dismantled world, walking into a journey between landscapes, structures, and movements.

The Onlookers

Director Natasa Prosenc Stearns
United States, 5 minutes
An incident disrupts a group of individuals. What happened? Who did it? Why is no one helping? As they are observing the event, their reality gradually turns into a nightmare.A semi-abstract visual poem about chronic uncertainty and insecurity of contemporary life.

The Unshakable

Director Nikki Lam
Australia, 6 minutes
‘Now, Hong Kong people are to run Hong Kong. That is a promise. And that is the unshakable destiny.’ — Chris Patten, Last Governor of Hong Kong at the Handover Ceremony in 1997. the unshakable destiny is an expansive video trilogy that explores the position of the artist within a placeless present, with a focus on the body as context to its histories and its surroundings.
An opening to the trilogy, ‘the unshakable destiny_2101’ draws focus on the tension and misalignment between histories and cinematic imageries; aesthetics and power; colonial gaze and the migrant body.

Virtual Reality

Bystanding: The Feingold Syndrome

Director Nim Shapira
Israel, 10 minutes
‘Bystanding: The Feingold Syndrome’ is an immersive interactive VR docufiction exploring the drowning and rescue of Israeli rowing champion Jasmine Finegold. In 2009, Feingold lost consciousness and capsized while rowing in Tel Aviv's Ha’Yarkon River. Jasmine stayed submerged for four and a half minutes. During that time, none of the dozens of spectators and passersby on the riverbank took any action to help her, until finally, one person did.

Transition of the moon

Director Seo Kim, Youngho Myung
South Korea, 9 minutes
One night, a fallen star from the sky started the journey along the scary goblin-road. After acquiring eyes and body it slowly becomes human. Then he got on the solar system spaceship to get to the temple where Moon God and Sun God lives. Moon God and Sun God are his mother and father. With all his love, Moon and Sun whisper to the stars and bless his new start as human on Earth. Using Tilt Brush & Blocks as a basic 3D tool for VR film production, the motion of film animation was implemented in the early 20th century.

Music Video

Bangkok 2.5

Director Bo Nawacharee
Thailand, 4 minutes
bangkok2.5 is an expression of a struggle to survive.in a city where fresh air has become a luxury, this dance film spills out the daily combat each metropolitan takes on. bangkok’s air that is polluted with pm2.5, as known as the fine dust, has been an ongoing issue with the lack of concerns by the ruling authorities.as the day goes by, the more everyone has to find a way to take care of themselves and lean on each other in the city that forces its people to suffocate.

Exegesis

Director Studio VIROSA
United States, 5 minutes
EXEGESIS is an animated music video created using motion capture in Unreal Engine. Restricted in traditional music video production due to the COVID-19 lockdown, we used motion capture technology to create avatars of the musical artist and dancer.

Kilo

Director Filip Załuska
Poland, 4 minutes
A story of love that was, or perhaps it only seemed.

Suttum Vizhi

Director Niranjan Pandian
Singapore, 4 minutes
An abstract idea of a "modern day" Bharathiyar who travels throughout Singapore, embracing the Tamil culture and traditions, just as how we do.

The Team

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