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Friday, Dec. 16, 2005

NHK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL

Broadcaster screenslatest co-productions

There has never been greater attention on Asian cinema. The Sixth NHK Asian Film Festival, taking place Dec. 17-25 in Shibuya, Tokyo, continues its mission to support promising filmmakers in Asia following on the heels of Tokyo International Film Festival, Tokyo FILMeX and South Korea's Pusan Film Festival, major festivals that have taken place in recent months which put the focus firmly on Asian cinema talent.

The NHK Asian Film Festival is a biennial project established in 1995. This year the festival showcases 26 films co-produced by NHK and filmmakers from countries that include Iran, Mongolia and Vietnam. Included among the new co-productions, screened with English subtitles, are Royston Tan's "4:30" (Dec. 17-18, 22 and 24), a portrayal of the relationship between an 11-year-old Chinese boy and his thirty-something suicidal Korean tenant, told from the point of view of the boy; and Bui Thac Chuyen's "Upwards" (Dec. 17-18, 24-25) which follows a man in postwar Vietnam who earns his living from clearing land mines.

Previous co-productions will also be screened at the festival including "Beed-o Baad" (Dec. 21, 4:30 p.m.), a poetic film from 1999 set in northern Iran that follows a young boy who must fix a broken school window or face expulsion. The script was written by Abbas Kiarostami, director of the acclaimed "The Wind Will Carry Us." Also featured is Siddiq Barmak's "Osama" (2003) about a girl raised as a boy under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan (Dec. 19, 7 p.m.)

The Sixth NHK Film Festival takes place at Fureai Hall, 2-2-1 Kannai, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo. Screenings are at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. For the full schedule, visit www.nhk.or.jp/sun_asia or call (03) 5777-8600. Tickets are 600 yen in advance, 800 yen at the door.



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