Looking to do something different this weekend? How about sampling the Far East with The Asia House Film Festival? Now in its seventh year, the programming runs to Tuesday 31 March, with a slate that offers new talent, landscapes and modes of film production from the Asia Pacific region.
Unique offerings include sci-fi flick NUOC 2030 that shows a submerged Vietnamese population who are forced to rely on fishing from houseboats and floating farms owned by multinationals.
On the retrospective side, Mongolia's 1972 classic The Seventh Bullet is a cinematic gem rarely shown in theatres. Adapting the gritty nihilism of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns, its story unfolds during the Basmachi Revolt of the 1920s, when Communist reformers sought to suppress an uprising by the Muslim population of Central Asia.
Closing the festival at, interestingly, The Horse Hospital are the UK premieres of Yangon Calling — Punk in Myanmar and Jalanan. Both documentaries revolve around music, with the first of the two showcasing the militant country's underground punk scene by way of hidden cameras. Winner of Busan Film Festival's Best Documentary in 2013 and Melbourne Film Festival's People's Choice Award in 2014, Jalanan paints a portrait of three buskers trying to get by in a frenzied Jakarta, Indonesia.
Newly appointed Artistic Director, Jasper Sharp adds:
“We are excited to be presenting a diverse range of titles in a diverse range of genres, including a vintage Uzbekistani “Red Western” and a Vietnamese sci-fi, as well as a documentary on the Burmese punk scene. We hope this eclectic selection will thrill and enthrall, while inspiring London audiences with exciting and unique visions of Asia from some of its best filmmaking talents.”
The Asia House Film Festival runs until 31 March. Tickets £8-£10.50 (concessions offered), with some screenings offering Q&As with the film's directors and producers.