Films from Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines during Cinemasia

March 2004 -

A new film festival is born: at the end of March some seventy Asian films will be shown in Amsterdam, divided over thirty programmes.

Asian films are already shown in cinemas in the Netherlands, but the festival organisation believes that these reach only a small public and are primarily from Japan, China and India. Cinemasia is intended for a broader public. The festival includes films from countries that we almost never see in the Netherlands, including Thailand, Indonesia, North Korea and the Philippines. 'Thus the festival paints a total picture of films in Asia, and that can only be done if the films are all shown within a period of a few days,' explains coordinator Petra van Dongen.

Cinemasia's primary objective is to present a versatile programme, with animated films, documentaries, films for the youth and artistic films. Most of the films are recent, with the exception of a few popular incentives, including a restored lost film starring Bruce Lee. The films all either originate in an Asian country, have a director with an Asian background, or are based on an Asian theme.

The Prins Claus fund is paying the travel expenses for director Maryo de los Reyes from the Philippines. In principle the fund does not support cultural events in the Netherlands, but does have a ticket budget to bring artists to the Netherlands for special events. The fund hopes this will give artists the opportunity to establish contact with cultural organisations in the Netherlands and that this support will stimulate the young festival.