Due to the corona virus pandemic, the 21st edition of the Asiatica Film Festival in Rome, Italy took place online December 18 t0 22, 2020.
The Jury selected from 10 films from eight countries with the top prize going to Reza Dormishian’s NO CHOICE (Iran) for a touching view on a part of society that is mainly disregarded and has become a universal problem. With strong actors, a tight script and a contemporary issue it was a unanimous choice for the jury.
A determined young human rights lawyer takes on the case of a 16-year-old girl, Golbahar, who finds out that she is no longer able to make babies for her pimp to sell. After a medical test, suspicion arises that Golbahar’s situation may have been the result of an unofficial plan to sterilize the homeless.
NO CHOICE by Reza Dormishian (Iran) With strong production values the film focusses on the rights of the homeless - a part of society that receives little attention in the world.
A BOARDING SCHOOL by Shalahuddin Siregar (Indonesia) While practicing old traditions, this documentary shows the Islamic school’s strong tolerance and empathy.
WHALE ISLAND by Huang Chia-chun (Taiwan) Stunning cinematography is the backdrop in this documentary showing the touching relationship between the locals and nature.
DEBRIS OF DESIRE by Indranil Roychowdhury (India) Poverty forces people to do things they would not normally consider nor would anticipate the consequences.
A DARK, DARK MAN by Adilkhan Yerzhanov (Kazakhstan) The murder of a child uncovers extreme unbridled corruption with police cooperation.
COLOURLESS DREAMS by Ayub Shakhobiddinov (Uzbekistan) After years away, can Kashmira prove that she deserves to stay with her family and friends?
WHERE WE BELONG by Kongdej Jaturanrasmee (Thailand) Universal story of young girls growing up, trying to find their special place in contemporary Thai society.
THE CLOUD IN HER ROOM by Xinyuan Zheng Lu (China) Experimental, black and white film depicts lost emotions in modern society.
CAN NEITHER BE HERE NOR JOURNEY BEYOND, Girish Kasaravalli (India) Even in modern India it is not easy to shake off the caste system and find a better life away from home.
EVERY DAY IS A LULLABY by Putrama Tuta (Indonesia) A dying scriptwriter puts his finger on the laptop and lets the words flow until his idea hits a wall. Can the Devil help?
-- Therese Hayes (USA) – Chairperson, NETPAC Jury
-- Edited by Philip Cheah