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Too Young to Die! wins New York Asian Film Festival 2016

New York Asian Film Festival 2016  has record anniversary year


Kankuro Kudo's anarchic Japanese comedy Too Young to Die! is the Audience Award Winner of the 15th New York Asian Film Festival, announced the festival's executive director Samuel Jamier today. The event came to a close on Saturday night after screening 51 films over 18 days at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the SVA Theatre in Manhattan.

Too Young to Die!, which had its North American premiere at the festival, stars Ryunosuke Kamiki as a student sent to Buddhist hell after his whole class dies in a freak bus accident. There, he makes a pact with guitar-shredding demon Killer K, played by Tomoya Nagase, to be reincarnated and reunite with his high school crush. International sale of the film is handled by Toho Co Ltd.

Second- and third-placed in the audience vote were two South Korean thrillers, Woo Min-ho's Inside Men and Lee Il-hyeong's A Violent Prosecutor. Both films were major box office hits in South Korea. Lee Byung-hun, the star of Inside Men, attended the festival to receive one of three Star Asia Awards. Both films are productions of South Korea's Showbox Corporation, which also handles international sales.

Two Southeast Asian films came fourth and fifth in the audience vote: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit's offbeat romantic comedy Heart Attack from Thailand, and Mario Cornejo's surfing relationship drama Apocalypse Child from the Philippines. Another film from the Philippines, Erik Matti's thriller Honor Thy Father, was placed eighth in the audience vote.

The NYAFF 2016 Box office grew 20%, setting a new record for the festival. Attendance was particularly strong for films from China, the Philippines and Japan. The festival closed with a sell-out screening of the international premiere of Adam Tsuei's Taiwan thriller The Tenants Downstairs, ahead of its mid-August domestic release.


1. Too Young to Die! [Japan]

2. Inside Men [South Korea]

3. A Violent Prosecutor [South Korea]

4. Heart Attack [Thailand]

5. Apocalypse Child [Philippines]

6. The Throne [South Korea]

7. Dongju: Portrait of a Poet [South Korea]

8. Honor Thy Father [Philippines]

9. 10 Years [Hong Kong]

10. Fourth Place [South Korea]

Guests in attendance included Star Asia Awards honorees: Hong Kong’s Miriam Yeung, the Philippines’ John Lloyd Cruz, and South Korea’s Lee Byung-hun; Lifetime Achievement Award honoree: Iwai Shunji; Screen International Rising Star Asia Awards honorees:China’s Jelly Lin, Japan’s Ayano Go, and the Philippines’ Teri Malvar; Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema: China's Yue Song. Also in attendance: from China, director Wang Yichun; from Hong Kong, director Adam Wong; from Japan, producer Yoshinori Chiba and directors Hideo Sakaki and Kazuya Shiraishi; from Malaysia, director Shanjhey Kumar Perumal; from the Philippines, actors Sid Lucero and Annicka Dolonius; from South Korea, director Lee Joon-ik, producer/screenwriter Shin Yeon-shick, and director Kim Jin-hwang; from Taiwan, director/producer Adam Tsuei and actresses Ivy Shao and Li Xing; from Thailand, actress Apinya Sakuljaroensuk.

The festival's executive director Samuel Jamier said, "This year, we set out to prove there was a New York audience for the cinemas of China and Southeast Asia, especially the Philippines. We're thrilled that they represent the best performing films at the festival this year with sell-out screenings. We didn't play safe in our anniversary year; we are proud that our audience is continuing to support us in pushing boundaries."

The selection of films and guests at the 15th edition were curated by executive director Samuel Jamier, senior programmer Stephen Cremin, and programmers Rufus de Rham and Claire Marty.



Now in its 15th year, the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) is North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema, which The Village Voice called “the best film festival in New York” last year, and The New York Times has called “one of the city’s most valuable events.” Launched in 2002 by Subway Cinema, the festival selects only the best, strangest, and most entertaining movies to screen for New York audiences, ranging from mainstream blockbusters and art-house eccentricities to genre and cult classics. It was the first North American film festival to champion the works of Johnnie To, Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan-wook, Takashi Miike, and other auteurs of contemporary Asian cinema. Since 2010, the Festival has been produced in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center.


Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility, and understanding of the moving image. The Film Society produces the renowned New York Film Festival, a curated selection of the year’s most significant new film work, and presents or collaborates on other annual New York City festivals including Art of the Real, Dance on Camera, Film Comment Selects, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, and Scary Movies. In addition to publishing the award-winning Film Comment magazine, the Film Society recognizes an artist’s unique achievement in film with the prestigious Chaplin Award, whose 2016 recipient was Morgan Freeman. The Film Society’s state-of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at Lincoln Center, provide a home for year-round programs and the New York City film community.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from American Airlines,The New York Times, HBO, Stella Artois, The Kobal Collection,Variety, Loews Regency Hotel, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.


Subway Cinema is America’s leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the exhibition and appreciation of Asian popular film culture in all forms, building bridges between Asia and the West. With year-round festivals and programs, the organization aims to bring wide audience and critical attention to contemporary and classic Asian cinema in the U.S. In 2002, Subway Cinema launched its flagship event, the annual New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which is North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema. Subway cinema’s other events and initiatives include Old School Kung Fu Fest (OSKFF).



About Editor

Chatelin Bruno
(M21 Entertainment -

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