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The Abandoned and Five Additional Taiwanese Films to Feature at 2023 New York Asian Film Festival

  • Date:2023-07-01

The New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) is celebrating its 22nd edition with a lineup featuring some of the most striking and daring new films from Taiwan! Featured films include movie star Kai Ko’s first directorial work Bad Education, the LGBTQ+ action-comedy Marry My Dead Body, the medical thriller Eye of the Storm, the gangster-comedy Miss Shampoo, and the Atayal tribe family drama Gaga.

The NYAFF will run from July 14–30, 2023, at FLC’s Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street). The full lineup of 78 films includes eight world premieres, nine international premieres, thirty-two North American premieres, and sixteen East Coast/New York premieres, showcasing the most exciting new action, comedy, drama, thriller, romance, horror, and art-house films from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, China, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Singapore, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The festival was made possible due to the support of the Taipei Cultural Center in New York.

The Abandoned, directed by Tseng Ying-Ting, was nominated for this year’s Uncaged Award for Best Feature Film Competition. The movie features a police detective on a hunt for a serial killer targeting illegal migrant workers. The NYAFF described the film as “a masterful blend of police procedural with psychological themes and social issues” on its press release. Tseng Ying-Ting will attend its North American Premiere and participate in a live Q&A with the audience on July 26.

Kai Ko’s directorial debut Bad Education delves into the darker side of being a young adult. On the night of graduation, three high school boys share their darkest secrets, proving to be inseparable as they test the waters of crime and evil. The dark teen movie "shows how cruelty begets cruelty," according to independent film critic Hai Lan in his blog.

Eye of the Storm, directed by Lin Chun-Yang, is a fictional film based on Taiwanese’s painful memories of the 2002 SARS outbreak. In just one hospital in Taipei, there were 154 cases and 31 deaths. The movie highlights the brave health care workers battling SARS that deserve wider recognition.

Employing mostly amateur actors, Gaga, whose director, Laha Mebow, was the first indigenous female to win the Golden Horse Award for Best Director, follows the daily lives of a three-generational household. Among other issues, the characters are dealing with the loss of family land to their neighbors, an unplanned pregnancy, and the death of the eponymous patriarch. The family bonds in the movie are a tribute to the Atayal tribe's unique culture, showcasing the power of sticking together through tough times. Director Laha Mebow will participate in a Q&A following the showing on July 18.

Marry My Dead Body is a box-office hit that has captured moviegoers in Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, Cambodia, South Korea, and Italy. The story is centered around a straight police officer who was coerced into marrying the ghost of deceased gay man, presenting an intriguing concept that offers social commentary on aspects of Asian society.

Written and directed by star auteur Giddens Ko, Miss Shampoo is a wild love story that is sure to tug on heartstrings and tickle funny bones. The story follows the apprentice of a hair salon and a gang boss who rushes into the salon to hide from his rival. The couple gradually comes to understand each other and falls in love. It is the fourth film directed by Giddens Ko, following Till We Meet Again (2021), You Are the Apple of My Eye (2011), and Mon Mon Mon Monsters (2017).

“As filmmakers from Asia continue to earn the lion’s share of top awards (and attention) on the international film festival circuit, this year’s selection shows that those are still trees hiding a forest of talent,” said Samuel Jamier, executive director of NYAFF and president of the New York Asian Film Foundation. “We are thrilled to offer a platform that is ever more culturally relevant with new films from all corners of Asia. It is a year of massive expansion for us at a time when a growing number of American filmmakers of Asian descent are conquering screens and hearts. We look forward to bringing passionate stories to passionate audiences in a city that remains a global center of film culture and business!”

For more information about the festival, please visit:

【Program Information】

📽 Bad Education(黑的教育)

Director: Kai Ko|2023|77 minutes|Mandarin with English subtitles|North American Premiere

Showtime: July 15|12:30 PM|Buy tickets:

📽 Marry My Dead Body(關於我和鬼變成家人的那件事)

Director: Cheng Wei-Hao|2022|130 minutes|Mandarin with English subtitles|East Coast Premiere

Showtime: July 17|9:00 PM|Standby Only: Tickets may become available to the standby line on a first-come, first-served basis, one (1) per customer.

📽 Gaga(哈勇家)

Director: Laha Mebow|2022|111 minutes|Atayal, Mandarin, Taiwanese, English with English subtitles|East Coast Premiere|Q&A with Laha Mebow

Showtime: July 18|8:30 PM|Buy tickets:

Narrative Shorts Showcase – Animation

Various Directors|2022-2023|119 minutes

Animated shorts from Taiwan included:

📽 Confusion of the Afternoon(午後的迷茫) | Director: Lee Yung-Chieh|2023 | East Coast Premiere

📽 Impurrfection(貓年海岸) | Director: Chiang Yao|2022 | New York Premiere

Showtime: July 21|1:15 PM|Buy tickets:

📽 Miss Shampoo(請問,還有哪裡需要加強)

Director: Giddens Ko|2023|116 minutes|Mandarin with English subtitles|North American Premiere

Showtime: July 23|6:00 PM|Buy tickets:

📽 The Abandoned (查無此心)

Director: Tseng Ying-Ting|2022|128 minutes|Mandarin, Taiwanese, Thai with English subtitles|North American Premiere|Q&A with Tseng Ying-ting

Showtime: July 26|9:00 PM|Buy tickets:

📽 Eye of the Storm(疫起)

Director: Lin Chun-Yang|2023|118 minutes|Mandarin with English subtitles|International Premiere

Showtime: July 27|3:30 PM|Buy tickets: