The LGBT community in Tokyo is hard at work. Not even a month after the Rainbow Pride parade, the biennial Asian Queer Film Festival is set to grace the Cinemart Roppongi this weekend.
Started in 2007, AQFF screens queer films from Asia, hoping to spread awareness and understanding of sexual minorities. The festival’s staff are volunteers who feel passionate about the cause. This year’s festival takes place over two weekends and spans six days, May 24-26 and May 31-June 1.
This year’s edition of AQFF features 12 works from various countries, including South Korea and Cambodia. With feature-length films, shorts and documentaries, the AQFF spans a wide range of styles. There is no need to worry about your “F” grade in Korean class, either; all films are subtitled in English.
The opening program is a feature length film from Thailand titled “It Only Gets Better.” The film follows the lives of people representing sexual minorities and their struggle to find acceptance and love. The closing program, “One Night and Two Days,” is a trilogy of three short films by Hee-Il Leesong who was the first openly gay director in Korean film.
This year the AQFF will also have guest speakers, including Hong Kong directors Yeung Tsz Ngo Poppy and Chow Ka Ho and Korean director Hee-Il Leesong.
The Asian Queer Film Festival takes place at Cinemart in Minato-ku, Tokyo, on May 24-26 and May 31-June 1. Film times vary. Advance tickets cost ¥1,300 per film, or ¥2,500 for the closing program (¥1,500, ¥2,700 for same-day tickets). For more information, visit www.aqff.jp.