The Emergence of the Asian Film Festival

Sang Joon Lee

in The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Cinema

Published in print January 2014 | ISBN: 9780199731664
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Emergence of the Asian Film Festival


As the first inter-Asian film organization in the region, the Federation of Motion Picture Producer’s Association of Asia (FPA) began in 1953 under the passionate leadership of Nagata Masaichi, president of Daiei studio in Japan. A year later, FPA’s annual event, the Asian Film Festival, was held in Tokyo. The festival was not a conventional film festival but a regional alliance summit for film executives of “free Asia,” which accompanied the screenings of each participant’s annual outputs, a series of forums, and film equipment fairs and exhibitions. This article delineates the cultural, economic, and political logic(s) that gave rise to and modified the Asian Film Festival by arguing that the history of the festival, at least its first five years, resulted from the U.S.-driven Cold War politics that enunciated the new map of “free Asia,” an anticommunist bloc that was controlled by a new hegemonic regime, America.

Keywords: Cold War; Asian cinema; film festival; the Asia Foundation; Japanese cinema; Hong Kong cinema; Korean cinema; Taiwanese cinema; Nagata Masaichi; Daiei Studio

Article.  9466 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Film

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