On friday I won two tickets to the Japanese documentary Ramen Heads at the Cinemasia Festival in Amsterdam for the next day. As I’d never really heard of this festival before I was really excited to go and I took Kao with me. We got on the train and arrived there about two hours later, deciding right there to also watch the Korean movie Last Child. What is Cinemasia about and what is my opinion on it?
Cinemasia is a 6 day film festival with pan asian movies. It is held at two separate venues; Kriterion and Rialto. Both located in Amsterdam. 2018 was the 11th edition of this festival.
As the only all asian festival in the Netherlands they show all mainstream, independent and art house movies from China, India, Japan, Korea, Thailand etc. They organize food, karaoke, panels and LGBTQ programs and strive to unite dutch/asian communities and film industries.
Started back in 2004 in a small cozy venue called Cavia by Doris Yeung to promote Asian movies and give a voice to generations of Dutch Asians and Asian migrants. Both in their cultural backgrounds, problems and LGBTH. Growing with every year to finally settle in the current theatre. http://cinemasia.nl
Cinemasia also provides the lesser known Filmlab, A talent development platform by Cinemasia. For 9 years they have played a special part in the creation and development in more diversity and inclusiveness in The Netherlands. Stimulating talent development with film makers, actors, cinematographer and scenario writers. They give the talent a chance by having boot camps, mentoring and workshops. Because of this approach 29 short films have been shown both in and out of The Netherlands and have won prices for their hard work. http://cinemasia.nl/en/about-filmlab/
As we came just on Saturday and just before our movie would start I can’t say much about the festival in its entirety. Accessibility however is great, there’s a metro and tram stop just around the corner off Kriterion, which you can take straight from Central Station. As we got there I felt a little disappointed by the size of Kriterion. It looks rather run down and very small for the amount of people who were inside. Which showed very much because there were lines for about anything happening.
I found out the day after though, that there is a great history behind Kriterion and if you’d like to know more you can read it here (in dutch).
We came in and got our tickets before checking out the small food market, You had to buy vouchers for it though and after deciding what we wanted to eat we bought a set of 5 vouchers.
1 voucher – € 2,50
5 vouchers – € 12,50
We picked korean Kimbab (2 vouchers) and Korean fried chicken with potato and tteobbokki mix (3 vouchers) and afterwards we had Chicken Satay (3 vouchers) and Soy Soup (1 voucher).
The Kimbab was vegetarian and a little bland in taste, the seaweed was all soggy due to being pre-made so it fell apart completely in our hands. The Chicken mix however was great, it had peanuts and it was just the right amount of spicy, salty and I think garlic-y. It left a taste for some cold beer in my mouth.
The venue was absolutely packed though, the only seats we were able to get to eat and wait were some wobbly chairs near the bathroom and the steps up to the second and third theatres. We watched Ramen heads and bought tickets to go see Last Child.
The tickets for Last Child was €10,- a person. Which.. in contrast to Camera Japan they were more expensive. However the seats and the theatre were perfect, sitting deep and slightly tilted back, no glitches in the movies and it was the perfect amount of quiet in the entire hall.
3 out of 5
I’d like to go back to Cinemasia again next year to grab a couple more movies and really experience the film Festival. The food and movie prices were a little bit more expensive but nothing too bad I think. I’d like there to be more restaurants nearby though but there’s nothing you can really do about this.
Staff and customers were very nice!
Read the reviews for the movies we picked right here: