Now in its third year, the Pan-Asia Film Festival returns to London from 1 – 13 March 2011, bringing together some of Asia’s freshest, emerging talent alongside work by established filmmakers, reflecting the vibrancy and energy in Asian filmmaking today. Showcasing pan-Asian contemporary cinema from across the region, the festival programme represents 13 countries and includes 3 UK and 3 English premieres.

Opening with the English premiere of Norwegian Wood by Academy Award nominated director Tran Anh Hung (The Scent Of Green Papaya), adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by internationally acclaimed Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The Festival is delighted to be welcoming Tran Anh Hung along with Academy Award nominated lead actress Rinko Kikuchi and musician and film composer Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) to introduce the opening film in a special Q&A session at BAFTA on 2 March 2011. The Festival will close with the English premiere of Au Revoir Taipei, the award-winning debut feature by American-Taiwanese director Arvin Chen, with veteran German filmmaker Wim Wenders as executive producer.

Building on the success of the first two Pan-Asia Film Festivals, the 2011 festival is set to be more high profile, with a number of premieres and special guest attendances. This year’s programme covers a range of themes illustrating the diversity of the cultures of Asia. From the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan), to Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan), to South Asia (Bhutan, Burma, India, Tibet), to East Asia (China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan), the Festival highlights filmmaking talent from lesser-known Asian film industries whilst also confirming the influence and breadth of Asia’s more established industries. With a diverse programme of romantic tales, realist dramas, coming of age films and offbeat comedies as well as documentaries on human rights and social issues, this year’s festival programme will offer audiences a unique opportunity to engage in the best in new Asian cinema.

Highlights include:

Directorial debut by Iranian director Majid Barvegar, Rainy Seasons, nominated for this month’s Tiger Awards at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2011.

The Rice Paddy, a beautiful coming of age story set amidst the stunning landscape of Guangxi Province in southern China and the first film to be shot in the Dong language, spoken by the local Dong ethnic minority.

Hahaha by leading Korean director Hong Sangsoo, a gentle comedy with his signature motifs of relationships, romantic mishaps and alcohol fuelled reflections on love and life.

UK premiere of Yang Yonghi’s Sona, The Other Myself, offering a rare glimpse into the closed society of North Korea.

Anne Gyrithe Bonne’s new documentary, Aung San Suu Kyi – Lady Of No Fear, offering a unique portrait of the inspiring Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to be screened on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on 8th March.

An events programme with both an industry and educational focus will run alongside the main Festival programme and will include seminars, a filmmaker’s masterclass and Q&As.