Patricia Danaher

Irish-born writer, broadcaster, producer and academic, Patricia Danaher has worked in radio, print and TV in Ireland, the UK, Japan and Argentina. She was awarded a Nieman Fellowship to Harvard University in 2004. Danaher is currently completing a doctorate in ecopsychology and is a recent graduate of NYU iMBA program.

  • Festivals

Osaka Asian Film Festival

The 18th Osaka Asian Film Festival kicked off in this port city just a few days before the triumphant win for Everything Everywhere All at Once at the Oscars in Los Angeles. OAFF 2020, 2021, 2022 had been held in-person without guest stage appearances. This year, guests return to OAFF.

There has long been a rich tradition of filmmaking in Asia which is gradually making its presence felt with international audiences with the help of international awards shows like the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, and the Academy Awards. Many of the movies at this year’s OAFF are directed and written by women.

Japan and Hong Kong movies predominate at this year’s festival thanks to a prodigious output over the past two years, from both newcomers and old hands. The opening ceremony takes place halfway through the festival on March 15, with Over My Dead Body, a dark comedy from Hong Kong directed by Ho Cheuk Tin. It’s the story of the discovery of a dead body on the doorstep of a family home. Worried about the impact on the value of their property, the family concocts a fiendish plot to move the body and all hell breaks loose.


The festival closes with a Japanese movie, Side by Side, from screenwriter turned director Ito Chihiro, who made her directorial debut last year with In Her Room. Side by Side, which she also wrote, is the story of a mysterious young man gifted with the ability to sense other people’s thoughts and also to detect and heal their suffering.


Other Japanese movies included in the program include a dark courtroom drama, December from Indian-born director Anshul Chauhan who has featured three times at the Osaka Asian Film Festival. This powerful, morally complex drama, written by Canadian screenwriter Rand Colter, is a moving story of vengeance and forgiveness. A teenage girl who was mercilessly bullied by classmates murders her tormentor and seven years after being imprisoned for the crime, her case comes up for appeal.

Chauhan and Rand are impressive rising stars who have collaborated twice before on Japanese movies and will make their first English-language movie in Las Vegas later this year.  


Below are some of the many movies at this festival directed by Asian women.

Taiwan has a strong presence in Osaka again this year, including Bad Education is Kai Ko’s directorial debut. He is a famous young actor. Day Off is another Taiwanese movie by novelist Fu Tien-yu, a moving drama about a family of hairdressers.

From Indonesia, female director Gina S. Noer brings Like and Share, a dark and witty cautionary tale about grooming on the internet. OAFF has screened the film written by her, directed by Edwin and this movie has also been selected for this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival.

Tora’s Husband, also from India and directed by female director Rima Das, is a family drama set in Assam during the Covid pandemic.

From the Philippines, director Martika Ramirez Escobar presents her feature Leonor Will Never Die which was featured at Sundance last year. It’s the story of a once-major female screenwriter who is down on her luck. The film is described as “a love letter to outrageous Filipino action movies of the 90s.”

Indian movies include the rom-com Max, Min, and Meowzaki from director Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy about a couple who are breaking up. Meowzaki is their beloved cat.

Overall, there are 51 movies screening and in competition at the 2023 Osaka Asian Film Festival, which also include movies from Vietnam and South Korea.