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  • CALL FOR FILMS - AAS Film Expo 2020

    The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) annually hosts the premier North American conference of Asia scholars devoted to scheduled programs of scholarly papers, roundtable discussions, workshops, and panel sessions on a wide range of issues in research and teaching, and on Asian affairs in general. The upcoming AAS conference is scheduled on March 19-22, 2020 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.

    AAS Film Expo was established as a conference program in 2011 by the Asian Educational Media Service (AEMS), a program of the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Documentary and independent films on issues reflecting contemporary life in Asia are projected in a dedicated screening room with a schedule running from Thursday through Saturday. An “on demand” screening area allows additional viewing opportunities for attendees who miss scheduled screening times.

    We welcome the submission of films related to Asia produced by scholars and independent filmmakers. Criteria utilized in the selection process include timeliness, broad appeal to the scholarly community, and examples of new field work. All films presented in the conference are promoted in a special AAS Film Expo booklet which includes contact information for distributors or filmmakers who self-distribute. In addition to the Film Expo booklet distributed to conference attendees, film listings are included in the AAS Annual Conference Program Addendum and on the AEMS website: When possible, short post-screening Q&A’s are arranged with filmmakers or film representatives in attendance or via online video conferencing. We can not offer funding to attend the screening.

  • AsiaLENS: Drokpa: Nomads of Tibet

    AsiaLENS Screening
    Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 7pm
    Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

    Drokpa: Nomads of Tibet
    Directed by Yan Chun Su. 2016. 79 minutes.

    Post-screening discussion with Hilary Brady Morris,
    PhD Candidate, Musicology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

    Presented as part of International Week.

    The grasslands of the Tibetan plateau are home to the source of Asia’s major rivers. Nearly half of humanity depends on this water for survival. Tibetan nomads, known as DROKPA have roamed on this land for thousands of years. Set in the high plateau of eastern Tibet, Drokpa is an intimate portrait of the lives and struggles of an extended family of Tibetan nomads whose life in on the cusp of irreversible change as once lush grasslands are rapidly turning into deserts, revealing the unprecedented environmental and sociopolitical forces that are pushing the Tibetan nomads to the edge of their existence.

  • AAS 2019 FILM EXPO | MARCH 21-23 | Denver, Colorado

  • Mar 12 | AsiaLENS Screening | The Song Collector

    The Song Collector
    Directed by Erik Koto.
    2016. 54 minutes.

    Introduction and post-screening discussion with Stefan P. Fiol Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 7pmSpurlock Museum, Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

  • CALL FOR FILMS - AAS Film Expo 2019

    The upcoming AAS conference is scheduled for March 21-24, 2019 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado.

    For more information, please download the AAS Film Expo Submission Form.


  • Oct 11 | AsiaLENS screening | Art In Smog

    Art In Smog
    with filmmaker Lydia Chen

    Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 7:00 pm
    Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

    Vivid art merges with intimate interviews to evoke the human pursuit of meaning. This film illustrates the rise of China over 25 years as experienced by international artists Su Xinping and Xia Xiaowan, painter and antiques expert Mushi, fearless curator Cui Cancan, and painter Chen Hui. The pursuit of art takes them from quiet lives in the 1990s to the extremes of the 2000s, as documented in footage shot in 1991 and 2016.

  • AsiaLENS featured story at

    AsiaLENS embraces Asian storytelling

    by Taylor Cygan,  September 10, 2018

    The AsiaLENS film series has long been a staple at the University of Illinois, providing viewers with international films often unknown or fairly inaccessible to those stateside.

    Go to article

  • Sep 13 | AsiaLENS screening | Forgive - Don't Forget

    Forgive - Don't Forget
    Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 7:00 pm
    Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

    During Japan's surrender at the end of World War II, numerous swords were confiscated by American Officers. To better understand the past and build a bridge between cultures in the present, a filmmaker attempts to return one of these surrendered swords to its original owner.

  • CALL FOR FILMS - AAS Film Expo 2018

    The upcoming AAS conference is scheduled for March 22-25, 2018 at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington D.C.

    For more information, please download the AAS Film Expo Submission Form.


  • AsiaLENS Screening @ Spurlock Museum - February 14th

    AsiaLENS Presents:
    Directed by Lee Han
    2011. 107 minutes. Korea. Korean with English subtitles.

    Film Description:
    PUNCH is a coming of age film set in an impoverished Seoul neighborhood. One of Korea’s most popular films of 2011, it follows the life of a high school student who is more talented at fighting than at studying. His homeroom teacher seems to enjoy tormenting him. His disabled father struggles to support him. He doesn’t know anything about his mother, but discovers that she isn’t even Korean. The movie succeeds through its interesting and sympathetic portrayals of a diverse set of characters.

    Presented as part of “South Korean Millennials: Coming of Age in the Twenty-first Century” co-sponsored by Indiana University

    AsiaLENS is a series of free public film screenings and lecture / discussion programs -- organized by AEMS and CEAPS in collaboration with Spurlock Museum -- presenting recent documentary and independent films on issues reflecting contemporary life in Asia.

    All AsiaLENS screenings are FREE and open to the public.

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