Other festivals show movies, Subway Cinema delivers experiences! Jackie Chan meets Subway audiences in 2013.*
“Asian film buffs whose eclectic tastes run from the wildest Korean shoot-‘em-ups to the most restrained and contemplative Japanese dramas.” – The New York Times
“Subway has been serving up one of the most diverse selections of Asian films in the country” – Indiewire
“The mad lads at Subway Cinema” – TIME
“Ardent and inspired team” – New York Press
“A committed group of hardcore film enthusiasts” – BlackBook
“Impassioned film fanatics” – The Brooklyn Rail
“Subway Cinema are, without exaggeration, local heroes. These guys set the bar VERY high for NYC film programming. The best.” – Simon Abrams, film critic
Subway Cinema Inc. is America’s leading 501(c)(3) not-for-profit volunteer-run organization dedicated to the exhibition and appreciation of Asian popular cinema. Founded in 2000 in New York City as a labor of love for five film fantasts, Subway Cinema was the first organization in America to recognize the works of Hong Kong directors Johnnie To and Tsui Hark with retrospectives and to bring attention to New Korean Cinema with the first New York Korean Film Festival in 2001. It also organized several notable programs of classic Hong Kong martial arts and horror films.
In 2002, Subway Cinema launched the legendary New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) at Anthology Film Archives, with the simple goal of entertaining the audience with its program of blockbusters, newsmakers, trend-setters, and the scandalous releases, skipping all the arthouse snoozers that represented Asian cinema to most other film festivals at that time.
Subway Cinema went on to program and produce NYAFF for 17 consecutive years, establishing it as North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema, and growing the Festival’s slate from the initial 10 titles to over 50 feature films.
From 2007-2014, the main portion of NYAFF’s Japanese selections were co-presented in association with Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film, organized by Japan Society. Starting in 2010, NYAFF become a co-presentation between Subway Cinema and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, with the Walter Read Theater becoming the Festival’s main venue, which boosted NYAFF’s international profile and helped attract Asia’s top filmmakers and actors to attend the Festival, including Jackie Chan, Tsui Hark, Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Choi Min-sik, Simon Yam, and many others.
NYAFF is now under the care of the New York Asian Film Foundation, which has taken over the programming and production of the festival in 2019.
Subway Cinema’s current events include the Old School Kung Fu Fest (a showcase for the best of classic martial arts films) and Hong-Kong-a-Thon! (12-hour marathons of classic Hong Kong action films from the 80s and 90s).
BOARD MEMBERS / PROGRAMMERS
Grady Hendrix, Paul Kazee, Goran Topalovic
Paul Kazee, Grady Hendrix, Brian Naas, Nat Olson, Goran Topalovic
The closing of Chinatown’s last cinema – The Music Palace, was a catalyst in the formation of Subway Cinema.
* Jackie Chan photo by Chris Lee!