Another great "Far East Film Festival" for Udine Italy.
The small and quaint town of Udine was once again the host for the 14th year in a row of the entertaining “Far East Film Festival”, a nine-day event which sees (and for the very first time too) some of the finest Asian movies from countries as faraway as Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan. Movie experts say that it’s one of the best festivals of its kind in Europe (many Asian films actually get their European premiers right in Udine). This year’s event attracted some 50,000 spectators with cinema experts from approximately 16 different countries.
A total of 60 films were shown during this year’s festival—another interesting “pot-pourri” of action, drama, martial arts and comedy-romance—an event which has also caught the eye on more than one occasion of the prestigious “The Economist” magazine as well as being one of the “Bibles” of the cinematographic sector, “Variety”. Two films also saw their world premiers (one from Japan and the other from Hong Kong).
The movies are shown non-stop from 9 in the morning to 2 am. Local dignitaries at the opening ceremony also included Udine’s mayor, Furio Honsell, who joined on stage the Festival’s president, Sabrina Baracetti. This year’s was also graced by the presence of one of Hong Kong’s great movie directors, Johnnie To (he’s actually shot one of his movies in Udine years ago), at the European premiere of his movie, “Romancing In Thin Air”. On this occasion To was also given a life-time achievement award.
Many other foreign directors were also on hand with their actors/actresses to proudly show-off their films. And many are sincerely surprised to see that the local theater (the “Giovanni da Udine”) which hosts the festival is quite often filled to the brim with so many people that not even back home (as some directors themselves have said) their OWN movies attract the same amount of spectators. Indeed wonderful music to the ears of festival organizers! The winner by the way this year was the Korean movie “Silenced”, with the film director, Hwang Dong-Hyuk, also on hand to pick up the award.
For aficionados of this genre, it’s indeed a MUST to be in Udine for its great little “Far East Film Festival”!