No one has ever imagined that the world would come to a stand when the coronavirus emerged in 2019. Billions of lives have drastically changed, nevertheless, the human spirit – even in the hardest times – stayed strong. Outside of an ordinary existence, the world of entertainment was also badly affected, with no concerts or film festivals. Now, almost a year and a half later, thanks to vaccines, we are slowly going back to some sort of normality, with various live events taking place around the globe, including Berlinale, Cannes and Udine Far East Festival. Although all of these events are organised with very strict social distancing measures in place, many are grateful that the events are happening at all.
This year’s Udine Far East Festival will take place online and in person. The festival will screen an impressive 63 films, with a total of 11 countries and regions (South Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, and new entries from Macao and Myanmar), including 46 films in the competition section. Some films will be available worldwide, some only in Europe and some (sadly) exclusively in Italy. There will be world premieres of films such as Before Next Spring by Li Gen (China), Coffin Homes by Fruit Chan (Hong Kong), Zero to Hero by Jimmy Wan (Hong Kong), Madalena by Emily Chan (Macao) and Dead Knot by Cornelio Sunny (Indonesia).
FEFF will present 11 international festival premieres, 22 European premieres, and 21 Italian premieres. Those who are able and allowed to travel to Udine will enjoy a huge range of Asian films, and those who are going to be stuck at home will be able to watch over 20 films online – the web will also become a meeting place for film goers who will be called upon to vote for the winners of the Mulberry Awards and the Audience Awards.
The Far East Film Festival 23 audience might be potentially big as more people will be able to “participate” online. Those interested in films can purchase a web snake pass that will allow them to watch cinematic hits such as Limbo by Soi Cheang (Hong Kong), Shock Wave 2 by Herman Yau (Hong Kong), The Way We Keep Dancing by Adam Wong (Hong Kong), Drifting by Jun Li (Hong Kong), Like Father Like Son by Bai Zhiqiang (China), Blue by Yoshida Keisuke (Japan), Ito by Yokohama Satoko (Japan), Money Has Four Legs by Maung Sun (Myanmar) and many more. Unfortunately, those who are into South Korean cinema will not be able to see some of its films – Deliver Us from Evil by Hong Won-chan, Night of the Undead by Shin Jung-won, OK! Madam by Lee Cheol-ha, Please Don’t Save Me by Jung Yeon-kyung, Seobok by Lee Yong Zoo and Voice of Silence by Hong Eui-jeong. I know, it’s disappointing, however, due to distribution rights, not all films can be available to watch outside of Italy. But there is some good news, with the upcoming BFI London Film Festival, London Korean Film Festival and London East Asia Film Festival, UK audiences might be able to watch the aforementioned films there.
The film goers will have the oppotunity to take a look at a couple of restored classics such as Execution in Autumn by Lee Hsing (Taiwan, 1972) and Suddenly in Dark Night by Go Yeong-nam (South Korea, 1981). Italian audiences will also enjoy Power and Secrets: The Cinematic World of Yoon Jong-bin – FEFF will screen four of his films: Beastie Boys, Kundo: Age of Rampant, Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time and The Spy Gone North.
Even though the British audience will not have a chance to watch all the 63 films this year, we should still be glad that we have the opportunity to participate in FEFF, even in an online capacity. For more information about the films and passes you can visit the festival’s official website.
View of the Arts is a British online publication that chiefly deals with films, music, arts and fashion, with an emphasis on the Asian entertainment industry. We are hoping our audience will grow with us as we begin to explore new platforms such as K-pop, and continue to dive into the talented and ever-growing scene of film, arts and fashion, worldwide.