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The 23rd edition of FEFF, the influential specialty event that brings popular and art house Asian cinema to Europe, will be a mix of virtual and in-person screenings as Italy transitions toward loosening restrictions put in place due to the pandemic.
The festival, which takes place in the northern Italian city of Udine, is set to open June 24 and close July 2.
The selection of Yimou’s Cliff Walkers as the opening film is a confident move by the organizers looking to return to business as usual. The veteran Chinese auteur’s latest feature, set in the snowy, shadowy world of 1930s Manchukuo, has been a box office hit at home and received warm praise from critics.
Other highlights from the main competition are Fruit Chan’s Hong Kong zombie film Coffin Homes, Herman Yau’s action sequel Shock Wave 2, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Japanese anthology romantic drama film Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy and Hong Eui-jeong’s Korean indie crime drama Voice of Silence.
In total 63 titles from 11 countries make up the full FEFF lineup and as ever there’s a host of world premieres (6), international premieres (11), European premieres (22) and Italian premieres (21).
This year’s FEFF director focus is on legendary Filipino actor and director Eddie Garcia, who died in 2019, with the festival screening four of his features. There is also a focus on Korean writer-director Yoon Jong-bin, whose credits include the 2005 drama The Unforgiven.
Last year’s festival was a fully virtual affair due to COVID-19. This year, FEFF’s organizers say that there will be a total of five screens and an open-air cinema for 400 patrons.
In addition to the main festival, this edition of FEFF will also be running Ties That Bind, the Asia-Europe co-production workshop; Focus Asia, the industry-related segment; and the popular FEFF Campus film journalism school run by veteran reporter Matthew Scott.
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