- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Italy’s Far East Film Festival is returning in 2021 with an ambitious lineup that will take place in hybrid form across digital platforms and in cinemas.
The 23rd edition of the festival, a speciality event that brings popular Asian cinema to Europe, will be held approximately two months later than its usual slot in April, running instead June 11-June 19. Organizers pushed back the dates with the intention of being able to safely welcome attendees back for in-person screenings once the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic has abated.
Last year’s edition of FEFF was similarly bumped back to dates in June and July after Italy became a COVID-19 hotspot in the early months of 2020. Organizers ultimately opted to pivot to an all-online version of the festival, screening the competition films on demand and hosting panel discussions and other activities over live-streams. Although the digital edition was well received, the streaming experience also laid bare so much of what is special about small-scale film festivals like FEFF, which is beloved by the Asian industry for the passion of its filmgoers, the community sensibility fostered by organizers and its picturesque setting in the historic Italian city of Udine.
This year organizers say they are determined to reopen the doors of Udine’s grand screening venues, the “Giovanni da Udine” Teatro Nuovo and the Visionario cinema, the latter of which was recently renovated. The event will return to handing out its Mulberry Awards, which are selected by the audience, as well as the Mulberry for best first film, which is chosen by an international jury.
Still, some elements of the event will again go online. “Even though the ‘festival’ side will take precedence over the ‘internet’ side, the highly anticipated FEFF 23 is not planning on giving up its online presence any time soon,” organizers said in a statement. “[We] will be capitalizing on the experience gained in 2020, when the pandemic necessitated a total reinvention of our approach and editorial strategies.”
FEFF 23 will bring back the event’s various industry activities and platforms, such as the FEFF Campus, a journalism program that mentors and trains young film writers, headed by veteran film reporter Mathew Scott. Ties That Bind, an Asia-Europe co-production workshop, will run June 14-June 18, along with the Far East in Progress platform, which supports Asian films in postproduction, running June 16-June 18. The event’s usual project market and industry panel discussion are also returning, with the exact shape to be determined at a later date.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day