Japanese disaster road movie Survival Family by Yaguchi Shinobu will open the 19th edition of the Far East Film Festival, set to be held April 21-29 in Udine, Italy, while the Herman Yau-directed Andy Lau-starrer Shock Wave will close the fest.
Eighty-three films from 12 countries and regions in Asia have been chosen for the festival out of over 1,000 films. This year's selection marks the first time a movie from Laos has participated in the event, as Mattie Do's psycho-thriller Dearest Sister, a co-production between Laos, France and Estonia, will be screened.
Films from Japan and South Korea dominate, each with 13 features in the lineup, including Ogigami Naoko's transgender family drama Close-Knit, Nishitani Hiroshi's romance Hirugao - Love Affairs in the Afternoon and Uchida Eiji's youth drama Love and Other Cults from Japan. From South Korea, the highlights include Hur Jin-ho's period melodrama The Last Princess, Park Kwang-hyun's videogame thriller Fabricated City and Kim Tae-yun's legal drama New Trial.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong, the festival will dedicate a special out-of-competition 10-film sidebar titled "Creative Visions: Hong Kong Cinema 1997-2017," with the recently restored version of Fruit Chan's 1997 cult hit Made in Hong Kong headlining. Hong Kong classics such as Alan Mak and Andrew Lau's Infernal Affairs, Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle and Pang Ho-cheung's Love in a Puff will also be showcased. The international premiere of Pang's latest, Love Off the Cuff, the third installment of the writer-director's Love series, will be presented at the competition section of the fest.
The event will also present Golden Mulberry Awards for Lifetime Achievement to Chinese director Feng Xiaogang, whose I Am Not Madame Bovary will be shown, and to multihyphenate Eric Tsang, whose performance in the festival selection Mad World recently earned him best supporting actors at the Hong Kong Film Awards.
Following the success of the industry section Focus Asia last year, the coming together of the filmmakers in Europe and Asia will be in the form of a genre film project market this year, with 13 projects participating.