After the Closing night storm of applause, it’s time for Far East Film 14 to evaluate this year’s edition: an edition that, despite the crisis and a particularly naughty weather (the first five days had to deal with cold, rain and, even, hail!), was able to cross the line in style, with sold outs, endless queues and special events (one above all, the Gelso d’oro – Lifetime achievement award to the now legendary Johnnie TO).
Figures? The Friulian Festival went over the 50 thousand viewers mark (but unlike previous editions, screenings were only on at “Giovanni da Udine”) and the 1200 accreditees mark (coming from 16 countries). At least 20 thousand people were roaming around the numerous side events, downtown (where unfortunately the weather played a significant role) and at Minnamoro discotheque (FEFF Nights’ crowded hang-out). Again, let’s talk about numbers: the bookshop sold about 2000 items (books, t-shirts, posters, DVDs, gadgets), the official website (www.fareastfilm.com) once again went over 50.000 single visitors since Mid-April and the official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/UdineFarEastFilm) caved in the ceiling of 8500 members.
So, even this year, Far East Film was able to count on the support of a truly loyal (European and international) audience made of journalists, critics, Film students, experts, insiders and, especially, people who love Far Eastern suggestions. Without, obviously, forget the precious contribution of more than 100 volunteers who helped out the staff.
Once again, then, an assessment to put into a frame both on a quantity and a quality level: the worth of the program was greatly certified by names and titles that are already part of the new Asian cinema roll of honor! Cinema that, according to the Audience Awards votes, saw the Gelso d’Oro go to South Korea with courtroom-drama Silenced. A tough story of abuse that upset millions of viewers back home and also touched the hearts of the Black Dragon accreditees.
Second place, by a very little gap, went to the irresistible Chinese road movie One Mile Above, while war drama The Front Line won the bronze medal therefore allowing Korea to score twice. Lastly, MYmovies.it (the most important Cinema Web Site in Italy) readers preferred the hilarious peplum-fantasy Thermae Romae, presented in Udine as world premiere.
And what about edition number 15? Just like President Sabrina Baracetti said during opening night, « If Far East Film, within the space of fourteen years, has not given its contribution to promoting the word culture, if it has not positively created culture, by connecting Europe and the East, then it has failed and it would be only fair to call it quits. But if, instead, it has sown well, giving back fruits to the town, the Region and also the Country where it takes place, then it would make no sense for it to stop, because crises do not get solved by locking yourself behind closed doors and shutting down windows».