Far East Film Festival 20

Udine Italy April 20th/ April 28th 2018
The Film Festival For Popular Asian Cinema


Since at least 1895, there’s always been somebody proclaiming at regular intervals that cinema was dead. For a while it seemed as though the latest nemesis to come along was Netflix, which would bankrupt cinemas and turn watching a film from a social, public act into something private. But that’s not what’s been happening. What is true, though, is that digital platforms have had an effect, as the enormous programme of the 19th Far East Film Festival demonstrates through the range of cinematic genres on show, the depth of the stories and the difficulty of making a selection which could quite easily have been completely different. And it demonstrates it with a calendar packed to bursting with international premieres despite the enormous number of festivals around. If a few years ago cinematic production (in Asia like in the rest of the world) seemed concentrated on romantic comedies which principally targetted domestic audiences, things nowadays seem to be going in a completely different direction: Far East Film has never hosted so many genres and nationalities. Apart from increasingly rare blockbusters – which are more global events than humble films – a skim through the catalogues of the various platforms reveals a wealth of domestic productions which are for the most part unknown to international audiences. And yet the statistics say that the Japanese films on Netflix are watched as much abroad as they are in Japan itself – of every 100 viewings, 50 are from abroad and 50 are on what the Japanese call Nettofulikkusu. It’s for precisely this reason that a festival like the Far East Film Festival is important: it promotes the reputation of the films it shows and their bibliography, which can then be found online in western languages, and creates a selection. A selection which, in the era of internet and of infinite amounts of information and infinite amounts of cinematic product, is fundamental for creating a public and for directing it to those films which are fresh and well-made enough to deserve it. At the same time, making films has become easier, not only financially but also thanks to the improved training of film-makers: directors of photography, producers, scenery designers and even directors. But here too, a selection is essential: how many stories can really become films? How many directors really have something to say? For this reason, the Far East Film Festival was inspired to create the first market for projects. 13 stories were chosen from the 72 which were submitted. Stories for genre films mainly – but not exclusively – from Asia, which during the Far East Film Festival will be described to 100 film industry professionals, not simply in the hope of finding a business partner but above all to test how capable these stories are of speaking to an international audience. Cinema – expecially cinema in Asia – is more alive than ever before! And the Far East Film Festival is only the litmus test that proves it.
a cura del Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche