Over 600 requests for one-to-one meetings between accredited professionals. Nine projects selected for the All Genres Project Market. Seven films selected for the new Far East in progress section. These are the numbers that tell us about FOCUS ASIA 2020, the industry area of the Far East Film Festival which this year has moved completely online. More precisely, onto the same digital meeting platform used by the Cannes Festival's Marché du Film and which will allow all registered professionals to hop from Cannes to Udine with a single click.
It's worth repeating that FOCUS ASIA will be starting on Tuesday 30 June and closing on Thursday 2 July, and is organized by the Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche/Far East Film Festival of Udine with the collaboration of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Audiovisual Fund and the MiBACT General Directorate for Cinema.
The Cannes film market comes to an end and the FEFF film market opens its doors, with over 200 accredited professionals and 45 countries represented. Even in its new digital guise, FOCUS ASIA confirms its position as the main European industry event dedicated to all professionals interested in discovering the universe of Asian cinema and initiating new collaborations between the two continents.
For the first time, the Far East Film Festival market will be presenting a 'work-in-progress' section dedicated exclusively to Asian films which are nearing completion and are in search of international distribution and premieres at the principal festivals scheduled for the second half of the year. Far East in Progress – the new section's name - will screen exclusive previews of scenes from selected films to the over 100 sales, festival programmers and buyers who have confirmed their presence at the event, and will assign the prestigious 108 MEDIA Award (a distribution prize worth USD 20,000) to the best film of this edition.
From the 33 submissions received from 13 Asian countries, the selection committee headed by Marie-Pierre Vallé (Wild Bunch) has selected 6 feature films, including Italy-China-USA coproduction We Are Living Things by Antonio Tibaldi, and one short film. The selected works include several titles produced by professionals who have in the past taken part in the project market or Ties That Bind workshop, proof of an ongoing commitment to investing long-term in projects and filmmakers to generate a virtuous cycle of productivity between the festival's various industry sections.
But this fruitful collaboration with the main workshop dedicated to co-productions between Asia and Europe isn't visible only in the sections regarding the various selected projects. In fact, even though it won't be possible for Ties That Bind to hold the initial session of the programme in Udine this year, it will still be playing a fundamental role in all the webinars and industry round tables. And if on the one hand we'll be trying to understand what challenges professionals from both continents will be facing in the near future with two sessions - “Film Festivals: Back to the Future” and “Producing in 2020” - the involvement of the participants selected in previous editions of Ties That Bind means that we will also be making a careful analysis of concrete opportunities for co-production, financing and distribution in China, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore.
Finally, more opportunities for the distribution of European films in Asia and Asian films in Europe thanks to this year's edition of Get Ready for the Future, which for the third consecutive year will be offering as many as 18 international sales agents the opportunity to screen short sequences from films scheduled for upcoming release to over 30 buyers from all over the world.
The livestream begins on Tuesday 30 June at 10.00 am, and the opening session is free to watch on www.fareastfilm.com.