After last summer's revolutionary digital edition, the Far East Film Festival of Udine gets back to its roots. Always - if it needs stating - in accordance with the Covid emergency rules and guidelines. So from the 11th to the 19th of June, the "Giovanni da Udine" Teatro Nuovo will once more be opening its doors to the best of Asian popular cinema. And the festival's other historical venue will be reopening its doors to the East too: the Visionario cinema, freshly renovated and expanded.
But 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: the organizers will be capitalising on the experience gained in 2020, when the pandemic necessitated a total reinvention of Far East Film's approach and editorial strategies.
So in a nutshell, we can officially start the countdown to an exciting and (unquestionably) adventurous new plunge into the heart of cinematic Asia: Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia! And FEFF 23 has opted to accompany the announcement with a splendid illustration by Martina Sobacchi: a frame from Wong Kar Wai's legendary love story In the Mood for Love, to represent the love story between the FEFF and its audience which has lasted since 1999!
After all, as everyone who attends festivals (or organises them) knows very well: festivals are a state of mind. And above all, they're a feeling deep in your soul! A colour, a feeling - an affinity. Something you identify with and which you choose. It's all a question of mood, in fact. And so how could In the Mood for FEFF not be the perfect slogan for launching chapter 23?! (Especially since In the Mood for Love is all set for release under the Tucker Film label in Italian cinemas - just as soon as they switch their projectors back on!).
Together with the FEFF, we'll of course find the FEFF Campus, the journalism school for young talents headed by veteran Mathew Scott. From the 14th to the 18th of June there'll also be Ties That Bind, the Asia-Europe co-production workshop under the direction of EAVE, and from the 16th to the 18th of June, Focus Asia, the Industry section of the festival, returns with the Far East in progress section (the first and only European platform dedicated to Asian films in post-production), the project market and a packed programme of webinars.
The final word on the films in competition goes, as always, to the audience. And that's not just talk: as proof of the FEFF's vocation, the spectators will actually vote to choose the winners and to assign the Mulberry Awards (produced by IdeaPrototipi). The announcement of the Audience Awards will close the Festival on Saturday the 19th of June, when we will also discover the winner of the Mulberry for Best First Film, which will be chosen by an international jury.