On Friday 26 June, Korean action blockbuster Ashfall will open the eagerly-anticipated digital edition. A lineup of 46 films and a packed programme of livestreamed daily events.
There are two ways to experience the eagerly-anticipated digital edition of the Far East Film Festival, which will be opening at 21.00 on Friday the 26th of June with Korean action blockbuster Ashfall by Kim Byung-seo and Lee Hae-jun: as an on-demand library, choosing in total freedom from the 46 titles in the lineup, or by opting to follow the rhythm of the daily schedule, whose artistic direction has been curated by the organizers. Two completely different approaches for two completely different ways of taking part: "online" and "festival".
But then, the revolution of FEFF 22 is more than just transferring everything onto the web: it's the total redesigning of its concept, its approach and even its editorial strategies. So even if the festival's headquarters has moved from the Teatro Nuovo in Udine to MYmovies.it, it'll still be what it always has been: a glorious dive into the heart of Asian pop cinema (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia)!
Designed and realised as a functional "viewer's guide", the structure of FEFF 22 will allow pass holders access to 5 films a day for 9 days from morning to night (including 5 world premieres, 10 international premieres, 11 European premieres and 17 Italian premieres). Some titles will be available worldwide, some only in Europe and some only in Italy. Each "screening" will be preceded by a livestreamed introduction and, almost always, by a video greeting from the director.
Except for the occasional thematic detour, the daily schedule will concentrate films with more subtle narrative shading in the 11.00 slot, more unusual or radical films (such as the four Focus titles by the Watanabe brothers) in the 15.00 slot, typically "Fareast" titles (and one name should suffice to give you an idea of what we mean: His Highness Johnnie To!) in the 17.30 slot, action in the 21.00 slot and horror – naturally - in the 23.00 slot. Finally, from the 27th of June to the 3rd of July at 18.30, the Festival's Instagram profile will be hosting the chefs of MasterFEFF - Asia in a Recipe live.
And let's not forget that the FEFF Campus, the journalism school for young talents (5 Asians, 3 Europeans) headed by veteran Mathew Scott will be moving to the web too. Furthermore, from the 30th of June to the 2nd of July, Focus Asia, the Festival's Industry section, will also be going online, 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 dense lineup of webinars.
As always, the public will have the last word. And that isn't just lip service: as testament to the FEFF's historically democratic vocation, the public will actually vote on the films in competition (38 of the 46 in the lineup), choosing the winners and assigning the Mulberry Awards (produced by IdeaPrototipi). The announcement of the winners of the Audience Awards will close the Festival on Saturday the 4th of July at 23.00, and on that occasion we will also discover the winner of the Mulberry for first time director, selected by La Frances Hui, Leopoldo Santovincenzo and Mark Adams.
So all that's left to is grab your passport and set off: it's time for the East to hit the web!