24 June/2 July: new dates and a new location for the Far East Film Festival! Until a few days ago we were still playing it by ear and juggling permits and restrictions, but the announcement that cinemas are reopening has obviously meant adapting all our plans (well, our forecasts) to the way the situation has evolved. And that, of course, requires extra time.
Taking place in the same period of the year as in 2020, when the entire organisation and structure of the festival were revolutionized and moved over to streaming, the 2021 edition will see the "festival" side taking precedence over the "digital" side. And to ensure maximum functionality for spectators coming to Udine, the organizers have decided to transfer the headquarters of FEFF 23 from the Teatro Nuovo to the Visionario and the Cinema Centrale cinemas.
Not just one screen, then, which unfortunately would have meant excessive delays and inconveniences (the sanitisation necessary after each screening for a start!), but multiple screens and an outdoor arena - the Visionario's garden – which will make planning and the observance of the rules that much more practicable.
Together with the FEFF, of course, there'll once again be the FEFF Campus, the journalism school for young Asian and western talents headed by Mathew Scott, as well as Ties That Bind, the Asia-Europe co-production workshop, and Focus Asia, the Festival's industry area. Focus Asia, the Far East in progress section (the first and only European platform dedicated to Asian films in post-production), the project market and a densely packed lineup of webinars will take place from 30 June to 2 July, with part of the Ties That Bind programme taking place on the same dates.
And let's take a moment to remember that the official image of FEFF 23 bears the visual signature of graphic designer Roberto Rosolin, a "Fareast artist" who has been a regular fixture at the Festival since 2015, and that the preview linked to this press release reveals the cinematic concept chosen for the 2021 edition: a stylised on-the-road journey in an old Volvo. Driving out of the past and into the future.