With over 50 professionals in attendance and almost 200 online participants connected from all over the world, Focus Asia 2021 confirms its vital role in the panorama of events dedicated to professionals in the sector interested in developing new artistic and productive links between East and West.
A truly unique edition, not only because thanks to the hybrid format it was finally possible to bring back to Udine after more than two years numerous producers and key figures in the Italian and European film industry, but above all because it saw the start of an approach based on an ongoing dialogue between the real and virtual worlds that will most likely be a feature of future editions of the event. Thanks to a cutting edge digital platform, built in partnership with WYTH, all registered participants were able not only to follow the entire programme of livestreamed events, but were also able to make hundreds of appointments and video calls.
This series of meetings helped the 9 projects in development selected at the All Genres Project Market to identify new partners and collaborations and the 6 films in post-production presented in the Far East in Progress section to garner interest from numerous festivals and international distributors. And thanks to the renewed collaboration with 108 MEDIA, the film REBORN - a Malaysia/China co-production produced by Joanne Goh (JAZZY PICTURES) and directed by Danny Pang - won the prestigious 108 MEDIA Distribution Award prize of 15,000 dollars in international distribution.
But alongside the business opportunities offered to all the selected projects, FOCUS ASIA 2021 also offered the 250 accredited participants a dense programme of dedicated events, thus managing during its three days to look at various issues related to the challenges the global film industry has been facing in recent months. Thanks to the collaboration with Ties That Bind - the main co-production workshop between the two continents - and with European Film Promotion - the network dedicated to the promotion of European cinema - it was once again possible to explore the challenges and opportunities offered by international co-production between Asia and Europe, as well as to analyse the current state of distribution of European films in the diverse Asian market.
A market that in recent months has opened up new possibilities for restored films, some of which were presented in the brand new Second Hand Film Market section, a showcase of titles from the past (including Fukasaku Kinji’s Battle Royale, David Lynch's Mulholland Drive and Masahiro Shinoda's Demon Pond) ready for distribution in the future.
This edition of the Far East Film Festival's industry programme therefore closes with an extremely positive outcome which on the one hand highlights the surprising success of the creation of a hybrid space for events and meetings while on the other confirming the essential need to get to know each other and to meet in person.
FOCUS ASIA – let us just remind you - 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 support of the Directorate General for Cinema - MiC.