Focus Asia 2024

10/04/2024

FOCUS ASIA 2024 unveils All Selected Projects & Works In Progress!

After the successful last edition, FOCUS ASIA 2024, the industry section of the Far East Film Festival, is happy to announce the complete selection of the All Genres Project Market, the market for projects with an Asian and European co-production potential, and Far East in Progress, the first and only European platform completely dedicated to Asian films in post-production seeking international distribution and festival premiere.

Out of more than 100 submissions from over 25 countries, received in the past months, the Focus Asia selection committee formed by Thomas Jongsuk Nam of the NAFF - Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (South Korea), Sten-Kristian Saluveer of the Marché du Film - Festival de Cannes / Storytek (Estonia), Mike Hostench (Spain), Valeria Richter of Nordic Factory Copenhagen (Denmark) Agathe Valentin - Hanway (United Kingdom), Martin Horyna, consultant of Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Czech Republic), has selected 11 projects from 8 territories, offering once again to more than 200 international industry guests the opportunity to discover a unique line up that comprises an incredible diversity of projects, from drama, coming of age, art-house to surreal, fantasy and thriller. Besides the variety of genres, the final selection includes again a fine blend of upcoming directors and established filmmakers, backed-up by talented emerging producers and renowned multi-awarded companies.
 
The projects selected for the All Genres Project Market 2024 are: 

1982 directed by Diep Nguyen Hoang and produced by Diep Nguyen Hoang (Ơ KÌA HÀ NỘI film production and creative hub) / Vietnam

 

A Ballad of Long Hair directed by Giovanni Rustanto, produced by Annisa Adjam (Sinema 5) e Fran Borgia (Akanga Film Asia)/ Indonesia, Singapore

 

Four Seasons In Java directed by Kamila Andini and produced by Ifa Isfansyah (Forka Films) / Indonesia

 

Kyushu Moon directed by Stéphanie Argerich and produced by Katia Monla and Luc Peter (Intermezzo Films) Switzerland

 

Lost Land directed by Akio Fujimoto and produced by Kazutaka Watanabe (E.x.N K.K), Angele de lorme (PANORAMA), Elise Shick (Cinemata Productions) and Shogo Yasukawa / Japan, France, Malaysia 

 

Naga Swim Upstream directed by Patiparn Boontarig and produced by Napakarn Boontarig (Error Brothers Ltd.) / Thailand

 

Polaris directed by Yoko Yamanaka and produced by Shoichiro Kawashima (TWENTY FIRST CITY INC.) / Japan

 

Posthouse directed by Nikolas Red, produced by Iana Bernardez and Mikhail Red (Evolve Studios) / Philippines

 

The Horse directed by Yi-tzu Lan, produced by Celine Kao (Ksana Films Co., Ltd.) and Stephanie Su (Original Films Co., Ltd.) / Taiwan

 

The Passport directed by Ananth Subramaniam and produced by Mun Bel Choo (Sixtymac Production Sdn Bhd) / Malaysia

 

White Flowers And Fruits directed by Yukari Sakamoto and produced by Yamamoto Teruhisa / Japan

Great expectations also for Far East in Progress, a perfect example of the virtuous system that the Far East Film Festival has managed to create over the years, where international projects are first incubated and developed within the Ties That Bind workshop or the All Genres Project Market, for being then presented to many festival programmers and sales agents attending the rich Focus Asia programme.

 

Success stories like Last Shadow at First Light by Nicole Woodford (San Sebastian IFF 2023), Leonor Will Never Die by Martika Ramirez Escobar (Sundance Film Festival 2022), or Plan 75 by Chie Hayakawa (Un Certain Regard - Cannes 2022), clearly show the potential of this industry section targeting Asian films in post-production.

 

The titles selected at Far East in Progress 2024 by the selection committee headed by Marie-Pierre Vallé are:

 

Deep Quiet Room directed by Ko-Shang Shen,  produced by Sylvia Yea-Chun Shih (Wind Rises Entertainment), Arthur Yu-Ning CHU (Oxygen Films), Patrick Mao Huang (Flash Forward Entertainment), Carlo S. Hintermann and Gerardo Panichi (Citrullo International), Stanisław Dziedzic (Film Produkcja) / Taiwan, Italy, Poland

 

How to feed a hungry ghost directed by Erik Shirai, produced by Erik Shirai (Cebu Osani Creative), Franck Priot (Ghost City Films), Yusuke Kamada (Generation 11) / Vietnam, USA, France, Japan 

 

I, the Song directed by Dechen Roder, produced by Fernanda Renno (Fidalgo Films), Stefano Centini (Volos Films Italia), Johann Chapelan (Girelle) / Norway, Italy, France

 

Mongrels directed by Jerome Yoo, produced by Nach Dudsdeemaytha (Hodu Mob Films Inc.) / Canada

 

Sunshine directed by Antoinette Jadaone, produced by Geo Lomuntad, Project 8 Projects / Philippines

 

Tale of the Land a first feature film by Loeloe Hendra, produced by Yulia Evina Bhara and Amerta Kusuma / Indonesia

 

In addition to the project market and works in progress section, Focus Asia has crafted an ambitious programme of lectures, case studies, labs, one to one meetings, and networking activities, all built on an extremely solid network of international partners.
 
After the success of the previous edition, Focus Asia and Ties That Bind, the historic workshop that has been bringing together producers from Asia and Europe in Udine for over 15 years, are renewing their partnership with a series of international funding institutions in order to offer around twenty producers who have been selected and supported by the FFA-Filmförderungsanstalt / German Federal Film Board, SPCINE, RE-ACT — Regional Audiovisual Cooperation and Training, CNA Cinema e Audiovisivo, a bespoke programme designed in collaboration with Cannes - Marché du Film to highlight the real opportunities offered by the Asian market and thus stimulate new forms of collaboration.
 
The team from Europa Distribution, the main European network of independent distributors, will also be back in Udine, once again accompanied by 20 distributors from over 16 European countries who will be taking part for the second year in the Distribution Lab. The workshop will include case studies, group work and screenings and will be entirely dedicated to discovering and sharing best practices and innovative strategies for promoting the distribution of Asian cinema in Europe and vice versa.

 

For the first time, a partnership was inaugurated with Europa International, the European network of international film sales agents, allowing its member companies to join the industry programme of the Far East Film Festival. Focus Asia and Europa International will work together to elaborate and plan joint future initiatives aimed at facilitating a larger and targeted access to the wide and diverse Asian market.

The framework programme of panels and case studies will feature a brand-new partnership with Bridging the Dragon, the association connecting European and Asian film professionals with the aim to create a community of European-Asian film producers. Thanks to this collaboration, Focus Asia will showcase insights from leading Asian production companies on their decision to film in Europe, delving into the motivations behind their location and funding choices, and exploring opportunities for collaboration between Europe and Asia beyond traditional co-productions.

The industry activities opened to all Focus Asia attendees will once again merge with the programme of Ties That Bind, the EAVE Asia Europe Co-Production Workshop. For this 2024 special edition TTB will curate two recent co-production case studies between Europe and Asia, and will offer for the first time insights on one success story of an Asian remake and an intriguing session on the usage of AI within the film industry.  
  
But the reach of the Focus Asia 2024 partner network is not confined to the West, with numerous partnerships confirmed and initiated this year with the main funding and promotional entities in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan.
 
Once again this year TAICCA - Taiwan Creative Content Agency confirms its central role in planning all the industry activities of the Far East Film Festival, and after becoming the main Asian partner of Ties That Bind and having hosted the premiere session of the workshop in Taipei last November, renews the TAICCA/Focus Asia Co-production Award, a prize worth €10,000 which will be awarded to the project with the greatest potential for co-production between Europe and Asia.
 
Thanks to its collaboration with FDCP - Film Development Council of the Philippines, VIPO - Visual Industry Promotion Organization, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia and Indonesian Producer Association (APROFI), Malaysia International Film Festival (MIFFest), TAICCA - Taiwan Creative Content Agency, the Focus Asia programme's Project Market and the Far East in Progress section will be able to count on the direct support of the directors and producers of the projects and works in progress at this edition, with the aim of guaranteeing the physical presence of the greatest number of selected teams.

To accommodate such a large-scale industry programme and over 200 film professionals from all over the world, Focus Asia has confirmed the physical locations of the event: for the second consecutive time, all activities dedicated to the industry audience of Focus Asia, taking place in Udine from the 29th of April to the 1st of May, will be welcomed at the Torre S. Maria and the Foresteria of Confindustria Udine, a point of reference for the local industry.