Thursday the 2nd of May: the beautiful activist-diva Yao Chen takes the state of the Far East Film Festival 21! 80 million
followers on social media. Time Magazine and Forbes have named her one of the 100 most influential people on the planet
. Journalists love comparing her to Angelina Jolie
, both for her extraordinary beauty and for her tireless commitment to social issues. On the stage at Udine
to collect her Golden Mulberry Award for Outstanding Achievement
and present Lue Yue's eagerly-anticipated social thriller Lost, Found
, a vivid reflection on civil rights
and the condition of women
in contemporary China (produced by, let's not forget, Feng Xiaogang), it's Yao Chen
. Yao Chen
's meteoric rise began with 2005 TV show My Own Swordsman
, and two years later she was the protagonist of another popular series, Lurk
, where she played a guerrilla. Then she hit the big screen, and the rest, as they say, is history: Sophie's Revenge
(2009), Color Me Love
(2010), Caught in the Web
(2013) and Monster Hunt
(2015). Yao Chen
exploits her vast popularity in the media to carry out vital awareness-raising campaigns for refugee rights. A strong woman in a world that needs all the strong women it can get!
Programme for Thursday the 2nd of May
by Wisit SASANATIENG (Thailand, 2018)
A priestess and her apprentices who have gathered in a secluded villa to invoke a spirit accidentally free a group of wandering souls who attempt to possess them one by one. Trapped inside the house, the members of the cult try to hold off the unearthly siege. A claustrophobic horror film where Wisit plays cat and mouse with the characters – and with the audience!
When Love Blossoms
YE Tian (China, 2018)
What would you do if you saw your life story being acted out on a stage? Young immigrant Xiao Qiang is a Beijing delivery boy who is in love with Xiao Xia. Though ready to do anything to climb the social ladder, Qiang doesn't dare declare his feelings to her. But when he's making a delivery to a theatre one day, he sees a play being rehearsed - and to his amazement, realises that it is a mirror of his real life.
The Wheel of Life
by King HU, LI Hsing, PAI Ching-jui (Taiwan, 1983 – 2019)
Three great directors for a hat trick of aces. King Hu opens with a wuxia set during the Ming dynasty, where police and rebels fight not only for territory but above all for love. Li Hsing follows with a story of love tormented by the rigid class structures of the early twentieth century. Finally, Pai Ching-jui looks at the present day, where the difficulties of love find solutions in spirituality and in religion.
KRASUE: Inhuman Kiss
by Sittisiri MONGKOLSIRI (Thailand, 2019)
A krasue - a woman by day and a ghost by night - terrorizes a rural village. Despite the climate of fear, young Sai's heart is torn between two friends. But the girl has a dark side: she is actually a krasue. Sai tries to keep her secret hidden but the arrival of a ruthless demon hunter complicates things. A love story and a horror fable with its roots in Thai folklore.
by Joyce BERNAL (Philippines, 2018)
Korea, China, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are all crazy about Miss Granny! A cantankerous seventy-year-old, feared by all, walks out of a photographer's studio 50 years younger. The problem is that her new body is still home to the brain of a grumpy old woman. What has this version got that the others haven't? Simple: the brio and colourfulness that distinguish Joyce Bernal's films!
by LUE Yue (China, 2018)
With its story of an abducted child, Lost, Found describes the ordeal of two women from different social classes: Li Jie, the separated young career woman who is the child's mother, and Sun Fang, the little girl's babysitter and also the person who abducts her. An unflinching look at the condition of women and class relations in China told through flashbacks and plot twists.
by Mikhail RED (Philippines, 2019)
A religious institute run by strict nuns is shocked by the sudden death of one of its students. There are rumours that the school is haunted by the spirit of a former pupils and, in an attempt to find out what really happened, the school's guidance counsellor Pat uses her gift. Because Pat can see ghosts, and by communicating with the threatening presence, she sets out to discover the school's terrible secrets.
by PANG Ho-cheung (Hong Kong, 2019)
How far would you go to save a friend's job? Would you go out hunting for breast milk? A group of friends take on milk traffickers, corrupt children and fake pro-gay marriage movements to help June find some breast milk for her boss. A frenzied, irreverent, demented and foul-mouthed comedy that could only have sprung from the mind of the enfant terrible of Hong Kong cinema!