Saturday the 4th of May. The last day of FEFF 21. At midnight, as per tradition, we'll find out who has won the 2019 Audience Awards (and let's not forget that there are 52 films in competition this year). The winners will be selected by the audiences who have voted for individual titles over the nine days of the festival, while the Black Mulberry will be chosen by Black Dragon pass holders and the White Mulberry for First Films will be awarded by three exceptional judges: Giovanna Fulvi, programmer of the Toronto Film Festival, Freddy Bozzo, historical founder of BIFFF (the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival), and Mattie Do, the first and - so far - only female director from Laos, who is much loved by FEFF audiences.
A double European premiere will be bringing an extra dose of glamour to the eagerly-anticipated Closing Night of the 21st Far East Film Festival: at 19.45, it's the turn of LEE Byoung-heon's box-office smash police comedy Extreme Job(the most-watched film in the history of Korean cinema), while at 22.00 it's officially game over with Le-Van KIET's Vietnamese action move Furie, which carries forward the FEFF's long-standing tradition of screening female-fronted martial arts titles (from Chocolate to Lady Snowblood via the iconic Brigitte Lin).
Which is more difficult - stopping drug trafficking or making delicious fried chicken? Extreme Job answers the question exhaustively with the story of how detective Go and his anti-drugs squad tackle a very special assignment: running a restaurant as a cover for staking out a gang of criminals! As we all know, a real cop never loses sight of his objectives - but the squad's cover is so successful that the place ends up becoming famous...
From Korean comedy to choreographic Vietnamese action: Furie lives up to the promise of its title (furious by name, furious by nature, and with a furious protagonist: Veronica Ngo, who we've already seen on the FEFF's big screen in The Rebel and Clash)! Young Phuon, a fearsome martial arts fighter, has given up crime and retreated to the countryside to raise her daughter. But when the little girl is kidnapped by a gang of organ traffickers, Phuon tracks them down to Saigon - and there's hell to pay. With its female action hero, a film which is a timely reminder that women are not to be trifled with!
by LEE Man-hee (South Korea, 1964)
The boss of a criminal gang is obliged by its code of honour to expel his wife, considered "guilty" of being raped. But his reluctance soon becomes problematic... Jang Dong-hui, an actor known for his tough-guy roles, plays a fascinatingly ambivalent and tragic figure in this iconic noir directed by a true master of the genre.
by Chito ROÑO (Philippines, 2018)
The dazzling melodrama which is the Philippines' Oscar nominee comes to Udine. Young Intoy lives on a small island with his family, which depends financially on Vicky, his sister who has emigrated abroad. When he finds out that Vicky has a violent partner and might lose custody of her daughter, Intoy summons the entire village to help him show that Vicky will be able to support her son if she comes home.
People’s Republic of Desire
by WU Hao (China, USA)
A look at an entire food chain which feeds a digital universe where live streamers can earn up to $200,000 a month. As we explore the highways of this vicious ecosystem and learn about its participants, the film identifies the only real winner: YY, the streaming platform that reaps extraordinary profits from its stars' massive audiences and from substantial donations.
by LEE Hae-young (South Korea, 2018)
What is the identity of undisputed Korean drug lord Mr. Lee? To find out, Detective Won-Ho organizes a complex undercover operation with the help of young Rak, a disaffected member of the organization. This successful Korean remake of Johnnie To's Drug War is a taut, dark noir that, with its succession of twists and turns, plunges the spectator into a vortex of tension.
A Home with a View
by Herman YAU (Hong Kong, 2019)
In the urban labyrinth of Hong Kong, it's practically impossible to find a house with a view. The quarrelsome Lo family has one, and the panorama outside their window is the only thing that allows them to live in peace. But when the view is obstructed by a billboard, all hell breaks loose. Appeals to the institutions to remove it get them nowhere, so the Los resort to unorthodox methods... An unconventional black comedy inspired by the problems of city life.
by LEE Byoung-heon (South Korea, 2019)
What's easier, stopping drug trafficking or making delicious fried chicken? In order to stake out a gang, detective Go's anti-drug squad sets itself up running a restaurant. Their cover is so successful that the place becomes famous, but a real cop never loses sight of his target. It's no coincidence that this action comedy is the most watched film in the history of Korean cinema...
by Le-Van KIET (Vietnam, 2019)
Fearsome young martial arts fighter Phuon has abandoned a life of crime and moved to the countryside to raise her daughter. But when the little girl is kidnapped by a gang of organ traffickers, Phuon tracks them down to Saigon - and there's hell to pay. A film with a female action hero which is a timely reminder that women are not to be trifled with!
To follow: announcement of the 2019 Audience Awards!