Focus Asia 2023 Unveils All Selected Projects & Works In Progress
After the successful last edition, FOCUS ASIA 2023, 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 the almost 100 submissions 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 Black Nights Film Festival - Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event (Estonia), Mike Hostench (Spain) and Valeria Richter of Nordic Factory (Denmark), has selected 11 projects from 9 territories, offering once again to more than 150 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, surreal, to sci-fi, thriller and horror. 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 2023 are:
Ama, by Yuki Kawamura, produced by Les Films Fauves | Luxembourg
Amoeba, by Siyou Tan, produced by Akanga Film Asia Pte Ltd | Singapore, Netherlands
Cold, by Dicky Chalmers, produced by JHT Entertainment | Taiwan
Ella Arcangel: Ballad of Tooth and Claw, by Mervin Malonzo, produced by Twenty Manila | Philippines, Rocketsheep Studio | Philippines
Lake of Stars, by Jake Wachtel, produced by 802 Films Production | Cambodia, Human Eyes Media | United States
Monsoon, by Arfan Sabran, produced by Cineria Films | Indonesia
Penumbra, by Russell Morton, produced by Pōtocol | Singapore
Picturehouse, by Minh Nguyen-Vo, produced by Girelle | France, Vietnam, Philippines
Shotoku Taishi Under the Lens, by Tatsuo Kohayashi, produced by cogitoworks Ltd. | Japan
The Poison Cat, by Tian Guan , produced by Guanyu film | China, uluka productions | Hong Kong
Wandering Taxi, by Mayu Nakamura, produced by Dub | 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 ‘Leonor Will Never Die’ by Martika Ramirez Escobar (Sundance Film Festival 2022), ‘Karmalink’ by Jake Wachtel (Venice Critics’ Week 2021) or ‘Plan 75’ by Chie Hayakawa (Un Certain Regard - Cannes 2022, Italian premiere as part of this year festival's official programme), clearly show the potential of this industry section targeting Asian films in post-production.
The titles selected at Far East in Progress 2023 by the selection committee headed by Marie-Pierre Vallé are:
Blue Imagine by Urara Matsubayashi, produced by Cobalt Pictures Co., Ltd., Wa Entertainment, Inc. | Japan, Philippines
Doi Boy by Nontawat Numbenchapol, produced by Mobile Lab Project | Thailand, Anti-Archive | Cambodia, Neramitnung Film | Thailand
Fruitcake by Joel Ferrer, produced by Create Cinema, CS Studios | Philippines
Last Shadow at First Light by Nicole Woodford, produced by Potocol | Singapore, Japan, Slovenia
Pierce by Nelicia Low, produced by Pōtocol | Singapore, Taiwan, Poland
Salli by Chien-Hung Lien, produced by Bole Film, ENLA Media Limited, The Graduate Co. Ltd | Taiwan, France
The Imaginary by Yoshiyuki Momose, produced by Studio Ponoc, Inc. | Japan
The Prize! by Paul Fauzan Agusta, produced by Gandheng Ceneng Films | Indonesia
In addition to the project market and works in progress section, Focus Asia has managed to shape an ambitious programme with lectures, case studies, labs, one to one meetings, networking activities, all thanks to an extremely solid network of international partners.
For the first time, Focus Asia and Ties That Bind, the historic workshop that has been bringing together producers from Asia and Europe in Udine for over 14 years, are launching a partnership with a series of international funding institutions in order to offer around twenty producers who have been selected and supported by the British Film Institute, Canada Media Fund, Ciclic - Centre-Val de Loire, Norwegian Film Institute, Netherlands Film Fund and Polish Film Institute, a bespoke programme designed 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, this time accompanied by 20 distributors from over 16 European countries who will be taking part in the brand new 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.
But the reach of the Focus Asia 2023 partner network isn't confined to the West: numerous partnerships have been confirmed and initiated this year with the main funding and promotional entities in the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore 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, introduces 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.
And in addition to the launch of this extremely important new award, 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), Singapore Film Commission, TAICCA - Taiwan Creative Content Agency, and the support of ICE - Agenzia per la promozione all'estero e l'internazionalizzazione delle imprese italiane, the Focus Asia programme's Project Market and the Far East in Progress section will in fact 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.
And finally, this large-scale renewal in terms of content and collaboration also extends to the physical locations of the event itself. In fact, for the first time, all the activities dedicated to the industry public of Focus Asia, i.e. the circa 200 professionals from the international film industry who will meet in Udine from the 26th to the 28th of April, will be welcomed at the Torre S. Maria and the Foresteria of Confindustria Udine, a point of reference for local industry.
Focus Asia Industry Guide 2023