FESTIVALS: Far East Film Festival to open with Steel Rain, Crossroads

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Korean spy thriller Steel Rain and Malaysia’s Crossroads: One Two Jaga will open this year’s Far East Film Festival (FEFF, April 20-28) in Udine, Italy, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Steel Rain is receiving its world “festival” premiere in Udine after opening theatrically in Korea, where it had a successful box office run last December, and also streaming globally on Netflix.

Taiwanese actress Brigitte Lin Ching Hsia will attend the opening ceremony of the festival, which is presenting her with the Golden Mulberry Lifetime Achievement Award and holding a retrospective of her work.

Indonesian war thriller Night Bus and FEFF’s latest restoration, Johnnie To’s Throw Down, will close the festival on April 28.

In total the festival will screen 81 films from 11 countries, including six world premieres, 12 international premieres, 22 European premieres and three world premieres of restored films. FEFF has also selected 14 titles for its Focus Asia project market.

Among the 55 titles in competition are 21 from first and second directors, which FEFF has dubbed the “Fab 21”. The festival has launched a new award for the Fab 21, the White Mulberry, which will be selected by a jury comprising Hong Kong producer Albert Lee, US producer Peter Loehr and Italian screenwriter Massimo Gaudioso.

FEFF also has two audience awards – the Golden Mulberry awarded by the public and the Black Mulberry awarded by Black Dragon pass holders.