Takano Tofu

Japan Triumphs At FEFF With ‘Takano Tofu’, ‘Confetti’ Taking Top Awards

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Two Japanese films clinched the top audience awards at this year’s Far East Film Festival (FEFF) in Udine, Italy, with Mihara Mitsuhiro’s Takano Tofu winning the Golden Mulberry and Fujita Naoya’s Confetti taking the Silver Mulberry award. 

Third place went to Time Still Turns The Pages, from Hong Kong filmmaker Nick Chuek, which was presented with the Crystal Mulberry. 

Takano Tofu, about a father and daughter who run a tofu store in a small town, also won the Purple Mulberry award, voted for by the MYmovies community, while another Japanese film, Shiraishi Kazuya’s samurai movie Bushido, was voted for by the Black Dragon pass holders. 

In the first feature competition, the White Mulberry was awarded to Korean romance Mimang, directed by Kim Tae-yang, while the Mulberry for Best Screenplay went to action comedy Citizen Of A Kind, from Korea’s Park Young-ju. 

The jurors for the White Mulberry included Anthony Chen, Edouard Waintrop and Matsuzaki Kaoru, while the jurors for best screenplay included Massimo Gaudioso, Marco Risi, Doriana Leondeff and Francesco Munzi.

FEFF achieved three attendance records this year with 65,000 spectators, 3,000 guests and 1,700 pass holders, while the MYmovies ONE platform recorded 8,775 online viewers from 200 Italian municipalities.

More than 200 professionals attended the Focus Asia industry platform, during which Japanese project Polaris was presented with the Euros10,000 TAICCA/Focus Asia Co-production Award. The project, about the female patrons of a bar in Tokyo, is from Japanese filmmaker Yoko Yamanaka, whose second feature, Desert Of Namibia, has been selected for this year’s Cannes Directors Fortnight. 

Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou and Taiwanese producer Chiu Fu-sheng both received the Golden Mulberry Award for Lifetime Achievement at the festival, which screened the restored versions of two films they worked on together – To Live and Raise The Red Lantern

“It’s the first time I’ve been to the Far East Film Festival, which is a very big and very important event for us Asian filmmakers,” said Zhang when receiving the award. “It’s rare today to find 1,200 people attending a film screening. It’s rare anywhere in the world. And I am deeply moved to see such a full cinema, without empty seats, and to see how much you love our work.”

Next year’s FEFF has been scheduled for April 24 to May 2, 2025.