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Udine Far East Festival Audience Awards

The Udine Far East Film Festival is one of the largest panoramas of Asian film in Europe. Most of the 73 films chosen for the eighth edition that ran April 21-29 enjoyed their European or international premiere. The festival catches the films that are produced between the Venice, Berlin and Cannes festival so its an excellent showcase to attend to see the latest Asian films. Udine hopes together with the Venice Film Festival to double the amount of Asian films to the Venice Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region, an area rich with festivals, universites and libraries. Director Marco Müller was in attendance at the festival Audience awards were given to the top ten films of the festival. Several of the directors and actors of the films were in attendance this year including MIIKE Takashi whose film Imprint from the Masters of Horror series was screened on opening nite. Other guests were: CHOI Equan, Erik MATTI, INOUE Umetsugu, JIN Yaqin, LAM Tze Chung, Lestle CHEN, LIANG Viann, MEIKE Mitsuru,NI Ping, PARK Gwang-hyun, Rico Maria Ilarde,SATO Hisayasu, Terri KWAN, WAI Ka-fai, YAMASHITA Nobuhiro, YAMAZAKI Takashi, and YANG Yazhou.

The most popular film of the Udine audience (voted by 4,000 spectators) was Welcome To Dongmakgol by PARK Gwang-hyun(South Korea 2005), a film set during the Korean war where soldiers happen upon an isolated village of peaceful and friendly inhabitants. They have a profound effect on the soldiers who are forced to reconsider their warmonging ways.

A special retrospective on Asian musicals was an exciting addition to the 2006 fest- the first in the West!- with a guest appearance by Japanese director INOUE Umetsugu who made films for the Shaw Bros in Hong Kong and was influenced by jazz and Hollywood musicals. INOUE said that directors have a mission to reflect socially relevant themes, such as the films that raised an awareness of civil rights in the 60's. His own films show a remarkable interest in gender equality, such as Hong Kong Nocturne (Hong Kong 1967).

The top ten audience awards:
Welcome To Dongmakgol, PARK Gwang-hyun, South Korea 2005
Always - Sunset On Third Street YAMAZAKI Takashi, Japan 2005
Linda Linda Linda YAMASHITA Nobuhiro, Japan 2005
Loach Is Fish Too YANG Yazhou, China 2005
Nana OTANI Kentaro, Japan 2005
You Are My Sunshine, PARK Jin-pyo, South Korea 2005
You and Me MA Liwen, China 2005
When The Show Tent Came To My Town, FUKAGAWA Yoshihiro, Japan 2005
Hello Yasothorn, Petchthai WONGKAMLAO, Thailand 2005
See You After School, LEE Seok-Hoon, South Korea 2006

Moira Sullivan, Swedish Film Critics' Association, FIPRESCI


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