Workshop/mart aims to bridgehead with Asia

ROME — Italy’s Udine Far East Fest, the prominent European showcase for Asian cinema, has kicked off its Ties That Bind workshop/mart, which aims to become a prime bridgehead between producers from Asia and Europe.

Financed by the EU’s Eave producers’ training program, Ties That Bind, which is held in tandem with the Pusan Film Festival, is bringing together producers of 10 selected projects from China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Ireland, the U.K. and Spain.

Companies on hand include Brit indie Bigger Pictures, which is presenting “Glendragon,” a London-set kung-fu pic project; Akanga Film Asia, which is presenting “Endless Day,” the new project by Singaporean helmer Ho Tzu Nyen, whose “Here” unspooled in last year’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight; and Germany’s Boje Buck Produktion, which is bringing a project titled “Kuala Lumpur” to Udine. The four-day mart is running April 25-28 and will have its second session in Pusan Oct. 10-13.

Last July’s Paris Project co-production forum held a France-Korea co-production bizcamp. But Udine’s Ties That Bind appears to be catering to a broader swath of both the European and Asian film industries.

The 12th edition of the Far East Fest, which kicked off Friday with Hong Hong helmer Johnnie To on hand to be feted, will run through May 1.

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