SARS limits list of fest guests

Local health officials feared outbreak

ROME — Italy’s fifth annual Far East Film Festival is withdrawing invitations to guests from areas at risk of the SARS virus, including Hong Kong, organizers said Wednesday.

Fest will unspool April 24-May 1 in the northern town of Udine, but local health officials are concerned about an outbreak of the deadly illness.

Fest prexy Sabrina Baracetti said, “We will send a letter to our Hong Kong guests to invite them for the next edition of the festival and to send us their films.”

Fest will screen 52 Asian titles, most of them European or international premieres.

Pics include Japan’s Oscar entry “Out” by Hirayama Hideyuki and Hong Kong Film Awards winner “Infernal Affair” by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak.

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