‘Wrestling’ wins at Udine

Japanese pics find favor

ROME — “Wrestling With a Memory” (Gachi-Boy), Japanese helmer Norihiko Koizumi’s sophomore work about a determined wrestler contending with a memory lapse, took the top prize at the 10th Udine Far East Fest.

Produced by Fuji TV, and based on a popular legit theater production, “Wrestling” took Udine’s audience award, the main nod in what is essentially a non-competitive fest.

Miki Satoshi’s surreal comedy “Adrift in Tokio” and Fujita Yosuke’s “Fine, Totally Fine,” a love triangle laffer, were the next two pics with the most aud votes, marking a year in which Japanese cinema found plenty of favor in Udine.

Organizers said some 50,000 mostly Italian Asian film buffs descended on the Northeastern Italian town, along with a large contingent of Asian industryites for what has become Europe’s top Far East cinema showcase.

“Mad Detective” co-directed by Hong Kong action pic specialist Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai, both on hand, took the fest’s Black Dragon Award, voted by the fest’s supporters and VIP guests.

Fest co-directors Sabrina Baracetti and Thomas Bertacche, were themselves celebrated by Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai with a crystal trophy celebrating their “10 year friendship” with the fest.

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