×

Udine’s Far East Fest To Open With Pang Ho-cheung’s ‘Aberdeen’

ROME – Hong Kong hitmaker Pang Ho-cheung’s slice-of-life dramedy “Aberdeen” will open the 16th Far East Festival in Udine, Italy, Europe’s biggest showcase of genre and mainstream Asian cinema, where nineteen European bows and sixteen international preems will screen, including Takeuchi Hideki’s hotly anticipated Japanese peplum fantasy “Thermae Romae II,” which is the closer.

The changing identity of Hong Kong after the 1997 handover to China will be a strong theme, starting with “Aberdeen,” which depicts three generations of a Hong Kong family, but also in more frivolous pics such as Lee Kung-lok’s sex romp “3D Naked Ambition” and Matt Chow’s bawdy “Golden Chicckensss” (pictured) for which star Sandra NG (also the pic’s producer) will be making the trek to Udine, located in Italy’s Northeastern Friuli Venezia-Giulia region. “Aberdeen” also opened this year’s Hong Kong Intl. Film Festival.

Similarly to the Hong Kong fest, Udine has a second opening film, Fujita Yosuke’s “Fuku-chan of FukuFuku Flats” a bittersweet Japanese comedy, on which the Italo fest’s film distribution arm, Tucker Film, is a co-producer.

Another standout title from Japan is sophomore helmer Hitoshi One’s fresh teen relationship drama “Be My Baby,” which also screened in Hong Kong. It is Hitoshi’s second work after romcom “Love Strikes!”

But aside from Hong Kong and Japan, always with pics on prominent display in Udine, fest director Sabrina Baracetti noted that this year “the Philippines are sending strong signals of a cinematic resurgence, thanks to the local industry’s transition to digital,” she said.

That talent explosion is reflected in six Filipino pics unspooling at the Far East Fest this year, the most ever, including the event’s second closer, Siege Ledesma’s contempo Manila slice-of-life drama “Shift,” about a tomboy call center operative and an openly gay co-worker. “Shift” recently scooped the top nod at the Osaka Asian Film Festival in Japan.

This year Udine will also feature two new sections, one dedicated to docus, such as Ferris Lin’s “Boundless” about Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To, and Andrew Leavold’s “The Search for Weng Weng” on midget Filipino B-movie superstar Weng Weng.

Another new sidebar is dedicated to restored classics which will include Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu’s 1959 “Good Morning,” presented by the fest in tandem with Japan’s Shochiku with whom Tucker Film has closed a deal to distribute a six-pic package of restored Ozu titles in Italy.

As previously announced, Hong Kong multi-hyphenate Fruit Chan will be the guest of honor at Udine where the “definitive version” of his latest work “The Midnight After” will screen.

Fest will run April 25-May 3

 

More Film

  • Glass Movie

    Box Office: 'Glass' Shines Overseas With $48.5 Million Weekend

    After autobots and aquatic kings have dominated foreign markets over the past few weeks, a different kind of hero has risen to the top of box office charts. M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” is the new champ overseas, pulling in $48.5 million from international territories. The supernatural thriller, a sequel to 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2016’s “Split,” debuted [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    'Roma' and 'The Favourite' Lead London Critics' Circle Winners

    After ruling the U.S. critics’ award circuit, “Roma” continued its dominance on the other side of the pond, as the London Film Critics’ Circle announced its winners tonight. A week after landing seven BAFTA nominations, Alfonso Cuarón’s Mexico City memory piece landed film of the year and director of the year honors from the group [...]

  • M. Night Shyamalan Should Stop Writing

    The Big Twist M. Night Shyamalan Needs: He Should Stop Writing His Own Scripts (Column)

    Quick, name the greatest film by each of the following directors: Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, David Lean, Robert Altman, Roman Polanski, Kathryn Bigelow, Jonathan Demme. Answers will vary (mine would be: “Psycho,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Nashville,” “Chinatown,” “The Hurt Locker,” “The Silence of the Lambs”), but whatever your taste, odds are that [...]

  • Andy Vajna Dead: 'Rambo' Producer and

    Andy Vajna, 'Rambo' Producer, Dies at 74

    Andy Vajna, executive producer of several “Rambo” films as well as “Total Recall” and several “Terminator” movies, died Sunday in Budapest after a long illness. He was 74. The Hungarian National Film Fund confirmed his death, calling him a “dominant figure in the Hungarian and international film industry” who was responsible for the development of [...]

  • Glass trailer

    Box Office: 'Glass' Dominates MLK Weekend With $47 Million

    M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” topped box office charts during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, collecting $40 million over the weekend for a four-day sum of $47 million. If estimates hold, “Glass” will come in behind “American Sniper” ($107 million) and “Ride Along” ($48 million) as the third-best showing for both January and MLK holiday [...]

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • 'St. Bernard Syndicate' Review: A Quietly

    Film Review: 'St. Bernard Syndicate'

    John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan may have received major award nominations this season for their fine work in “Stan & Ollie,” but there’s arguably a superior Laurel & Hardy tribute act to be found in the droll Danish comedy “St. Bernard Syndicate.” As a pair of bumbling losers who turn an already dubious business [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content