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ROME — Hong Kong martial arts multi-hyphenate star Sammo Hung will be the guest of honor at the 18th Far East Festival in Udine, Italy.

Fest, which is Europe’s biggest showcase of genre and mainstream Asian cinema, will open with Park Hoon-jung Korean mountain-action epic “The Tiger” and close with “The Bodyguard,” co-starring Hung and Andy Lau,  which recently beat “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” at the Chinese box office.

Hung in his latest hit plays a retired bodyguard called back into action by a young girl. He will receive Udine’s Golden Mulberry award for lifetime achievement joining other top Asian talents tributed by Udine in past years including Johnnie To, composer Joe Hisaishi, and his old friend and cohort Jackie Chan with whom he attended the China Drama Academy.

Higlights of Udine’s mixed bag selection comprise the European preem of “10 Years” the controversial low budget pic depicting a dark imaginary future for Hong Kong under Chinese rule which recently won best film at the Hong Kong Film Awards and allegedly caused the ceremony broadcast to be banned in mainland China; the world preem of “Destiny” by Chinese producer-director Zhang Wei, known for his candid depictions of the marginalised in his country; the international fest preem of Hong Kong martial arts hit “Ip Man 3”; and Japanese auteur Hashiguchi Ryosuke’s “Three Stories of Love” named best Japanese film of 2015 in the local Kinema Junpo critics’ poll.

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A big novelty this year is that the Far East Fest is launching a Focus Asia market in partnership with the Rome’s MIA International Audiovisual Market. The three day April 27-29 micromart will take place at the Cinema Visionario in Udine with screenings, research panels and one-on-one meets.

Fest will run April 22-30.