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Udine Asian Festival Celebrates 20th Edition With Brigitte Lin, Netflix’s ‘Steel Rain’

Udine Asian Festival Opens 20th Edition
Courtesy of Netflix

Hong Kong film icon Brigitte Lin Ching-hsia, who is rarely seen in public these days, will be on hand to open the 20th edition of the Far East Film Festival in Udine. She will also receive the festival’s lifetime award, the Golden Mulberry.

The opening film is set to be Korean thriller “Steel Rain, an actioner backed by streaming video platform Netflix. There are currently no plans to show it on the big screen again. Also on the opening night agenda is Malaysian drama “Crossroads: One Two Jaga.”

The festival program runs 20-28 April and includes films from 11 East Asian territories, 5 world premieres and a trio of restored titles. Among the classics is Johnnie To’s “Throw Down,” brought back to life by the Italo-Hong Kong company L’Immagine Ritrovata.

New for the 20th edition is the launch of the White Mulberry competitive section. It will include 21 films by first or second time directors. Among them are six from South Korea, three from mainland China and four from Taiwan.

Outside the competition, the festival takes on its more usual pattern of selecting commercial films from Asia, many of which are less likely that art-house titles to get theatrical releases in Europe.

Selected titles include “”Wolf Warrior II,” and “Youth” from China; blockbuster “Operation Red Sea” from Hong Kong and China; festival closing title “Night Bus” and Joko Anwar’s hit “Satan’s Slaves” from Indonesia; “Diamond Dogs,” drom Sinagpore’s Gavin Lim; “On Happiness Road” from Taiwan; “Bad Genius” from Thailand; and a battery of pictures form Korea. These include “”1987: When the Day Comes,” “Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum,” “The Outlaws,” and romance “Be With You.”

The Brigitte Lin tribute section stretches to six pictures including her iconic “The Bride With White Hair,” “Chungking Express,” and “Dragon Inn.”

A documentary section includes: “Ramen Heads” and Ryuichi Sakamoto: async at the Park Avenue Armory.”