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Udine Film Festival Hosts Asia’s Surprise Hits

This year’s line-up for the Far East Film Festival in Udine includes numerous surprise hits, as well as a diverse selection that mixes the best of Asian commercial cinema with accessible Asian art house.

Among the surprise hits are “A Cool Fish” and “Dying to Survive” from mainland China, and “Project Gutenberg,” the Hong Kong counterfeiting thriller which topped the Chinese box office. From Taiwan, “More Than Blue” was another title that took China’s box office crown.

The mainland Chinese selection also includes Han Han’s “Pegasus”, Zhang Wei’s transgender drama “The Rib,” and coming of age drama “The Crossing,” which premiered in Toronto.

Labelled as a Hong Kong production, Renny Harlin’s “Bodies at Rest,” and Yuen Woo-ping’s “Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy” also find festival berths.

The festival’s nine titles from Japan include comedy “Fly Me To Saitama,” Sabu’s absurdist “Jam” and the world premiere of Kobayashi Syoutarou’s “Only The Cat Knows.” Last year, Udine hosted the international premiere of sleeper hit “One Cut of the Dead.”

South Korea weighs in with a heavyweight contingent. Titles included epic “The Great battle,” period zombie saga “Rampant,” and the previously announced “Birthday.

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Extending the Korean presence in Udine, the festival hosts am eight-title 100 Years of Korean Cinema retrospective, and a three picture sidebar of independent Korean comedies.

From the Philippines come “Signal Rock, Mikhail Red’s “Eerie” and local “Miss Granny” remake. The Fox-backed “212 Warrior” is Indonesia’s sole representative. Thailand’s two contenders are “Krasue: Inhuman Kiss,” and Wisit Sasanatieng’s “Reside.”

In a category described as “Info-screenings,” play all three of the “Ten Years” follow on films from Japan, Thailand and Taiwan, as well as the Xinjiang-set “A First Farewell.”

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