Udine Far East Film Festival 2017’s First Titles Announced
6 films from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and the Philippines named.
Udine Far East Film Festival (FEFF), the premiere, European event dedicated to Asian popular cinema, recently unveiled the first wave of titles that will be presented at the 9-day long festival in Udine in northeastern Italy. In keeping with this 19th edition’s theme, “Expect the unexpected,” FEFF has collated an eclectic, interesting roundup of films in various genres, representing colorful cultures all across Asia.
From Hong Kong’s Bravos Pictures Limited, there’s A Nail Clipper Romance, a bizarre comedy about an amateur Hawaiian surfer who falls in love with a kind-hearted tattoo artist with a supernatural secret – that she’s a sub-type of human who can only eat nail clippers. The offbeat love story is directed by Jason Kwan, who’s made his mark as a cinematographer for over a decade, and is produced by Pang Ho-cheung. Interestingly enough, Kwan served as DP on the 2014 family drama, Aberdeen, which Pang directed.
And speaking of Pang Ho-cheung, another Hong Kong film in the slate is Love Off The Cuff, the last installment in the Love trilogy co-written and directed by Pang. Love Off The Cuff rounds out Pang’s popular, romantic comedy series about the amorous journey of a man and woman who met when indoor smoking was banned in Hong Kong. The trilogy began with Love In A Puff (2010) and was followed by Love In The Buff (2012).
The third film emerging out of Hong Kong is The Sleep Curse by the renowned “king of gore”, Herman Yau. The Sleep Curse is the gruesome tale of a cursed translator who collaborated with the Japanese army during the wartime occupation of Hong Kong leading to the eventual haunting of his son, forty-five years later, by the war’s merciless victims. Produced by Emperor Motion Pictures, The Sleep Curse is Yau’s return to the horror-gore genre he specialized in before delving into mainstream action films like 2010’s The Legend Is Born: Ip Man.
Die Beautiful, representing the Philippines, is the queer drama-comedy about a Filipino transgender woman’s colorful life and an even more chromatic death, in which she’s transformed into certain female celebrities for each night of her wake, despite her father’s wish to bury her as a man. Directed by Jun Robles Lana and produced by Regal Films, Die Beautiful was one of the top box office earners during the newly-revamped 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival.
China, in co-production with India, will be presenting the big-budget Jackie Chan-starrer, Kung Fu Yoga, produced by Taihe Entertainment, Sparkle Roll Media, and Shinework Pictures. The martial arts/Hindu ritual mashup was released earlier this year to mostly negative reviews from critics and audiences alike, but the film, nonetheless, did well at the box office, raking in US $255 million over its US $65 million budget. Kung Fu Yoga is written and directed by frequent Jackie Chan collaborator, Stanley Tong.
Lastly, from Taiwan is the musical, romantic comedy, 52Hz, I Love You, co-written and directed by Wei Te-sheng. The title alludes to the “52-Hertz whale” of an unidentified species, which emits an unusually high frequency call of 52-Hertz that goes undetected by other whales, making him ‘the world’s loneliest whale.” 52Hz, I Love You features a bevy of original music by Taiwanese pop stars Lin Zhong-yu, Zhuang Juan-ying, Suming Rupi, and Mify Chen, who also comprise the main cast in the film, earning it the monicker, “the Taiwanese La La Land,” minus the tap dancing.
FEFF will be taking place from the 21st – 29th, April at the Teatro Nuovo “Giovanni da Udine (main venue) and the Visionario cultural center (secondary venue). Aside from the screenings, FEFF will also be presenting the educational FEFF Campus, the Focus Asia project market, and the Ties That Bind Asia-Europe Co-Production Workshop.
For more information, check out their website here: www.fareastfilm.com