South Korea’s ‘Miracle’ Takes Top Prize –


South Korean romantic drama Miracle: Letters to the President was the large winner Sunday night time on the closing ceremony of the twenty fourth Far East Film Festival (FEFF), the favored Asian specialty occasion held every spring within the picturesque northern Italian metropolis of Udine.

The movie, directed and co-written by Lee Jang-hoon (Be With You), took dwelling Udine’s top-prize Golden Mulberry award, which is determined yearly by a preferred vote of the competition’s public attendees. Described by organizers as “a sweet-natured hymn to the power of dreams,” Miracle tells the real-life story of a highschool arithmetic prodigy who works collectively together with his household to convey a non-public practice station to their distant rural group.

The Chinese movie trade was the opposite huge winner in Udine on Sunday. Chinese auteur Li Ruijun’s rural-set stunner Return to Dust took dwelling the runner-up viewers award, whereas Beijing-based filmmaker Xing Wenxiong’s blockbuster comedy To Cool to Kill got here in third place. Both movies have been enthusiastically embraced by Udine’s famously vocal and broadminded festival-goers.

Japanese display legend Takeshi Kitano was introduced with Udine’s lifetime achievement award this yr. The 75-year-old actor/director/comic was unable to attend the competition in individual, however he appeared by way of a dwell video feed beamed into Udine’s grand Teatro Nuovo to simply accept his trophy, telling the gang, “I’m now editing together my new film and I hope to come to Udine to present it to you.”

The Udine competition mounted a robust pandemic-era restoration in 2022, after being pressured to pivot to on-line through the previous two years. The competition introduced over 70 filmmaker friends from Asia and screened 72 movies (13 world premieres, 18 worldwide premieres, 11 European premieres and 13 Italian premieres) for a competition viewers that totaled over 40,000 individuals (almost half of town’s whole inhabitants of 100,000). The occasion additionally retained a number of the digital improvements pressured by the pandemic, streaming 28 of the competition titles over the Italian MYmovies video platform, which drew a further 10,000 digital festival-goers from 24 international locations.

Udine’s jury for one of the best debut movie — comprised of the Manetti Bros. and Vanja Kaludjercic, director of the Rotterdam Film Festival — handed the White Mulberry award to Xing’s Too Cool to Kill. Holders of the competition’s Black Dragon go — a top-tier badge for cineastes that permits premium entry to all screenings — additionally voted for a separate viewers award, which went to Return to Dust. Online viewers of the Mymovies platform equally picked their favourite title, which this yr was awarded to the South Korean political thriller, Kingmaker, by Byun Sung-hyun. An all-new prize for finest screenplay was introduced to Japanese director Jojo Hideo’s Love Nonetheless.

The 2022 Far East Festival additionally revived its varied trade features, which befell over seven days at venues scattered all through Udine’s historic metropolis heart. Some 250 European movie professionals got here to take part within the occasion’s Focus Asia venture market and trade classes. Udine additionally introduced again the FEFF Campus, a movie journalism apprenticeship program that flies in 10 younger aspiring writers/critics from all over the world for per week of hands-on competition coaching and trade publicity.

In her closing remarks Sunday night, competition co-founder Sabrina Baracetti urged the viewers to mark their calendars for subsequent yr, when FEFF will have fun its 25-year anniversary with a particular version operating April 21-29, 2023.

“Things in the world may not yet be normal,” Baracetti stated from the stage. “There is a pandemic; and there is a terrible war. But the important thing right now is that we are here together celebrating this art form that we love.”

As she walked off the stage, she added: “Until next year, peace and love!”


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