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Far East Film Festival: Zhang Yimou to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Zhang Yimou is set to receive the Golden Mulberry Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Far East Film Festival (FEFF).

The auteur, a key figure in China’s Fifth Generation of filmmakers, is best known for his films ‎Raise the Red Lantern, ‎Red Sorghum, To Live, Hero and House of the Flying Daggers, and was also directed the memorable opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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Also receiving the coveted Golden Mulberry at the 26th edition of FEFF is Taiwanese producer Chiu Fu-sheng. Chiu, a legendary figure in the Asian film industry, is known for his collaborations with auteur filmmakers including Hou Hsiao-hsien, producing A City of Sadness (1989) and The Puppetmaster (1993) and Zhang, producing both Raise the Red Lantern and To Live (1994). Zhang’s 2023 film Under the Light will also compete in the main competition at FEFF.

FEFF, the respected Italian festival that takes place in the northern city of Udine, also revealed its full lineup on Tuesday. In all, FEFF26 will screen 74 films (47 in competition and 28 not in competition) from 11 countries. The festival says there will be 15 world premieres (including those of the restored classics), 24 international premieres, 19 European premieres and 13 Italian premieres.

Chinese comedy Yolo, directed by comedian, actress and producer Jia Ling, is set to be the first of two films that will open the festival on April 24th. Yolo is an adaptation of the Japanese cult comedy 100 Yen Love, which proved to be a big hit at FEFF when it was screened in 2015. Park Young-ju’s action comedy Citizen of a Kind will be the second film on the opening night.

Among the other highlights in the lineup are Kim Sung-su’s historical action film 12.12: The Day, that set against the backdrop of the Dec. 12 coup d’état in South Korea. There’s also Jang Jae-hyun’s horror film Exhuma, which stars Old Boy star Choi Min-sik. Japanese filmmaker Kazuya Shiraishi returns to FEFF with his 2024 samurai movie Goban-giri and Filipino director Jun Lana will screen his LGBT comedy of errors Becky & Badette, which stars the iconic Eugene Domingo.

Hong Kong’s Norris Wong will show his 2024 musical The Lyricist Wanna Be, and Nick Cheung, the inimitable Hong Kong actor in his second turn in the director’s chair, will show horror-thriller Peg O’My Heart. Also from Hong Kong, Herman Yau will screen two of his action films in Udine this year: Moscow Mission — where Chinese and Russians team up to destroy a gang of thieves on the Trans-Siberian railway — and Raid of the Lethal Zone — where the work of a police squad is hampered by a violent and spectacular flood.

FEFF will run from April 24 to May 2.

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