The Festival of Far East Film in Italy’s Udine will honor veteran Chinese director Zhang Yimou with a lifetime achievement award. The lineup will feature three of his films, including his political thriller “Under the Light,” “To Live,” and “Raise the Red Lantern” in its restored classics section. The festival will showcase a total of 74 films from 11 countries, including smash hit mainland Chinese movie “YOLO” and Korean action comedy “Citizen of a Kind” to kick off the events.

Among the highlights of the festival are films such as “13 Bombs” from Indonesia’s Angga Dwimas Sasongko, “The Goldfinger” from Hong Kong’s Felix Chong, and investigative journalism drama “In Broad Daylight” from Hong Kong’s Lawrence Kan. The festival will also feature Japanese selections like “(Ab)normal Desire” from Kishi Yoshiyuki, “Gold Boy” from Kaneko Shusuke, and “Missing” from Yoshida Keisuke. Additionally, South Korea will be represented by films like political thriller “12.12: The Day,” fantasy films “Alienoid” from 2022 and 2024, exorcism drama “Exhuma,” and comedy actioner “The Roundup: Punishment” featuring Korean American star Don Lee.

In New Zealand, the Whanau Marama: New Zealand International Film Festival will expand its screenings to six additional regions in Hamilton, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Masterton, and Tauranga in August and September. These screenings will be in addition to the previously announced seasons in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, and Christchurch starting from July. The festival aims to provide a platform for New Zealand films to reach a wider audience and showcase the diversity of the country’s cinema.

The festival in Udine will provide a platform for diverse Asian cinema, featuring a wide range of genres and styles from countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. Zhang Yimou’s lifetime achievement award highlights his contributions to the Chinese film industry and his impact on the global film landscape. The inclusion of a mix of established and emerging filmmakers from different countries adds to the cultural richness of the festival and offers audiences a unique cinematic experience.

The lineup of films at the festival reflects the creativity and innovation present in Asian cinema, showcasing a blend of traditional storytelling with modern techniques and themes. The selection of films from South Korea, Japan, China, and other countries highlights the growing global interest in Asian cinema and its ability to captivate audiences with its unique storytelling traditions. The festival serves as a celebration of the diverse cinematic voices from the Far East and provides a platform for filmmakers to connect with international audiences.

The expansion of the New Zealand International Film Festival to additional regions in the country reflects the growing popularity and demand for New Zealand cinema. By bringing the festival to more locations, audiences across the country will have the opportunity to experience a selection of films that showcase the talent and creativity of New Zealand filmmakers. The festival’s commitment to showcasing a diverse range of films from New Zealand and around the world contributes to the cultural enrichment of audiences and promotes the growth of the film industry in the country.

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