Udine 2020: BETTER DAYS Scoops Golden Mulberry at 22nd Far East Film Festival
Derek Tsang’s celebrated youth drama Better Days claimed top honours over the weekend, as the 22nd Far East Film Festival awarded the Chinese film the Golden Mulberry Award, as voted for by their virtual audience.
Adapting to accommodate social distancing measures due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s festival, based in the idyllic city of Udine in northern Italy, moved online. Mymovies.it hosted the nine-day event that screened 46 films from across Asia. More than 25,000 votes were cast by the festival’s 3,000 accredited pass holders, hailing from 45 countries worldwide.
Tsang’s film, which stars Zhou Dongyu and Jackson Yee and swept the board at the Hong Kong Film Awards earlier this year, also won the Black Mulberry, awarded by the festival’s top-tier Shogun Pass holders. The Silver Mulberry was awarded to Victim(s), from first-time Malaysian filmmaker Layla Ji, which was one of five world premieres at this year’s event. The Crystal Mulberry went to Liao Ming-yi’s Taiwanese fairy tale I WeirDo, another world premiere, which also bagged the Mymovies Purple Mulberry.
Meanwhile, the White Mulberry for First-Time Filmmaker was awarded by the festival’s international jury to Lee Sang-geun’s South Korean disaster comedy, Exit. Another Korean film, Kim Young-hoon’s Beasts Clawing at Straws received a special mention.
Considering the adverse circumstances, the organisers and all involved in FEFF22 stepped up to the challenge and delivered an impressive online event that serves as an excellent model for other events adapting to the current climate. Our best wishes go out to all involved, and we can’t wait to get back to Italy next year to enjoy FEFF23 in person!