Japan’s ‘Takano Tofu’ Clinches Top Prize At Far East Film Festival Udine; Zhang Yimou Receives Lifetime Award

At the Far East Film Festival (FEFF) in Udine, Italy, Mitsuhiro Mihara’s Takano Tofu clinched the Golden Mulberry prize, the top honor at the festival’s audience awards.

Family drama Takano Tofu follows a father and daughter as they run a tofu shop in a small town, and stars Tatsuya Fuji and Kumiko Aso. The title also won the Purple Mulberry Award, chosen by users of Italian film fan platform MYmovies.

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FEFF hosted a parallel online component through the MYmovies ONE platform, where Takano Tofu came in as the second most-streamed film after Korean film Alienoid.

Taking second prize at the audience awards was another Japanese film, Confetti, directed by Naoya Futjita. The coming-of-age film follows Yuki (played by Matsufuji Shion), who takes on female roles for his father’s traveling theater troupe. Hong Kong film Time Still Turns the Pages by Nick Cheuk came in third.

The White Mulberry Award for first time director was given to Kim Tae-yang for Mimang, which first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. The Mulberry Award for best screenplay went to Citizen of a Kind, a Korean action comedy by Park Yong-ju about a mother looking for revenge after falling victim to a scam. The Black Dragon Audience Award was awarded to Bushido by Japanese filmmaker Kazuya Shiraishi.

The FEFF awards ceremony also bestowed a lifetime achievement award to Chinese director Zhang Yimou, who is well-known for Red Sorghum, Raise the Red Lantern, To Live, Hero and The Road Home, among others.

“Zhang Yimou’s cinema represents two absolutely fundamental turning points. The first was the one that opened our eyes to the cinematic wonders of mainland China when we were little more than kids. The second is that it was one of the sparks, one of the driving forces, which first brought our festival to life,” FEFF founders Sabrina Baracetti and Thomas Bertacche said in a statement. “That’s why presenting Zhang Yimou with the Golden Mulberry means something more than just recognition of his genius: it’s also our way of saying ‘Thank you, maestro’ and of symbolically giving him back some of what he has given to us.”

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