On a big night for Japan, Mitsuhiro Mihara’s Takano Tofu took home the top prize at the 26th Far East Film Festival (FEFF), which concluded on Thursday night in the northern Italian city of Udine. The family drama, which stars Tatsuya Fuji and Kumiko Aso as a father and daughter who run a tofu store in a small town, won FEFF’s coveted Golden Mulberry Audience Award. Takano Tofu also won the Purple Mulberry Award, which is selected by users of MYmovies, Italy’s leading film fan platform.

It was a one-two for Japan in the main audience awards, as Naoya Fujita’s youthful drama Confetti came second place. In third was the Hong Kong film Time Still Turns the Pages, a devastating drama from Nick Cheuk who scored best director wins at the Asian Film Awards and Hong Kong Film Awards for the same film.

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FEFF’s Black Dragon critics prize category saw another win for Japan with Kazuya Shiraishi’s period samurai feature Bushido taking the award. The White Mulberry Award for first time director went to Korea’s Kim Tae-yang for his film Mimang that has found favor at several festivals around the world. Shot over four years, Mimang is a bold feature about a man and woman who meet by chance and walk around a changing Seoul.

Rounding out FEFF’s 2024 prizes, the Mulberry Award for best screenplay went to Korea’s Citizen of a Kind, an action comedy directed by Park Yong-ju about a mother who looks for revenge after falling victim to a scam.

“For 26 editions now we’re proud to have helped introduce commercial Asian cinema to the world, and if you look at these winners here tonight you can see why we continue to be excited by what’s happening all over Asia,” said FEFF president Sabrina Baracetti in remarks at the awards ceremony. “The audience here in Udine shares our passion and we will continue to explore new horizons with them — and with Asian cinema.”

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