Malaysia’s ‘Abang Adik’ Wins Udine Festival’s Golden Mulberry

Malaysian social drama “Abang Adik” was named best film and winner of the Golden Mulberry prize on Sunday at the Far East Film Festival in Italy’s Udine.

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The film is a story of two undocumented and orphaned men, who may or may not be real brothers, but who lift each other up. The film’s director Jin Ong collected the White Mulberry prize for best debut feature and “Abang Adik” added a third prize decided by the festival’s season pass holders.

Second place on the podium went to South Korea with Chang Hang-jun’s “Rebound,” while third place went to “Yudo,” by Japan’s Suzuki Masayuki.

Other prizes included a Mulberry for best screenplay which went to “Day Off” by Taiwanese director Fu Tien-Yu and the prize from the readers of MYmovieswhich went to Janchivdorj Sengedorj’s Mongolian comedy “The Sales Girl.”

The previously-announced Golden Mulberry lifetime achievement award was presented to female Japanese actor Baisho Chieko.

Festival organizers report that the 25th edition of the FEFF brought in more than 60,000 spectators and 1,600 accredited guests, to watch 78 titles from 14 countries – including nine world premieres.

“These are very positive results. We feel it’s essential to invite (Italian regional and cultural funding) institutions to reflect,” said the FEFF’s co- directors, Sabrina Baracetti and Thomas Bertacche.

“We believe that given the long journey it has taken to get where it is today, the festival deserves to continue seeing its potential for growth bear fruit. Are public bodies ready to support the FEFF with more funding, transforming it into a genuine hub that connects the East and the West? Will the future of the FEFF continue to be that of a major international film festival. Can its network of over twenty-year-long relationships be developed into something more wide-ranging?”

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