2 Malaysian Films Make It To Italy's 25th Far East Film Festival

It is not the first time Malaysian films have participated in the prestigious festival.

Cover image via Eastern Kicks & FIFF

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Coast Guard Malaysia: Ops Helang (2023) and Abang Adik (2023) made it as Malaysian entries in the 25th Udine Far East Film Festival (FEFF), happening from 21 to 29 April

Late director Pitt Hanif's action movie will be meeting international audiences for the first time at the festival.

Meanwhile, Jin Ong's heartfelt drama will have an Italian premiere after its world premiere in Switzerland during the 37th Fribourg International Film Festival last month.

Both directors are nominees for the White Mulberry Award for First Time Director.

Image via FEFF

Other Southeast Asian entries include Indonesia's Sri Asih (2022) and Satan's Slaves: Communion (2022).

The Philippines has three entries: Deleter (2022), In My Mother's Skin (2023)and Where Is The Lie? (2023)

Singapore's only entry, Ajoomma (2022), will be the festival's opening film.

Director Jin Ong and some of the cast and crew of Coast Guard Malaysia: Ops Helang (2023) will be going to Italy to represent their films

Abang Adik (2023) director Jin Ong, Coast Guard Malaysia: Ops Helang (2023) producers Arie Zaharie and Azlan Zaharie, and actress Julia Farhana are listed as guests to the festival.

As reported by New Straits Times, the films' representatives are excited and honoured to bring Malaysian film to greater heights.

Joanne Goh, the founder of the Malaysia International Film Festival (MIFFest), commended the two films for being listed in FEFF's line up, and pledged support towards local films in hopes that Malaysian cinema can be appreciated internationally.

Actress Julia Farhana as Leftenant (M) Melati in 'Coast Guard Malaysia: Ops Helang' (2023).

Image via Oh! Bulan

Sabrina Baracetti, festival director of FEFF, said that the festival hopes to establish a cultural bridge between Malaysia and Europe, after being exposed to the local culture and film industry following their collaboration with MIFFest last year.

MIFFest and FEFF are collaborating once again for the 6th MIFFest in July.

Jin Ong's Abang Adik (2023) recently won two awards at the 37th Fribourg International Film Festival in Switzerland

'Abang Adik' (2023) director Jin Ong at the 37th Fribourg International Film Festival.

Image via FIFF

The drama film won the prestigious Audience Award and the Ecumenical Jury Award, and had gained praise for being a "poignant portrait of the relationship between two undocumented brothers" and a "plea for justice, solidarity, and human dignity".

Coast Guard Malaysia: Ops Helang (2023), on the other hand, achieved box office sales of RM5 million within two weeks of its premiere. According to The Star, the movie was a collaboration with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

Last year, The Assistant (2022), a Malaysian action-thriller film, had its world premiere at the 24th Udine Far East Film Festival:

Read more about Abang Adik (2023)'s prior win here:

Don't forget to catch Malaysia's very own film festival, happening from 23 to 29 July:

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