Posts Tagged ‘Far East Film Festival’

As I mentioned we watched Mitsuko Delivers (trailer below) on the last day of the FEFF. As we walked up to the building that houses the real heart of the festival we realised we were walking stride by stride with this little old couple. They were going to the watch the same film and warmed the cockles of my heart…

Apart from the ‘A’ for ‘Anarchy’ I am quite enamoured with the poster design from this year’s festival.

Inside the auditorium. All the seats were filled within a few minutes.

The big screen…

T he film told the story of a girl convinced that the best way to find happiness is to do your best for others and follow the clouds. In her erratic existence she falls pregnant of an American but returns to Tokyo alone where she returns to a run down but very poetic allotment. Here she meets the old lady that instilled this philosophy of life in her and her old childhood sweetheart. Of course the film is full of slapstick humour and absurdities, but that’s part of the genre. A very recession imbued film.


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On the last Saturday of the Far East Film Festival in Udine we also witnessed and took part in a series of outdoor events. We also viewed the film Mitsuko Delivers, but more on that in another post.

Saturday the 28th April was also apparently world Tai Chi day and the classes that gave a demonstration on the green were certainly blessed with a beautifully sunny day.

Local schools performed Tai Chi and Qi Gong in the park in the morning and afternoon.

In the afternoon in Piazza Matteotti (the main square) a giant Mah Jong game was set out. I still haven’t properly sat down to read the rules but I really must give it a go soon.

Some tables were set out in the shade for origami sessions aptly named ‘Far East Folds’. This attracted lots of families, but it was cute to see that people could just drop in and out of activities without any pressure.

And an I-Ching reader also told fortunes free. Unfortunately the only thing I could clearly see lying ahead of us was a long queue in the sun so we gave up on that one!

A lmost forgot the gritty Bijing flickers photographic exhibition. We felt this really showed the underground urban nature of Beijing life which we sensed  although we know it so little.

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Probably the highlight of our touch-n-go trip to Udine and the Far East Film Festival, Theodora Hurustiati’s lesson on Indonesian cooking was really interesting, useful and fun.

Like many of the events at the Far East Film Festival it was free, an element which is not to be overlooked when the objective is to get more visibility for a niche product or interest (such as Asian film and food in Italy).

Anyway the discovery of the month for me is Theodora an Indonesian chef living in Italy whose blog (puracucina) I sincerely suggest you visit for inspiration. She embraces the need-for-speed of modern living that makes Nigella appealing to your average woman, but manages to show you that speed need not make asian food (usually rather lengthy to prepare) an absolute no-no.

We were shown how to prepare three dishes:

Nasi Kuning (yellow rice)

Urap (coconut vegetables)

Rendang (coconut beef stew)

Because I am really lazy and not a plagiarist I’m attaching the hand outs that Theodora gave us to this post so you can read the whole recipe. I will just comment the pics and add anything that may not have been written down.

As usual it’s all in the preparation also keeping all your ingredients under your nose is great if you are a bit forgetful

Theodora slicing the ginger for Nasi Kuning

Adding laurel leaves and keffir lime leaves to the yellow rice for tanginess


I always feel a bit more at home when I see a rice cooker in the room.. To make nasi goreng you add one part water and one part coconut milk (instead of just water) to the rice and add salt.

Fresh lemongrass shoots and ginger for Rendang

Preparation of the urap sauce 

Adding coconut milk to the sauce for the runner beans ( think maybe sugar peas would be crispier?). Remember to just  very lightly cook those or you risk losing all the texture along with the green goodness!

The wax nut which you can replace with almonds or cashews for extra texture

This is what your rendang stew should look like three hours after you’ve put it on. I agre with Theodora that a juicy stew is tastier and helps all the flavours mingle on the plate.

Tamarind syrup

Plating up…

The finished product!

An absolutely mouth-watering tangy and coconutty dish. Can’t wait to have a go myself. Thanks Theodora!


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We’ve been looking forward to this event for a year (when I discovered that a sleepy town just off the Eastern Italian border is home to one of the biggest Asian film festivals in Europe-fancy that!) and finally, this evening we’re driving up.


On Saturday we plan to savour the very last day of the festival with it’s Indonesian cookery class, mahjong classes, origami lessons, World Tai Chi day demonstrations and films (We’ll be watching Japanese movie ‘Mitsuko delivers’ for sure!)

So will be blogging from Udine!

Here is the link to the whole calendar:


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