Chinese director Gu Changwei's Peacock was voted the top prizewinner by audiencesat the 7th Far East Film Festival (FEFF) in Udine, Italy.

The FEFF, which ranks as a leading European showcaseof popular Asian cinema, also presented runner-up prizes to the stylish teenagedrama Kamikaze Girls byJapanese director Tetsuya Nakashima and comedy Someone Special by Korean director Jang Jin.

Running from April 22-29 in the northeastern Italiancity of Udine, the festival presented a total of 66 titles, including a 16-filmretrospective of 1960s action films from the Japanese studio Nikkatsu. A record 50,000 viewers attendedscreenings, with most shows held in a single 1200-seat venue.

"For the first time this year, we also hadsignificant attendance from Italian and European distributors," notedfestival director Sabrina Baracetti."We focus on commercial films that have not yet been screened inItaly, and so distributors found it quite helpful to watch these films with alocal audience."

Peacock, which picked up the Jury Grand Prix at this year'sBerlinale, tells the story of three siblings living at the end of China'sCultural Revolution. Gu, who beganhis career as a cinematographer on such films as Farewell My Concubine, was also in Udine as part of a specialfocus on three Asian cinematographers.

"Generally we try not to distinguish between Amovies and B movies, but each year we present a broad selection of works thatillustrate the current state of cinema in various Asian countries," saidBaracetti.