The Far East Film Festival has announced a fifty-one film official line up boasting eighteen international festival premieres from for its ninth edition which runs in the Northeastern Italian town of Udine April 20-28.

This year's film and guest highlights include the international festival premiere of Teng Huatao's The Matrimony starring popular Chinese actress Fan Bingbing; Korea offers the world premiere of A Day For An Affair with megastar and acclaimed actress Kim Hye-soo on hand to promote the picture; Joyce E. Bernal's spy comedy Agent X44 hails from the Philippines with Vhong Navarro (considered a local Jim Carrey) on hand. Up and coming Thai actress Siraphan Wattanajinda will accompany the horror title The Unseeable, an Italian premiere and also in the fest's Horror Day sidebar.

Begun as a showcase of Hong Kong fare (in 1998), the festival branched out in 1999 to showcase of Asian fare featuring titles and trends hailing from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and Malaysia.

China will have a particularly strong presence in the ninth edition, with several of the mainland's newest generation of directors who are returning to the festival after showing debut works there. Highlights include The Matrimony, Chen Daming's One Foot Off The Ground and Xie Dong's One Summer With You, with all directors attending.

Confessions of Pain, and 13 Beloved have already crossed into the US market for remakes. The team behind Martin Scorsese's The Departed will remake Confessions while the Weinstein Company picked up Thai psychological horror picture 13 Beloved in Pusan.

Other highlights of this year's edition are a Patrick Tam retrospective with Tam attending. Japanese blockbuster hit Dororo, with director Shiota Akihiko on hand, will kick off the festival.

Far East Film Festival - which has become known as a respectable European showcase of Asian films, is a non-competitive festival (there is one audience award). Udine is a picturesque town that lies between the Dolomite Mountains and the Adriatic Sea.