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The Award Winners of the 23rd Asian Project Market Unveiled
The 14th Asian Film Awards Winners Announced
The Asian Film Awards Academy (“AFAA”) announced the winners of the 14th Asian Film Awards (“AFA14”) today. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the awards presentation is broadcast online on AFAA's website and YouTube channel and Busan's Asian Contents & Film Market website. Wilfred Wong, Chairman of AFAA and the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society congratulated all winners. "I would like to thank especially this year’s jury for their time and effort. Although we could not hold an award ceremony in-person, I hope we can gather together to celebrate the 15th Asian Film Awards next year," said Wong. Lee Yong-kwan, Chairman of Busan International Film Festival, said "As the organiser of this year’s Asian Film Awards, we are happy to receive support from internationally renowned filmmakers Koreeda Hirokazu, Lee Chang-dong, Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, Anthony Chen, and world acclaimed film talents Yakusho Koji, Samal Yeslyamova, Yang Ik-joon, Kara Wai and Johnny Huang Jingyu to announce the winners. In such difficult times, I am happy to see the unity of Asian cinema." Ando Hiroyasu, Chairman of Tokyo International Film Festival explained, "As Shakespeare put it: 'The night is long that never finds the day.' The power of cinema enriches our daily lives and gives us courage to overcome the pandemic. Thank you everyone involved for their contribution to make AFA14 a special one." The Best Film award was made to Parasite, which also won Best Screenplay for co-writers Han Jin Won and the film’s director Bong Joon Ho. The film also won for Best Production Design and Best Editing totaling four awards. "I am grateful to all the people involved with the Asian Film Awards for making it possible that Parasite could become part of AFA's legacy. I strongly believe that we will meet in person next year at the Asian Film Awards, shake hands, and enjoy talking with one another without masks…I believe that nothing can stop us from continuing to make films,” said Bong. Wang Xiaoshuai’s sensitive and emotionally powerful three-hour drama, So Long, My Son earned him Best Director. Wang said, "As a director, I advocate creating freely and thinking independently. Under the intense social and political pressure, I hope that I can always stand by the side of the ordinary to make the vulnerable powerful. We, as Asians, have different national backgrounds, films can present such diversities, but can also deliver a mutual message of humanity, of love, respect and dignity." HIKARI from Japan was named the Best New Director for her feature debut on a disabled person facing and overcoming society’s prejudice in 37 Seconds. "We made this film hoping to open people's hearts and minds to show that despite our differences on the outside, we are the same on the inside. There's love, desires, and we all have stories to tell. All we need is to lean in, and listen to one another and I truly hope, really hope, that our film will inspire you to do so." HIKARI said. The Best Actor award was given to Lee Byung-hun for his outstanding performance as assassin of former Korean President Park Chung-hee in the political thriller The Man Standing Next. "First, I would like to thank the AFA for the Best Actor award, and the actors and crew of The Man Standing Next. The chemistry between the actors in this film was a big part of why I am able to receive this award. Please stay safe, and I’m sure we’ll all be able to meet at the movies again soon," said Lee. Better Days stars Zhou Dongyu and Jackson Yee won Best Actress and Best Newcomer for their outstanding performances. Zhou and Yee thanked all for recognizing their performances in the film and thanked producer Jojo Hui Yuet Chun, director Derek Tsang Kwok Cheung and everyone in the Better Days team. “I am grateful to every jury member for their encouragement, and I look forward to seeing you all in the near future,” said Zhou. “I will keep working hard to achieve more outstanding performances in the future,” said Yee. Kase Ryo won the Best Supporting Actor in the Japan-Uzbekistan-Qatar co-production, To the Ends of the Earth. Kase thanked the AFAA and the jury for giving him the award, "To be honest, I was surprised when I heard about the nomination because my role in this film was rather low key, my performance there was a fairly quiet one. So, it's encouraging for me to be reminded the fact that there still are people who appreciate that kind of thing in films," he says. Samantha Ko received Best Supporting Actress award for her subtle and emotional performance in A Sun. "First I would like to thank the judges for giving me this award. I also would like to thank the director Chung Mong-Hong for trusting me. 2020 is difficult year for everybody, but I still believe that love can change everything. Be humble, be grateful to give love. Peace to everyone!" Ko says.
The 25th Busan International Film Festival Unveils Full Video Congratulating the Festival Opening!
Although the 25th Busan International Film Festival did not proceed with the Opening Ceremony and the Red Carpet due to the impact of COVID-19, it unveiled the video message from filmmakers all over the world congratulating the opening of the festival before the screening of the opening film. The Busan International Film Festival is held onsite with strengthened preventive guidelines and safety precautions. The special video includes congratulatory messages from filmmakers, introduction by the directors of the opening film Septet: The Story of Hong Kong, and message of appreciation for the audience who has come to see the film. The 25th Busan International Film Festival opens on October 21st (Wed) and is held for ten days until the 30th (Fri) at the Busan Cinema Center.
The Second Video Message from Master Filmmakers to the Busan International Film Festival and Filmmakers Unveiled
Following the video messages from Lee Chang-dong and Koreeda Hirokazu, the second video message is revealed from Asian Cinema Ambassadors directors Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Kawase Naomi, Jia Zhang-Ke, Tsai Ming-Liang and actors Zhao Tao and Lee Kang-Sheng, along with filmmakers all around the world. The videos from these internationally renowned filmmakers representative of Asia convey not only messages of hope in overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, but also words of fortitude and comfort to all those passionate about cinema to keep going forward. These messages are in step with the Busan International Film Festival’s spirit which, as a hub of Asian cinema, has been discovering new Asian filmmakers and introducing them to wide audiences. Their messages will have a reach beyond Asian filmmakers and will strike a chord with anyone passionate about films. The video messages are available on the Busan International Film Festival’s official YouTube channel. The videos are sponsored by Genesis, who supports filmmakers. Filmmakers around the world added their voices to the Asian Cinema Ambassadors’ message of hope as well. Friends of the Busan International Film Festival who sent their video messages of support, transcending social distancing in the COVID-19 era, include: Thierry Frémaux, the General Delegate of the Cannes Film Festival; Christian Jeune, the Director of Film Department and Deputy General Delegate of the Cannes Film Festival; Carlo Chatrian, the Artistic Director of the Berlin International Film Festival; Alberto Barbera, the Director of the Venice International Film Festival; Elena Pollacchi, the Program Director of the Venice International Film Festival; and Serge Toubiana, the President of Unifrance. The 25th Busan International Film Festival opens on October 21st (Wed) and is held for ten days until the 30th (Fri) at the Busan Cinema Center.
The 25th Busan International Film Festival Selections
The 25th Busan International Film Festival, which opened on October 21st (Wed), screens its selections School Town King (Thailand) and Sister Sister (Vietnam) simultaneously in Busan and the local countries. It also has a special event where audiences in both countries can converse together through the online GV (Guest Visit). The Busan International Film Festival creates a new type of GV in the COVID-19 era that transcends boundaries between cities and countries. It was organized for festival audiences to have a special experience with the local audiences, as filmmakers of selected films cannot come to Busan due to limited international travel. This year’s Wide Angle section selection School Town King, scheduled to screen at the Busan Cinema Center on October 21st (Wed), 1 PM KST, will be played simultaneously at the Thai Film Archive’s theater. The film is an exciting music documentary that centers on a young man who strives to become the best rapper in Thailand. After the screening, there will be an online GV with director Wattanapume Laisuwanchai and crew, where they will talk about the film with audiences in the two countries. A Window on Asian Cinema section selection Sister Sister is directed by Vietnamese-American actress Kathy Uyen. The film, which released last year in Vietnam, set the box office record in the country. Film industry professionals and invited audience members in Vietnam will be viewing the film simultaneously when it is screened at Busan on October 21st (Wed) 8PM KST. The audiences in the two countries will be able to converse together through the online GV after the screening, in which director Kathy Uyen will participate. Although the Busan International Film Festival was planning on simultaneous screenings with countries such as Myanmar and Philippines as well, they were unfortunately canceled as theaters were shut down due to the worsened local COVID-19 situations. The 25th Busan International Film Festival, which leads the future of Asian cinema, will be held at the Busan Cinema Center from October 21st (Wed) to October 30th (Fri).
Master Filmmakers Send Messages of Support to the Busan International Film Festival and Asian Filmmakers
The 25th Busan International Film Festival unveils messages of support by Asian filmmakers and master filmmakers. The film industry worldwide was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many international film festivals are canceled, and most films have halted their productions. Even films already finished are struggling to find screening opportunities. With the Busan International Film Festival, renowned Asian directors and actors have stepped up as Asian Film Ambassadors and sent messages for young Asian filmmakers who have kept up their passion for cinema under these difficult circumstances. Nine Asian Master Filmmakers as Mentors! Korean directors Lee Chang-dong and Park Chan-wook; Japanese directors Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Koreeda Hirokazu, and Kawase Naomi; Chinese director Jia Zhang-Ke and actress Zhao Tao; and Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang and actor Lee Kang-Sheng sent messages to young Asian filmmakers as Asian Film Ambassadors. “Filmmakers should stand in solidarity and share courage with one another.”(Lee Chang-dong), “Even a pandemic cannot stop our passion for communicating through cinema.”(Jia Zhang-Ke), “Filmmaking itself is always difficult and full of adventures.”(Tsai Ming-Liang), “The history of film has always been one of overcoming huge challenges and obstacles.”(Park Chan-wook), “I strongly believe that films made under these difficult circumstances are masterpieces.”(Kurosawa Kiyoshi), “I do not believe we will stay disconnected like this. We will be reconnected in any shape or form.”(Koreeda Hirokazu), “Please keep making films so that we make a world with many brilliant points of view.”(Kawase Naomi), “Embrace cinema, embrace the screen, and embrace audiences.”(Zhao Tao), “Continue to work towards your goals and dreams.”(Lee Kang-Sheng) The messages contain determination and hope for overcoming these difficult times. The video messages are available from October 20th (Tue) on the Busan International Film Festival’s official YouTube channel. The videos are sponsored by Genesis, who supports filmmakers. Messages of Support from All over the World! The directors and programmers from the three major film festivals—Cannes, Berlin, and Venice—sent their support for filmmakers and the Busan International Film Festival, which is held on-site. Thierry Frémaux, the General Delegate of the Cannes Film Festival, showed special fondness towards the Busan International Film Festival: “In its 25th year, the Busan International Film Festival plays an important role in Korea, a blessed land of cinema.” Including Carlo Chatrian, the Artistic Director of the Berlin International Film Festival, who commented, “I will miss your beautiful town, the talking with the filmmakers, [and] the thrill of watching films along with local audiences”; Christian Jeune, Director of Film Department and Deputy General Delegate of the Cannes Film Festival; Alberto Barbera, Director of the Venice International Film Festival; and Serge Toubiana, the President of Unifrance, expressed their regret at not being able to be together this year and promised for next year. Director Bong Joon-ho who has not made official appearances in awhile since the Academy Awards earlier this year, also sent his message of support and congratulations on the festival: “I am especially proud of this year’s Busan International Film Festival for coming to audiences without change.” The Busan International Film Festival is first revealing video messages from directors Lee Chang-dong, Bong Joon-ho, and Koreeda Hirokazu. The rest of the videos will be released sequentially on the Busan International Film Festival’s official YouTube channel. The 25th Busan International Film Festival, which screens all its 192 selections in theaters, opens on October 21st (Wed) and is held for ten days until the 30th (Fri) at the Busan Cinema Center.
The 25th Busan International Film Festival Holds ‘Forum BIFF,’ an Intellectual Hub of Dynamic Discussions
All Sessions Free for Audiences The Busan International Film Festival holds Forum BIFF, centered around the Jiseok Film Institute, online from October 22nd (Thu) to October 27th (Tue). Jiseok Film Institute was launched to cherish the memory of late deputy director Jiseok Kim and promotes interdisciplinary study, education, and archive of Asian cinema. This year’s Forum BIFF conducts 12 sessions on diverse timely topics: changes in the culture and film industries in the post-COVID-19 era; the past, present, and future of film festivals as “contact zones” in celebration of the Busan International Film Festival’s 25th anniversary; recent societal debates on gender and feminism; and the history of resistance and the future of democracy in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Gwangju Democratic Uprising. Due to the impact of COVID-19, this year’s Forum BIFF is held online without charge on the Busan International Film Festival’s YouTube channel (http://youtube.com/busanfilmfest). Audiences around the world can participate online through live streamings and interact via comments in lieu of the in-person experience. Additionally, the videos will be up for 7 days after the end of the event in order to share Forum BIFF with more audiences. Life and Films in the Post-Covid-19 Era Forum BIFF prepared sessions to explore problems posed by COVID-19 and possible ways to overcome them. Under the key theme “Post-Covid-19 Era,” scholars, filmmakers, and experts in topics such as “lifestyle and cultural changes,” “film,” and “film festivals,” will come together to share ideas. Min Kyu-dong, the director of Herstory (2018), and Park Tae-hoon, the founder and CEO of online video streaming service Watcha, are on the panel to comprehensively discuss current questions in the film industry. Film Festival as a Contact Zone Film festivals are “contact zones” in which diverse cultures and values interact and coexist. Within the fast-changing media technology environment, Forum BIFF reexamines film festivals as contact zones and seeks new directions to take in the post-COVID-19 era. The session entitled Media Technology and the Future of Film Festivals, which features the film programmer of a premier multimedia arts festival South by Southwest (SXSW), is also worth looking forward to.
The 25th Busan International Film Festival Holds Guest Visit with Passion for Films
The 25th Busan International Film Festival, which takes place from October 21st to October 30th, holds the Guest Visit event for audiences’ full enjoyment of the official selections. Onsite for Korean Selections and Online for Foreign Selections Guest Visit is an event in which individuals involved in the making of the film, such as the directors and actors, freely talk with members of the audience to share in-depth conversations and aid their understanding of the film. This year, Guest Visits will be held onsite for the Korean selections and online for the foreign selections. As a safety precaution, the question and answer session will be conducted through the open chat system. Audiences can enter the chat room by scanning the QR code shown on the screen after each film screening. Guest Visits for Various Films in Appreciation of Audiences' Enthusiasm The 25th Busan International Film Festival is scheduled to hold Guest Visits for 140 films out of the total of 192 selections in appreciation of audiences’ support of the festival in these difficult times. Directors and actors of films selected for sections such as Korean Cinema Today-Panorama, Korean Cinema Today-Vision, and Wide Angle will visit Busan to take part in a total of 45 Guest Visits. A number of notable filmmakers are also joining the Guest Visits online, overcoming physical barriers. MINAMATA Mandala's Hara Kazuo, City Hall's Frederick Wiseman, Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue's Jia Zhang-Ke, and True Mother's Kawase Naomi are some of the big names that will meet with audiences online.
The 25th Busan International Film Festival Ticketing Schedule Announced
The 25th Busan International Film Festival announced the ticketing schedule. It will be available online and mobile web, starting from Oct 15th (Thu), 2:00 pm (KST) to 30th (Fri). In compliance with the government social distancing measure, the off-line ticket box will not be operated. All tickets will be booked through the Busan International Film Festival's official website and application ‘BIFF’. For this year, a paper ticket will not be issued. Tickets are issued only as an electronic ticket for mobile devices and an electronic ticket holder is allowed to enter the theatre. For further information, please visit the Busan International Film Festival official website or contact BIFF Call Center. In order to ensure safe operation of the theatre, the Busan International Film Festival will take strict preventive measures in compliance with the governmental guidelines. The Busan International Film Festival prioritizes the safety of the audience above all.
The 25th Busan International Film Festival Introduces Open Cinema Selections
The 25th Busan International Film Festival introduced 6 Open Cinema selections, which to be screened at the BIFF Theater located in Busan Cinema Center from October 21st to 30th. Open Cinema is a section that features a collection of new and internationally acclaimed films that offer both its cinematic quality and popularity. This year’s Open Cinema selections include quality films from diverse genres. The Asadas, inspired by photographer Asada Masashi’s photography books; DAEMUGA, a film on bizarre stories involving shamans; the Asian Project Market 2001 official selection returning to Busan after a 19-year hiatus, My Missing Valentine; Disney and Pixar’s Soul, a film that will make you contemplate some of life’s most important questions; Summer of 85, a sensitive and mysterious coming-of-age story by François Ozon, adapted from Aidan Chambers’ novel Dance on My Grave; and The Ties, the opening film at this year’s Venice International Film Festival that portrays a couple who are tied together even after their separation and divorce. [ Open Cinema Section Screening List ] The Asadas Director | NAKANO Ryota | Japan The Asadas was inspired by photographer Asada Masashi’s photography books. Nakano Ryota, who has told stories of families in Her Love Boils Bathwater and A Long Goodbye, once again delivers consolation and warmth with humor through The Asadas. DAEMUGA Director | LEE Hanjong | Korea DAEMUGA is a film that consists of four main characters, starting with an incident in which a professional shaman named Shin Nam unexpectedly becomes involved. The unpredictable genre, anomalies, and variations of the ‘excitement’ are the charm of DAEMUGA. My Missing Valentine Director | CHEN Yu-Hsun | Taiwan My Missing Valentine is a story about Xiao Chi, who is always a step ahead and her first love who is always a step behind, finally meeting after 20 years apart. Combining reality and fantasy and free-flowing time, this lovely romantic comedy is brought to life through rookie actor Patty Lee’s charming performance. A project of the Asia Project Market 2001, Chen Yu-hsun returns to Busan after a 19-year hiatus. Soul Director | Pete DOCTER, Kemp POWERS | United States Disney and Pixar’s Soul is the story of Joe Gardner, a middle school band teacher who gets a chance to play the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep sends him to the cosmic realm, where he discovers the answers to some of life’s most important questions. Summer of 85 Director | François OZON | France Adapting Aidan Chambers’ novel Dance on My Grave, which was one of the outstanding readings of his youth, François Ozon wrote a sensitive and mysterious coming of age story. This autobiographical part makes Summer of 85 a very touching movie, which is also a dive into the music and fashion of this period. The Ties Director | Daniele LUCHETTI | Italy The opening film of the Venice International Film Festival 2020 follows a couple over a span of 30 years who cannot let go of each other even after separation and divorce. Crossing between Rome and Naples, the present and the past, Luchetti unfolds an intimate story of a desolate home, a cat, and a secret box.
2nd Chungju International Martial Arts and Action Film Festival to Open on October 22, 2020
The 2nd Chungju International Martial Arts and Action Film Festival is scheduled to be held for 5 days, October 22~26, 2020, in Chungju, South Korea. Held for the first time in August last year in Cheongju and Chungju in a significant success as the only film festival in martial arts and modern action genre in Korea, the inaugural Chungju International Martial Arts and Action Film Festival was applauded by many martial arts and action film fans. Due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, period of the 2nd Festival is postponed from August to October, and films will be screened both online and offline via Wavve, an online screening platform, as well as at drive-in theaters and cinemas in the city. And, for safety and comfortable viewing of the audience, the Executive Committee of the Festival is taking all necessary preventive measures against the epidemic. To enhance unique identity of the Chungju International Martial Arts and Action Film Festival, the Executive Committee recently redesigned its emblem based on the three-legged crow, an auspicious bird in imagination. The new emblem is arranged with formative characteristics of film that symbolize movies along with a symbol of the three-legged crow. It expresses materialization of phantasies into films. The official poster of the Festival is created based on three keywords; dynamicity, continuity and availability. It is designed with an intention to create an identity of the Festival that satisfies all of these key words – dynamicity that represents martial arts with kinesthesia and sense of beating which touches the heart, continuity which represents rolls of films that are created by connecting numerous image cuts and the film festival that is continued every year, and availability that can be flexibly used at various contact points which apprise of the film festival, while maintaining consistency. Under the slogan of ‘The Spirit of Martial Arts, Blossom into a Movie’, a large number of martial arts and action films, which are yet to be introduced in Korea, will be shown in collaboration in programs with other international film festivals in martial arts and action genre, including ‘The Fighting Spirit Film Festival’ in the United Kingdom and the ‘Universal Martial Arts Film Festival’ in France. And the Festival will screen more than 70 martial arts and action films from many countries, including ‘Fist of Fury’ and ‘The Way of the Dragon’ featured by Bruce Lee, the icon of action, as well as family action films that can be enjoyed altogether by family members. These works will be shown in 6 sections, such as ‘Korean Action Films: Hall of Fame’, ‘Special Show in Honor of Bruce Lee’, ‘World Action Films’, ‘Action! Indi-days’, ‘Family Action Films’, and ‘Programmer Choice’. As the opening film to be unveiled for the first time in the world (world premiere) at the forthcoming Festival, ‘Dragon Inn’, which looks like an ordinary Chinese restaurant, deals with story of a civil militia that serves justice on cases in which justice couldn’t be served by the judicial authority. This film is produced by Director Choi Sang-hun who directed ‘The Therapist Fist of Tae-baek’ which was nominated as one of competitors in the Korean Fantastic Category at the 24th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. Honored with the award for best direction, award for best actor and audience award at the Rincon International Film Festival, the closing film ‘The Man from Kathumandu’ directed by Director Pema Dhondup will be screened for the first time in Korea (Korea premiere). Featuring anecdotes of a Nepal-ancestored main figure who visited Kathumandu to look for his father, the film depicts his experiences in contacting his country’s tradition, culture and root. Kim Yun-sik, Senior Programmer, said that the Chungju International Martial Arts and Action Film Festival selected a world premiere film and a Korea premiere work as the opening and closing film, respectively, because it aims to demonstrate its direction growing as an internationally competitive film festival that discovers and publicizes diversified martial arts and action films hidden in each country. Having been organized in June this year, the Executive Committee of the Chungju International Martial Arts and Action Film Festival has been working on preparation for the Festival. Director Lee Du-yong who led growth and transformation of the film industry in Korea in the 1970s and 1980s with works, including ‘The Last Witness’ and ‘The Hut’, was elected as the Chairman of the Executive Committee following last year and Prof. Kim Gyeong-sik at Cheongju University was named as the Vice Chairman of the Committee. In addition, a host of prominent specialists who are active in a range of film and culture fields joined as members of the Committee. New committee members include Jo Dong-gwan, President of Korea Society of Cinematographers; Jo Chang-hi, Director of Korea Culture and Arts Management Research Institute; Ahn Tae-geun, President of Korea Bruce Lee Foundation; Jeong Seong-il, film critic; Jang Cheol-su, film director; Pak Hyo-geun, President of Chungju Chapter of Federation of Korea Filmmakers; Kim Yong-cheol, division director at SBS; and Kim Dong-won, Vice President of Taewon Entertainment. And those who were entrusted again this year include Prof. Lee Se-chang at Far East University who led the last year’s festival in a stable manner; Kim Woo-seok, an action actor who is well known as ‘Bruce Khan’; and Kim Eun-seob, President of Korea Savate Federation. Actor Oh Ji-ho was designated as the honorary ambassador for the Festival this year. Oh Ji-ho demonstrated impressive actions in daily soap operas ‘Fantastic Couple’ in MBC TV and ‘The Slave Hunters’ in KBS2 channel, and he showed splendid actions in films, ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘The Therapist Fist of Tae-baek’, this year. Having featured in the opening film, ‘Dragon Inn’, he is closely related to the Festival, and he is expected to actively take part in a variety of publicity activities for the Festival.
Asia Contents & Film Market 2020 Announces Nominees for the 2nd Asia Contents Award
The Asian Contents & Film Market announces nominees for the 2nd Asia Contents Awards, which will be held on October 25th. This year’s Asia Contents Awards will be broadcast online due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Asia Contents Awards recognizes outstanding Asian content from TV, OTT and other diverse platforms. Open calls for applications have been made this year with 75 submissions accepted from 17 countries. Preliminary and final selections have selected 28 works from 12 countries to compete in 7 categories. In addition, the three categories including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Excellence Award and Best Rising Star will be announced without nominees on the day of the ceremony. The nine jurors for the final selection include Yao Chen, the winner of Best Actress in the Asia Content Awards 2019; Stephen Fung, a Chinese director and actor; Joo Chulhwan, a professor at Ajou University in Korea; and Terawaki Ken, a professor at Kyoto University of the Arts. This year’s Asia Contents Awards nominees contain Korean dramas that have attracted many international and local viewers including The World of the Married, Crash Landing on You, When the Camellia Blooms, Kingdom S2, Hospital Playlist, Extracurricular and Hyena. International nominees include Taiwanese drama The Victims' Game (five nominations), a story about a forensic detective with Asperger’s syndrome, and The Bad Kids (four nominations), a Chinese breakout OTT series released in the first half of 2020. Other nominated works from Asia include Japanese TV series Nagi’s Long Vacation and Solitary Gourmet S8; Singaporean TV series Last Madame; and Thai TV series One Year and In Family We Trust. The Asia Content Awards will strictly comply with government social distancing measures. To safely hold the ceremony, only the hosts and performers will be on the onsite venue; in addition, international and local awardees and recipients will attend online. Broadcasting online is expected to present a new aspect of the award in the era of the New Normal. The ceremony will be hosted by Nichkhun, actor and a member of Korean boy band 2PM, and Kim Sae-yeon, the previous-year’s host and winner of the Miss Korea 2019 title. Performances to celebrate the awards will be given by Korean girl band Lovelyz and Kim Jae-hwan, who sings the original sound track from Crash Landing on You. The 2nd Asia Contents Awards will be broadcast online at the official YouTube channel of the Busan International Film Festival on Oct 25th, 4 pm - 6pm (KST).
Ann Hui’s Love After Love Selected for Gala Presentation
The 25th Busan International Film Festival selected director Ann Hui’s Love After Love for the Gala Presentation section. Director Ann Hui’s latest film Love After Love delicately depicts the suffering of youth, helpless in both their life and love. The film is set in 1920s Hong Kong and Shanghai, a period overwhelmed by political unrest and war. Ann Hui was born in China and moved to Hong Kong at an early age. Her debut film The Secret (1979) is well known as the piece that initiated the Hong Kong New Wave. Her major works include Boat People (1982), A Simple Life (2011), and The Golden Era (2014). Hui won the Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award at the Busan International Film Festival 2014 and the Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award at the Venice International Film Festival 2020. Gala Presentation section showcases new works by acclaimed directors or much-anticipated films from around the world. There are five films in total in this year's selections: the newly added Love After Love, Minari by director Lee Isaac Chung, Wife of a Spy by director Kurosawa Kiyoshi, True Mothers by director Kawase Naomi, and In the Mood for Love by director Wong Kar Wai. The 25th Busan International Film Festival will be held from Oct 21 to 30, 2020 Asian Contents & Film Market (ACFM) 2020 will be held from Oct 26 to 28 Asian Project Market (APM) 2020 will be held from Oct 26 to 28
The 25th Busan International Film Festival Juries Announced
The 25th Busan International Film Festival announces the jury members for the BIFF Mecenat Award, Sonje Award, and Actor & Actress of the Year. Juries Announced for Actor & Actress of the Year Actor & Actress of the Year are awards that discover new talents who will lead the future of Korean cinema. The awards are given to a notable new actor and actress in independent Korean feature films invited to the Busan International Film Festival’s New Currents and Korean Cinema Today-Vision sections. Choo Sang Mee and Jung Jin Young, who both act and direct, are this year’s jury members for Actor & Actress of the Year. Choo Sang Mee acts across genres in films, on television, and in theaters, and started directing with the short film Dressing Room (2010). Her feature-length directorial debut The Children Gone to Poland (2018) was screened in the Wide Angle section at the 23rd Busan International Film Festival. Jung Jin Young is a seasoned actor who appeared in four megahit films that attracted more than 10 million viewers including King and the Clown (2005). He made his directorial debut with Me and Me (2020), which is invited to the Korean Cinema Today-Panorama section of this year’s Busan International Film Festival. Actor & Actress of the Year awards have highlighted distinguished new actors since the inception in 2014: Choi Woo-shik in Set Me Free, Cho Soohyang in Wild Flowers, Lee Ju-won in Alone, Jang Sun in Communication & Lies, Lee Minji and Koo Kyohwan in Jane, Jeon Yeobeen in After My Death, and Park Jonghwan in Hit the Night, Lee Juyeong in Maggie, and Moon Choi in Our Body. Last year Kim Junhyung and Mun Hye-in received the Actor & Actress of the Year awards for their expressive emotional delivery in The Education. Juries Announced for BIFF Mecenat Award and Sonje Award BIFF Mecenat Award and Sonje Award are given to Korean and Asian documentary films and short films screening in the Wide Angle competition sections. BIFF Mecenat Award is given to two documentary films, one each from Korea and Asia; Sonje Award is given to two short films, one each from Korea and Asia. The director of the winning film is awarded 10,000,000 KRW. The BIFF Mecenat Award jury members are Nick Deocampo, a Filipino documentary filmmaker and film historian; Park Inho, the president of the Busan Film Critics Association and a film critic; and Chalida Uabumrungjit, the director of the Thai Film Archive. The Sonje Award jury members are Indonesian Ifa Isfansyah, the founder of Jogja Film Academy and Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival; Kim Yiseok, the president of film and culture cooperative Cine Folk and the director of the Cinema & Transmedia Institute at Dong-Eui University; and Kazakh Sharipa Urazbayeva, director of Mariam (2019), which was invited to various film festivals, including the Busan International Film Festival. [Actor & Actress of the Year Jury Members Biographies] CHOO Sang Mee Actor, Director/Korea Choo Sang Mee starred in numerous films such as The Contact (1997), Turning Gate (2002), and The Wonder Years (2007). She gained fame acting across genres in dramas and plays as well. Choo made her directorial debut with the short film Dressing Room (2010) which was selected for the Jeonju International Film Festival’s Competition section. Her following work A Woman Under the Influence (2013) was invited to the 18th Busan International Film Festival’s Korean Short Film Competition section. She has been expanding her filmography as a director, with her feature debut The Children Gone to Poland (2018) invited to the 23rd Busan International Film Festival’s Wide Angle section. Choo served on the executive committees at the 21st Seoul International Women’s Film Festival and the 12th DMZ International Documentary Film Festival. JUNG Jin Young Actor, Director/Korea Jung Jin Young made his acting debut on stage in 1988 and gained recognition for his screen performance in A Promise (1998). He has since acted in various films, plays, and dramas. Jung is a frequent collaborator of director Lee Joon-ik, starring in five of Lee’s films including King and the Clown (2005). He starred in four films that attracted more than 10 million viewers: King and the Clown (2005), Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013), Ode to my Father (2014), and A Taxi Driver (2017). Jung has delivered powerful performances in auteur films such as Grass (2018) and Ode to the Goose (2018) and socially conscious films such as Where the Truth Lies (2009) and Another Family (2014). Marking the 33rd year of his acting career, Jung made his directorial debut with Me and Me (2020). [BIFF Mecenat Award Jury Members Biographies] Nick DEOCAMPO Director/Philippines Nick Deocampo is a Filipino documentary filmmaker whose oeuvre spans from political films shot during the anti-dictatorship period of the 1980s to films that chronicle the history of Philippine cinema. Deocampo received his Master of Arts degree in Cinema Studies at New York University and is currently a professor at the University of the Philippines Film Institute. He served as a juror in festivals including those in Berlin, Tokyo, Oberhausen, Tampere, and Jakarta. Deocampo has also written award-winning books on the history of Philippine and Asian cinema. PARK Inho Film Critic/Korea Park Inho is a film critic. She is the president of the Busan Film Critics Association and does commentaries on classic films at Busan Cinema Center’s Cinematheque Busan as well. She contributes to film magazines based in Busan: Critic b, published by the Busan Film Critics Association, and IndieCritique. She also writes for the Korea Film Archive and FILO, a bimonthly film magazine. Chalida UABUMRUNGJIT Director, Thai Film Archive/Thailand Chalida Uabumrungjit studied film at Thammasat University in Thailand and film archiving at University of East Anglia in UK. Uabumrungjit is a founding member of Thai Short Film & Video Festival for which she has served as the festival director since 1997. She was also on the selection committee at Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund and has been on the executive committee at the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) since 2013. Creating a number of experimental films and documentaries as well as serving as the director of Thai Film Archive, Uabumrungjit has been dynamically active in the film industry. [Sonje Award Jury Members Biographies] Ifa ISFANSYAH Director, Producer/Indonesia Ifa Isfansyah began his career in cinema by producing and directing several short films after graduating from the Television Department of the Indonesian Institute of Art Jogjakarta. In 2006, Isfansyah was selected by the Busan International Film Festival as an Asian Film Academy (AFA) fellow. His feature debut, Garuda Di Dadaku (2009), was met with great success; his second film, The Dancer (2011), was awarded the Best Director and Best Picture awards at the Indonesian Film Festival. Since then, he has directed seven feature films as well as established himself as a founding member of Fourcolours Films, an independent production company that supports local filmmakers. Isfansyah has shown his continuing support for the Indonesian film industry by establishing the Jogja Film Academy and Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival. KIM Yiseok Professor/Korea Kim Yiseok is a professor in the Department of Film Studies at Dong-Eui University. He served as the president of the Busan Independent Film Association and Busan Film Critics Association. He is currently the president of Cine Folk, a film and culture cooperative, and the director of Cinema & Transmedia Institute (DCTI) at Dong-Eui University. Kim received his doctorate degree in Film and Audiovisual Studies at University of Paris 8. He translated two seminal works in cinema studies from French to Korean as well as writing two volumes on the subject. Sharipa URAZBAYEVA Director/Kazakhstan Sharipa Urazbayeva graduated in film and TV production from T.K. Zhurgenov Kazakh National Academy of Arts and completed an international internship in the study of the technology of film at NOVA University of Lisbon in 2013. Her short films Mimi (2013), Source (2013), Ego (2014), The Potato Eaters (2016), and The Little One (2017) have screened at international film festivals including the Cannes Film Festival. Her feature debut, Mariam (2019), screened at Busan International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival, in addition to winning the Golden Cyclo Award at the 26th Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinemas.
The 25th Busan International Film Festival Announces the Kim Jiseok Award Jurors
The 25th Busan International Film Festival has announced three jurors for the Kim Jiseok Award. Three Jurors to Discover Talented Directors to Lead the Asian Film Industry The Kim Jiseok Award was established in 2017 to honor the late Kim Jiseok, who devotes his life to discovering new Asian directors and supporting the growth of the Asian film industry. Two films will be selected from A Window on Asian Cinema section that introduces new and breakout films by Asian directors; each film will be awarded USD 10,000. The jurors for the Kim Jiseok Award at the 25th Busan International Film Festival are Zhao Tao, Jung Sung-il and Mouly Surya. Zhao Tao is a Chinese actress and producer. Zhao won David di Donatello for Best Actress for her performance in Shun Li and the Poet (2012), the first Asian actress to do so. Zhao also produced Useless (2007), which won the Horizons Award for Best Documentary at the 64th Venice International Film Festival, and Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue (2020) which competed at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival. Jung Sung-il, the film critic and director, launched a monthly film magazine Kino in 1995 and served as the editor-in-chief, in addition to publishing two volumes of film criticism. His debut film Cafe Noir (2009) premiered at the 14th Busan International Film Festival and the 66th Venice International Film Festival. Mouly Surya won numerous awards locally and internationally on her directorial debut Fiksi (2008). Her latest film Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (2017) premiered at the 70th Cannes Film Festival at the Directors’ Fortnight and theatrically released in 14 countries including the United States and Canada. [Kim Jiseok Award Jurors Biography] ■ ZHAO Tao Actress / China Zhao Tao is a Chinese actress and producer. Graduating from the Folk Dance Department of Beijing Dance Academy, Zhao started her acting career with Jia Zhang-ke’s Platform (2000). In 2006, she starred in Still Life (2006), which won the Golden Lion at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival. Zhao won David di Donatello for Best Actress for her performance in Shun Li and the Poet (2012), the first Asian actress to do so. She appeared in most of director Jia Zhang-ke’s works, such as A Touch of Sin (2013), Mountains May Depart (2015), and Ash is Purest White (2018). She served on the jury for the 7th Rome International Film Festival and the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival. Zhao also produced Useless (2007), which won the Horizons Award for Best Documentary at the 64th Venice International Film Festival, and Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue which competed at the 2020 Berlinale. ■ JUNG Sung-il Critic, Director / Korea Jung Sung-il is a South Korean film critic and director. He launched a monthly film magazine Kino in 1995 and served as the editor-in-chief, in addition to publishing two volumes of film criticism. His debut film Cafe Noir (2009) premiered at the 14th Busan International Film Festival and the 66th Venice International Film Festival, while his documentary following the Chinese filmmaker Wang Bing, Night and Fog in Zona (2017), screened at the 20th Busan International Film Festival and the 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam. Jung’s two documentaries on filmmaker Im Kwon-taek entitled Gravity of the Tea (2018) and Cloud, Encore (2018) were invited to the 23rd Busan International Film Festival. ■ Mouly SURYA Director / Indonesia Mouly Surya has won numerous awards locally and internationally on her directorial debut Fiksi (2008). Her latest film Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (2017) premiered at the 70th Cannes Film Festival at the Directors’ Fortnight and theatrically released in 14 countries including the United States and Canada. The film was also Indonesia’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.
The 25th Busan International Film Festival Announces the New Currents Award Jurors
The 25th Busan International Film Festival has announced three jurors for the New Currents section - Asian film competition section. Three Jurors to Discover the New Talented Directors The New Currents section is the competitive section that introduces the first or second features of up-and-coming directors, who can lead the future of the Asian film industry. This section has an important significance covering and encouraging new and talented directors. The directors of the two selected films in the New Currents section will each be awarded USD 30,000 each. Mira Nair is commissioned as the head juror of the 25th Busan International Film Festival for the New Currents section. Her debut film Salaam Bombay! (1988) received the Caméra d’Or at the 41st Cannes Film Festival, and her best-known films include Monsoon Wedding (2001), which won the Golden Lion Award at the 58th Venice Film Festival. A longtime activist, Mira Nair founded the Salaam Baalak Trust in 1999, an organization that works with Indian street children. She also started the Maisha Film Lab in 2004, a free school that provides training for emerging filmmakers in East Africa. Mira Nair was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s prestigious civilian honor, for her work in the arts and culture. The two other commissioned jurors that will sit with Mira Nair include the following. Thierry Jobin, the artistic director of the Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF), who mainly introduces Latin American, Africa and Asian films to promote diversity in European culture. Yang Haegue, a visual artist based in Seoul and Berlin, who exhibits internationally and teaches at Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. [New Currents Jurors Biography] ■ Mira NAIR Director / USA / Head Juror Mira Nair has worked across genres, directing both on stage and on screen. Her debut film Salaam Bombay! (1988) received over 25 awards including the Caméra d’Or at the 41st Cannes Film Festival. Her best-known films include Monsoon Wedding (2001), which won the Golden Lion Award at the 58th Venice Film Festival, Mississippi Masala (1991), Vanity Fair (2004), and Queen of Katwe (2016). The musical adaptation of Monsoon Wedding, which sold out at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2017, will be staged again in 2021 at the Roundhouse in London. A longtime activist, Nair founded the Salaam Baalak Trust in 1999, an organization that works with Indian street children. She also started the Maisha Film Lab in 2004, a free school that provides training for emerging filmmakers in East Africa. In 2012, Nair was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s prestigious civilian honor, for her work in arts and culture. ■ Thierry JOBIN Artistic Director, Fribourg Film Festival/Switzerland Thierry Jobin is the artistic director of the Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF). After making his debut as a journalist at a young age, Jobin has been working as a film critic for 25 years and publishing his works in numerous mainstream media outlets such as Le Temps in Geneva. In addition to promoting Asian cinema through his work at FIFF, Jobin is an expert for Visions Sud Est, a Swiss fund that promotes film productions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe; and Final Cut, a post-production fund for African cinema. ■ YANG Haegue Installation Artist/ Korea Yang Haegue is a visual artist based in Seoul and Berlin, who exhibits internationally and teaches at Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Yang has participated in numerous major exhibitions including the 53rd Venice Biennale, where she represented the Korean Pavilion and exhibited at the Arsenale. Her work has also been shown at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Sharjah Biennial 12, and the 16th Istanbul Biennial. She held her recent solo exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach; furthermore, her works are collected by museums such as the Guggenheim Museum, Centre Pompidou, and the Tate Modern. Yang’s next solo exhibition O2 & H2O will be held this September at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul.
Busan International Film Festival ‘BIFF Academy’ holds Short Film Project Contest
Busan International Film Festival’s BIFF Academy and 37th Degree, a global moving images production company, together present Short Film Project Contest for Asian filmmakers to submit short film projects until September 7th (Mon). Established in 2019, BIFF Academy efficiently manages and operates the Busan International Film Festival’s educational and support programs for Asian filmmakers, including Asian Cinema Fund (ACF), Asian Film Academy (AFA), and Asian Project Market (APM). The BIFF Academy plans to provide practical and high-quality educational and support programs by developing existing programs as sustainable programs as well as launch diverse new programs. Under the slogan ‘Reboot Your Creativity’, the short film contest aims to encourage Korean and Asian filmmakers' creative activities in these unprecedented times. The contest is expected to open new opportunities and reinvigorate the creative spirit of Asian filmmakers despite the temporarily closing of this year’s ACF and AFA due to restructuring plans for existing programs and the COVID-19 outbreak. The co-organizer of the contest, 37th Degree, is a production company with offices in Seoul, New York and Milan, providing production services for films, videos and commercials around the world as well as producing its own films and multimedia projects. A total of 20 million KRW was committed for production support which will be granted to selected projects depending on the project’s production status. Starting with this year’s collaboration, 37th Degree will join the BIFF Academy in finding various ways to nurture and support Asian filmmakers.
Asian Project Market 2020 Announces Virtual Event and 22 Official Selections
Asian Project Market 2020 Goes Online Asian Project Market, the biggest market for investment and co-production in Asia, will be held online from October 12 to 14. This year marks the 23rd year for APM, a business platform introducing aspiring worldwide film projects to industry professionals and providing an exemplary opportunity to invest and co-produce. Since its foundation in 1998, APM has presented 585 projects in total, with more than 250 completed into films. APM will go online this year for local and international participants who cannot physically be present at onsite business meetings due to COVID-19. Presenting the latest promising film projects and serving as a bridge between the projects and the industry professionals, APM will provide an exceptional experience for all participants. Reveals 22 Official Projects All Across Asia Several of this year's APM project selections include those made by filmmakers that have been awarded at previous editions of the Busan International Film Festival. New Currents Award 2019 winner for Rom, director Tran Thanh Huy's newest work Tick It and FIPRESCI International Critics' Award 2018 winner for The Red Phallus, Tashi Gyeltshen's brand new film A River in the Mirror have been selected. Director Sheron Dayoc, winner of BIFF Mecenat Award 2016 with The Crescent Rising, will participate in this year’s APM with 6th Finger, and director Elzat Eskendir who won Sonje Award in the same year for Off-season, will present Abel. A Burning Question, the newest project by director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, whose film Television was selected as the closing film for the Busan International Film Festival 2012, is also noteworthy. Other notable projects are Ripple of Life by director Wei Shujun and LOVE LIFE by director Fukada Koji, whose latest films were selected for the Cannes Official Selection 2020. This year's APM presents 6 Korean projects. Director Kim Seungwoo, who was invited to numerous prominent film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival 2019 with Bring Me Home, will participate in APM with The Survivor. Director Ahn Jaehuun, the winner of the Contrechamp Jury Distinction of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2020 for The Shaman Sorceress, will present his animation project A Thousand Years Together. Nowhere To Hide Ⅱ by director Lee Myungse, A Bite of the Cosmos by director Shin Dongseok, Flowers of Mold by director Shim Hyejung, and A Taegueki Boy by director Jeong Heejae are also included in the 6 selections.