The 26th Busan International Film Festival, which will be held from October 6 (Wed) to 15 (Fri), announced 11 selections for New Currents, the section where the future of Asian cinema can be viewed.
New Currents, which is a main competition section at BIFF, has become an entry point for capable directors over the past 25 years in the discovery of new Asian films. Many directors, who were introduced in the section, not only left their marks on the global stage beyond Asia, but also paved the way for new Asian cinema.
The 26th Busan International Film Festival showcases 11 New Currents selections, where new and talented directors are discovered. This year, the works of outstanding directors that will brighten the future of Asian cinema are awaiting the audience.
The 11 selected films will become the nominees for the New Currents Award, the New Currents Audience Award, the NETPAC Award, and the FIPRESCI Award.
- A Japanese director, who worked as an assistant director to Bong Joon Ho, selected for New Currents
Among the New Currents selections, director Katayama Shinzo and his film Missing is drawing attention due to his career as an assistant director to Bong Joon Ho. After working as an assistant director for the episode Shaking Tokyo in TOKYO! (2008), an omnibus film by Leos Carax, Michel Gondry, and Bong Joon Ho, Katayama was the assistant director for the film Mother (2009). He debuted with the film Siblings of the Cave (2018). Missing is his second feature, a thriller that is expected to go above and beyond the audience's imagination, which is fitting for a former assistant director to Bong Joon Ho.
- Two films each from India and Iran selected
This year, two films from India were nominated for the New Currents Award. Pedro depicts the difficult situation that the eponymous protagonist, an electrician who had been living an invisible life in a forest village in the western region of India, coincidentally finds himself in. ln addition to the vivid acting by non-professional actors, the film captures a moment in which every part of the forest transforms cinematically inside the frame. House of Time was co-directed by Rajdeep Paul and Sarmistha Maiti. The suspense builds as a doctor is locked in a house that is occupied by three women, while they sink into the quagmire of time and space. This film was produced by Aurora Film Corporation, which has a long history of being in charge of the production and distribution of Indian films since its establishment in 1906.
Two films were selected from Iran as well. The Absent Director depicts a director conducting a rehearsal for a play through video calls and the resulting fracas created by the director and the crew. Like director Sam Mendes's 1917 (2019), the film is a unique piece of work that is shot in single-take style without cuts. Asteroid is a heartwarming film that portrays a boy who makes an earnest living for his mother and siblings despite his poverty. This film also won an award at the Fajr International Film Festival 2021.
- New directors of Kazakhstan, China, and Southeast Asia
From Central Asia, Red Pomegranate, the second feature of director Sharipa Urazbayeva, who won the Golden Wheel Award from the Vesoul Film Festival of Asian Cinemas 2020 with her debut feature Mariam (2019), was selected as a nominee for the New Currents Award. Following her debut, Urazbayeva demonstrates the force of Kazakhstani women directors through telling the story of women who actively make their own choices.
A film selected from Chinese-speaking area, a region from where many films of great quality were submitted this year, is Farewell, My Hometown by director Wang Er Zhou. Farewell, My Hometown overlays the life of three generations of women within pastoral and poetic images and voiceovers.
From Southeast Asia, two films that are set in an environment of sexist social contradictions, such as oppressive patriarchy, are introduced. Director Kim Quy Bui of Vietnam revisits Busan with Memoryland, which she directed with much more maturity stemming from a long period of preparation that came after her debut with The Inseminator (2014), which was a film supported by the Asian Cinema Fund. Indonesian director Wregas Bhanuteja completed his feature debut with the mystery crime film Photocopier after receiving an invitation to the Asian Shorts competition section at BIFF with his short film No One is Crazy in This Town (2019).
- Korean films: The Apartment with Two Women and Seire
For Korean films, director Kim Se-in's first feature film, The Apartment with Two Women, and director Park Kang's Seire were selected. The Apartment with Two Women is a realist family drama that acutely questions the relationship and meaning of family, and tenaciously depicts the emotional battle between mother and daughter that lasts for 2 hours and 24 minutes. Seire is an ominous and fantastic mystery horror film that deals with the Korean folk tradition Samchilil (also called Seire; postpartum confinement), a period during which outsiders are not allowed to enter the house for 21 days after the birth of a baby in order to prevent bad luck.
Likewise, the 11 New Currents selections, which are raising expectations for the sensuous works by emerging directors who will lead the future of Asian cinema, will be screened at the 26th Busan International Film Festival, from October 6 (Wed) to 15 (Fri).