Festival Reports

23rd Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival

System Administrator Monday July 29, 2019
Recognized as a major international showcase for genre films, BIFAN showcased 284 films from 49 countries (166 features and 118 shorts) in its 23rd edition. They included 64 World Premieres, 38 International Premieres and 79 Asian Premieres. Korean superstar Jung Woo-sung attended BIFAN 23's star-studded opening ceremony on June 27 at the Bucheon Gynmasium, where the festival's new director (and veteran film producer) Shin Chul declared BIFAN's determination to take part in the advancement of the next 100 years of Korean cinema
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Report On The XV Eurasia Film Festival

System Administrator Tuesday July 23, 2019
The festival screened award winning films from major international film festivals, including Parasite by Bong Joon Ho (South Korea) that won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival this year, along with some lesser known films by young directors, many of them making their debut.
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41st Moscow International Festival

System Administrator Monday May 6, 2019
As a film juror from Pakistan, representing NETPAC, I was supposed to watch a pre-scheduled line-up of films — a mix of features and documentaries — from different Asian countries including India, Japan, China, Turkey, and even Yakutia, a sparsely populated but geographically large district in the north-eastern part of the Russian Federation.
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Fajr Film Festival

System Administrator Saturday May 4, 2019

The eleven Iranian films seen by NATPAC included fiction, animation, documentary and docudrama. The choice of subjects  varied with plots and characters  distinctly different from each other. In fact , no two films had any similarity or resemblance so forget cut and paste. 

Docudrama The Narrow Red Line from 2019 was scripted an directed by Farzad Khoshdast. It showed us a group of teenagers (not a day  over seventeen) in a Correction Center. The boys are guided and trained by a dedicated theater coach to leave their past behind and come up with a stage production, and finally, getting an invite from Germany for a visit and presentation. Yet nothing seemed theatrical and it all was all real. Powerful script , strong performance and direction with appealing production effects were at their best here. 

Another docudrama 23 People from 2018, scripted and directed by Mehdi Jafari ,shows us 23 teenage soldiers as POWs during Iran-Iraq War in early-eighties. They are repeatedly forced to admit and record that they are under twelve and have been forced to go to war. Patriotism prevail and they refuse to take the orders from the enemy. At one point, when a boy is being forced to admit that he is under twelve, he shouts back "I am seventeen and married. How can I be twelve !". The boys after trials and turbulences, make sure in the end that they  go back  to their homes with respect and dignity. The film ends in the present when the kids, now in their middle-age, call on their chief (from the prison days). It is an emotional scene bringing tears with joy. 23 People won award at 2019 Fajr Film Festival. (not to be confused with Fijir International Film Festival). 

Documentary Without My Friend from 2018, written and directed by Mohammad Ali Talebi, is a real account of two fifteen year old girls who attempt suicide by jumping off the bridge. One of them survives and we go into the facts for this tragic act. The film won at Cinema Verite, Iran Documentary Film Festival in 2018. It also won Best Actress Award at 37th Fajr International Film Festival. It is ruthless and shocking in showing actual incident filmed in a 3 minute video by the girls. There may be 101 reasons for this act but the bottom line is alienation from parents and generation gap.  

NETPAC Jury (Latika Padgaonkar, Syed Gholamreza Mousavi, Aijaz Gul)  presenting the award to Farzad Khoshdast
NETPAC Jury (Latika Padgaonkar, Syed Gholamreza Mousavi, Aijaz Gul) presenting the award to Farzad Khoshdast


The third  and final film of my list is The Charcoal from 2019 scripted and directed by Esmeel Monsef. With a directorial debut, Esmeel takes us into the life of charcoal producer and his hard account from dawn to dust. NETPAC Jury awarded The Narrow Red Line as Best Film for portraying the life of boys in a correction center who end up well with positive guidance. 

-- Aijaz Gul

--Edited by Latika Padgaonkar

Finding the Peaks of Cinema

System Administrator Tuesday February 26, 2019
In a country dotted with mountains, it’s perhaps not unimaginable that a ready audience base is hungry for such an event. After all, one of the country’s oldest and largest mountaineering clubs, Corea’s Alpine Club (CAC) was founded in 1945.
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Congratulations Bong Joon Ho

Congratulations to Bong Joon-ho TXmvGYanrJgMzRNgaSEK The victory of Parasite by Bong Joon-ho, at the 92nd Academy Awards (aka the Oscars), is a clear sign of global change. The history of cinema is being written on our eyes! For the first time, the most prestigious cinema awards were given to one film - the Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film festival, the Best Asian film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and the Oscars. For the first time, we see such unanimous acclaim of one film. Read More...