Festival Reports

BUSAN 2011

Aditya Saturday November 5, 2011

BUSAN 2011 1  

The 16th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) took place from October 6th through October 14th in Busan, South Korea. As the largest film festival in Asia, BIFF screened 307 films from 70 countries, including 86 world premieres. 8,828 accredited guests and 2,440 accredited press attended the festival. 
2011 marked a new era for the festival. The English name was changed from Pusan to Busan to bring it in line with standard translation. Taking over from the 15-year veteran Kim Dong-ho, new Festival Director Lee Yong-kwan inaugurated the Busan Cinema Center (BCC), a beautiful $157 million-dollar, 30,000 square-meter complex that serves as the exclusive venue for screenings and events for BIFF during the festival period. Additional screening venues include CGV Centum City, LOTTE Cinema Centum City, Community Media Center Haeundae, and Megabox Haeundae, for a total of 36 screens at 5 theatres. Total attendance number was 196,177 or 83% per screen.
The opening film was ALWAYS (South Korea), a melodramatic love story directed by 2001 BIFF New Currents winner SONG Il-gon.
BIFF presented its Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award to director Tsui Hark (Hong Kong). French actress Isabelle Hubert, French director Luc Besson were among the BIFF Master Class speakers. Special retrospective programs were dedicated to Korean director KIM Kee-duk and Hong Kong director Yonfan.
BIFF’s top competition, the New Currents award, were split between Filipino director Loy Arcena’s Niño and Iranian director Morteza Farshbag’s MOURNING.
Selected from the twelve Korean narrative features programmed in the “New Currents” and “Korean Cinema Today: Vision” sections, the NETPAC award were given to THE KING OF PIGS (Dir. Yeun Sang ho, South Korea). A brilliantly stylized animated thriller epitomizing the gruesome social inequality and debased humanity through the eyes of tormented adolescents with invigorating energy, emotional momentum and unsettling honesty, the film also received the Director's Guild of Korea: Best Director award, and the CGV Movie Collage Award.
The 16th BIFF NETPAC jury members were chairperson George Chun Han Wang (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Seok Moon (Chief Editor, Cine21 Magazine, Korea) and Rithdee Kong (film critic, Bangkok Post), plus two Citizen Reviewers jury members: Yun-Seok Jang (Pukyong National University), and Michelle Kim (Ar2Square). 
At the awards ceremony, NETPAC/USA vice president Jeannette Paulson Hereniko joined BIFF NETPAC jury chairperson George Chun Han Wang, to present the NETPAC award trophy and certificate to THE KING OF PIGS director Yuen Sang Ho (pictured).
The festival concluded with the closing film from Japan, CHRONICLE OF MY MOTHER, a touching film based on Yasushi Inoue’s autobiographical novel, directed by Harada Masato.



ASIATICA, ROME, (October 12 to 22, 2011)

Aditya Thursday November 3, 2011
The 12th edition of the "Asiatica Film Mediale", directed by Italo Spinelli, took place in Rome, from October 12 to 22. Due to budget restrictions (in the unfavourable context of the lasting European crisis...), the venue moved from the historical center of Rome and the old Capranica theater to the brand new MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Arts in Rome), in the Testaccio area, with two theaters instead of one, but smaller...
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The 7th Eurasia Film Festival

Aditya Saturday October 1, 2011
 The 7th Eurasia Film Festival was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Nearly 30 countries participated. It was a well-organized festival. As far as the NETPAC competition was concerned, there were 7 films in competition from Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, the Philippines, Iran. The films were most interesting and displayed a good understanding of the medium of cinema.
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Abu Dhabi Film Festival

Aditya Saturday October 1, 2011
 Abu Dhabi film festival has two bright characteristics: huge prize fund and brilliant executive director, who had put together a unique festival program. Let’s speak about the second point. Peter Scarlet, a well known artistic director of San-Francisco and Tribeca film festivals, for three year he had worked for ADFF making it range from young to known on cinema map. One of my colleagues Sitora Aliyeva once said: “Everybody wants to be in competition here.” Why so? I think not only by the first reason – huge fund for prizes (there are 9 sections of festival with prizes, totally 1,330,000 USD and in three of them the main prizes are 100,000 USD each) but also because the battle of giants is going on here.
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Karlovy Vary 2011

Aditya Monday August 15, 2011
Despite the unseasonably low temperatures, glamorous strappy cocktail dresses were still the order of the evening for the strictly blacktie opening of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. And the huge fleet of identical black Audis, with their distinctive lights, whisking back and forth along the cobblestoned streets of the beautiful spa town between the cinema and the elegant old Hotel Pupp gave an almost surreal party feel to the town for the duration of the festival. The fest was bookended by the latest filmic version of Jane Eyre (which stars among others Dame Judi Dench, in Karlovy Vary to receive a Crystal Globe for her Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema, and Australian actress Mia Wasikowska) and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, signaling a new Eurocentric feel to the festival.
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Pifan 2011

Aditya Monday August 8, 2011

The world’s latest crop of genre films got its annual boost in the recently-concluded15th Puchon International Fantasy Film Festival. Also called PiFan, the festival, which makes its home in the bustling cultural center of Bucheon, was held from July 14-24, 2011.
The NETPAC juryawarded its Best Film to Hospitalite, directed by Fukuda Koji.The Japanese film was cited“for its subtle use of comedy in portraying the domestic and social impact of foreigners in a small community amidst a rapidly-globalizing world.”

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Aditya Thursday July 28, 2011
 The 7th Cinemalaya Film Festival (July 15-24 2011) was an unqualified success but it also highlighted the dark underbelly of independent cinema. As Ed Cabagnot, one of the festival's programmers slyly observes: "It's a game of thrones." Those familiar with the scene would notice that every newbie director wants to be king for one year by winning the festival awards. And you are only as good as your latest film. Previous directors would meet you shyly and mumble embarrassedly the title of their early film hoping to jog your memory.
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Moscow 2011

Aditya Saturday July 9, 2011

The NETPAC Jury at the 33rd Moscow International Film Festival presented its award to The House Under the Water (Khaneye Zire Âb), directed Iranian filmmaker, Sepideh Farsi. In its citation, the jury singled out the film for its "achievement in crafting an intriguing story with social consciousness, ethnical sensibility and visual force". 
The House Under the Water is an intricately weaved film noir centred on Morteza (Masoud Raygan), an ex-convict accused of drowning a teenager. Filmmaker Sepideh Farsi questioned the meaning of truth to a disillusioned man haunted by the long shadow of his past.

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Aditya Monday February 7, 2011

The following films were nominated for the 2011 NETPAC Award by IFFR held from 26 January to 6 February 2011:
Black Blood by Zhang Miaoyan (China/France) 
My Father's House (Jia Yuan) by Zhao Dayong (China/Hong Kong) 
Love Addiction (Fuyu no kimono) by Nobuteru Uchida (Japan)
Hot as Hell: The Deadbeat March (Seishun hakaba) by Okuda Yosuke (Japan) 
Hospitalité (Kantai) by Koji Fukada (Japan) 
Kommander Kulas: The One and Only Concert of the Amazing Kommander Kulas and His Poor Carabao in the Long and Unwinding Road of Kamias by Khav (Philippines)
Presa by Adolfo B Alix Jr (Philippines) 
Paradise City (Anyang) by Park Chan-Kyong (South Korea)
Characters by Son Kwangju (South Korea)
Flying Fish (Igillena maluwo) by Sanjeewa Pushpakumara (Sri Lanka) 
The Day I Disappeared by Atousa Bandeh Ghiasabadi, (Iran)

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Pusan Report

Aditya Thursday December 30, 2010

One cannot deny that Pusan film festival has become the premier Asian film festival in the past 10 years. Kim Dong-ho and his colleagues, especially Kim Ji-Seouk, have increased the standards of Korean and Asian cinema through their festival. What festival in Asia and apart from A-caliber events like Cannes, Venice, Berlin and even in other parts of the globe can screen 315 feature films, including 85 world premieres! Everyone once attending Pusan would confess how wonderful is the audience in this festival and this year the audience total hit record levels with a total of 198,818 admissions which proves a seat occupancy rate of 72.3%. The total number of guests, according to festival organizers, reached 11,110, including 3038 domestic guest, 638 international delegates and 1594 media people. 

Apart from opening and closing films, there were various sections, including Gala Presentation with 4 Asian films, the non-competitive A Window on Asian Cinema with 50 movies, the competitive New Currents with 14 mostly low-budget independent films from Asian newcomers, Korean Cinema Today included Panorama with 12 mostly established filmmakers and Vision with 8 independent films. The Korean cinema Retrospective showcased 8 films by Han Hyung-mo under the title of The Alchemist of Popular Cinema and two more titles by Kim Ki-young.

The World Cinema's selection consisted of 67 titles and the competitive Wide Angel screened 70 films. The sections including Open Cinema, Flash Forward, Retrospective of Taviani Brothers, Romanian New Wave, Superheroes in Asian, Ani-Asia 2008 Asian Omnibus Collection, Music Videos by Asian Film Directors and Midnight Passion could meet any audiences' expectations.

The Pusan Film Festival has truly become the hub of Asian cinema as this event provides whatever an audience and professional look for! The Asian Film Academy ran from 25th of September till the end of festival and hosted 24 young filmmakers from Asian countries who all attended several courses and workshops by Hou Hsiao Hsien and his colleagues. The 11th Pusan Promotion Plan hosted film directors and producers of 30 selected Asian film projects and Asian Film Market also was held from 3rd to 6th of October with 4640 guests. The Asia-Pacific Film Policy Forum ran for two days on 4 & 5 October and held several conferences on various issues and topics relating to Asian film industry.

The four-member jury of New Currents awarded Korean Land of Scarecrow and Japanese Naked of Defense. NETPAC award went to two films, Members of Funeral and Treeless Mountain. The Korean Cinema Award was presented to Richard Pena, director of New York's Film Society of Lincoln Center and the award for The Asian Filmmaker of the Year was given to Gulnara Sarsenova, director of Kazakhstan's Eurasian Film Festival who has been the first female recipient of this award, however, as a NETPAC member, I believe this award had to go to Aruna Vasudev for her incomparable contribution on Asian cinema in past 30 years.

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...