First time in Poland. A nice feeling right from the start!
When I arrived, the sun was shining, which was unusual in Warsaw in this season (12th of October). Maks, the head of the hospitality team, had organized everything and Olga was waiting with a smile and the usual accreditation bag.
The catalogue contained a one page ‘Note on NETPAC’ by way of introduction.
NETPAC’s Section had 14 films, four from China, three from the Philippines, two from Kazakhstan and South Korea, one from Japan, India and Thailand. Three of these films were co-productions with France.
The list of films eligible for the NETPAC prize was as follows (most of them were also in other competitions or sections):
The Fall, Zhou Lidong (International Competition)
Out of Crimes, Peter Zuo (Free Spirit Competition).
Pure Land, Zhenyu Sun (Competition 1-2)
Yun Jie, Nengjie Jiang (Discoveries)
Alfa, the Right to Kill, Brillante Mendoza (Free Spirit Competition).
Bamboo Dogs, Khavn (Free Spirit Competition).
School Service, Luisito Lagdameo Ignacio (International Competition)
The Gentle Indifference of the World, Adilkhan Yerzhanov (Discoveries)
Satash, Tulegen Baitukenov (Competition 1-2)
The Goose Goes South, Jae-ho Baek (International Competition)
Mate, Dae-gun Jung (Competition 1-2)
Hot Ashes, Junji Kojima (Competition 1-2)
Sir, Rohena Gera (Discoveries)
Manta Ray, Phuttiphong Aroonpheng (Discoveries)
Some of the Asian films that figured in other sections, had already won the NETPAC Award earlier.
The selection for NETPAC Award was really good and nine films out of 14 were first or second works by their directors.
As NETPAC’s primary objective is to discover new talents, the NETPAC jury members, Wafa Ghermani (France) and Marcin Krasnowlski (Poland, nominated by the festival) and Nada Azhari Gillon, decided to give The Fall, the debut film of Zhou Lidong, the Award for its sensitive, honest, and humorous portrait of a middle-aged man in contemporary China, supported by strong acting, writing and direction by its author.
There was good public response for Asian films, and for some screenings the hall was full. The Indian movie Sir was one of 10 films loved by spectators.
Report by - Nida Azhari Gillon (Chairperson, NETPAC Jury)
Edited by - Latika Padgaonkar