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'This Charming Girl' Wins Award at PIFF

2004/10/15 Source

By Joon Soh
Staff Reporter

PUSAN - The domestic film "Yoja, Chonghye" ("This Charming Girl") received the New Currents award, the top prize for young and up-and-coming Asian filmmakers, at the ninth Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) on Friday.

The film, directed by Lee Yun-ki, tells of a relationship between an odd young woman working at a post office and a very shy novelist. The work showed "a very restrained style portraying the psychological wounds of the urban life of a charming woman", said Sergey Lavrentiev, director of Sochi International Film Festival in Russia and chair of this year's New Currents section.

A special mention went to "Sanctuary", a film by Ho Yuhang of Malaysia, which Lavrentiev thought showed much potential.

The sole competition section of the Pusan festival, New Currents is more a means to support and promote young directors in Asia. This year's 11-film selection included eight feature film debuts and three films by Korean directors.

The audience selected a different film than the jury for their top New Currents movie. The PSB Award, voted on by PIFF visitors, went to "Survive Style 5+" by Gen Sekiguchi of Japan.

FIPRESCI, the renowned organization of international film critics, picked the New Currents film "Soap Opera" by Wu Er-shan of China for their award. The Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema gave its award to Kim Ki-duk for his film "3-Iron".

Three other cash awards of 10 million won each were given to smaller independent works that were shown in the Wide Angle section. The Sunjae Fund for best Korean short film was shared by "Tansokpyonghyong" ("Punk Eek") by Son Kwang-Ju and "Kumbungo" ("Gold Fish") by Park Shin-woo-I, while the Woonpa Fund for best Korean documentary was given to "Saramun Muossuro Sanunga" ("What Do People Live For") by Kyung Soon.

The Yongsan Fund, for projects in their pre-production stage, was presented to Choi Jin-sung, who is working on a documentary about a romantic relationship between the director himself and a Japanese documentary director he met during the Seoul Fringe Festival. The film will be screened at the festival next year.

The New Currents Award and some other awards were presented at the closing ceremony of PIFF, which took place last night along with the screening of the closing film "Chuhong Kulsi" ("The Scarlet Letter").

Overall, this year's event was declared a success by festival director Kim Dong-ho. In total, the event sold 84.8 percent of its seats over its nine-day period, a slight increase form the year before. Some 900 international guests attended the festival as well as the Pusan Promotion Plan, the film project market that took place in the first three days of the event.

A total of 1,274 journalists, including 225 from abroad, were covering the event, a marked increase from previous years. Next year's number should prove to be no smaller, as the festival will be celebrating its 10th year.

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