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11th PiFan Wraps With Awards

2007/07/20 Source

The 11th Puchon International Film Festival drew to a close Thursday, after a successful 9-day run. Curtains closed with Indonesian director Joko ANWAR's Kala, a noir-ish crime thriller that was a huge hit in its homeland. PiFan's top prize, the Puchon Choice Best Film award went to Thai psychological thriller 13 by Chookiet SAKVEERAKUL. It also took home the European Fantastic Film Festival Federation Asian Award .

Best actor nods were shared between Thomas Kretschmann and Thomas Huber for their delectable performances in Martin Weisz's cannibalistic feature Grimm Love. Best Actress went to Charlene Choi in Hong Kong horror-melo Diary, by Oxide Pang. Runners up were and German cannibalistic feature Grimm Love by Martin Weisz. The Puchon Citizen's Choice award voted on by audiences, went to Yamashita Nobuhiro's The Matsugane Potshot Affair.

The best short film award, worth US$5,000, went to Juanito Under the Orange Tree by Columbian director Juan Carlos Villamizar. South Korean short Sweat by Na Hong-jin took home the Jury's Choice for Short Film, while Best Korean Short Film was handed to Jang Hoon's The Villians.

KOFIC sponsored a special 'Hot Summer Dream' party during PiFan, inviting official guests and members of the Special Effects workshop, along with international press and stars. The event featured a lively jazz-fusion performance of violin-led contemporary and traditional mixes. KOFIC Chairperson AN Cheong-sook and PiFan head HAN Sung-jun made the rounds greeting and toasting with guests.

The 11th PiFan opened to a sell-out crowds this year with Korean curtain-raiser "For Eternal Hearts" in its World Premiere. Director Hwang Kyoo-deok and his cast presented the film while actress Chu Sang-mi and actor Kim Tae-woo presided over the opening ceremony which included a performance from a trio of identical triplets playing traditional Korean instruments.

The opening film fused the three themes of PiFan's slogan "Love, Fantasy, and Adventure". "For Eternal Hearts", written by HWANG, is a tale within a tale, narrated by Su-young, a forty-ish college professor recounting to his class the memory of his first love when he was a college student. Witnessing her die in the turmoil of the pro-democracy movements of that era, Su-young becomes confused when she reappears mysteriously. At the same time he meets a new love-interest, Suji and her motorcycle-riding brother. As the story develops, life and death, dream and reality weave seamlessly, leaving the audience to ponder how uncertain the borders are between these seemingly opposite states.

PiFan also presented a variety of new Korean features. In the Puchon Choice competition section was the World Premiere of Korean film "Resurrection of the Butterfly" by directors Lee Jeong-gook and Kim Min-sook. The horror is set in both Chosun era Korea and contemporary Seoul. It tells two tales linked by motifs of reincarnation and the symbol of the butterfly.

Other notable Korean features included "Aseurai" by director KIM Sam-ryeok, an HD film about the impact of cine-mania and filmmaking on the lives of young college students in Daegu, south-eastern Korea. "Code of a Duel", a DV feature by YEO Joachim screened in the World Fantastic Cinema section, while the Family Fanta section presented the World Premiere of Korean feature "Boy Director" by Lee Woo-yeol, and "Bunt", the directing debut of "Hi, Dharma" writer Park Gyoo-tae.

With repeat screenings of award-winners running until July 21st, the festival is expected to have attendance figures of close to 70 000.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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