Japanese Anime Is Closing Film in 2007 PIF
By Junni Ogborne
The 12th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) drew to a close on Friday night (Oct. 5, 2007), with crowds gathering at the Busan Yachting Center to watch the closing movie, an outdoor screening of Hideaki Anno's "Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone". The film is the first in a four-part theatrical animation series based on a hugely popular Japanese Anime TV series.
The screening was preceded by a spectacular fireworks display and the requisite awards and closing speeches. Festival Director Kim Dong-ho
thanked the crowd for attending was then deservedly awarded UNESCO's Federico Fellini Medal for his work with the PIFF and contribution to "defending cultural diversity".
Known to jump on scooters in order to hop between the many industry parties at Busan and for the relentless work schedule he keeps, the work hard-play hard head of PIFF is showing no signs of slowing down despite having reached the tender age of 70.
US$30,000 Awards in the "New Currents" section — PIFF's only competitive section, focusing on promising directors working in Asian independent cinema — went to Jin Guang-hao
for the joint Chinese-Korean production "Life Track
", Thailand's Aditya Assarat for "Wonderful Town" and Seng Tat Liew for Malaysian picture "Flower in the Pocket". Despite being received luke-warmly by critics, "Flower" was also appreciated by the public and won the PIFF audience award.
"I came here with a film and a suitcase, and I'm returning home with a suitcase full of dirty clothes and this award", Director Liew said at the closing ceremony. Although shunned by the main jury, "The Red Awn", a father-and-son drama set amid the scenic cornfields of China's Gansu Province directed by Cai Shangjun, picked up the International Film Critics award.
Whilst it has been a difficult year for the Korean film industry, the 12th edition of the PIFF further solidified Busan as the biggest and most important in film festival in Asia. Despite the uninvited appearance of Typhoon
Krosa and murmurings of organisational mishaps, this years' festival once again proved a success and was well attended by domestic and foreign guests.
Amongst the 271 films from 64 countries screened at the festival, 66 were receiving their world premiere and 101 their Asian Premiere. Total admissions during the nine-day festival were the highest ever at 198,603.