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PIFF Competition Section Promotes Asian Cinema

2008/10/03 | Permalink | Source

By Lee Hyo-won
Staff Reporter

BUSAN ― The star-studded jury of New Currents, the unique competition section of the 13th Pusan (Busan) International Film Festival (PIFF), met with the press Friday to discuss the competition's aim to promote Asian cinema and in particular rising young directors.

The jury is headed by one of the world's most famous actresses Anna Karina, muse of the Eric Rhomer and Jean-Luc Godard-led French La Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave). In 1961, she won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival with Godard's "Woman is a Woman".

Karina, 68, makes her first visit to South Korea, and finds it "flattering" that the younger generation still remembers her works from the 1950s and 60s. "But it's too much", she said. But she is happy that the retro works are still up to date. "It is a great honor", she said about presiding over the jury. The actress-turned-director also brings her latest work "Victoria" to PIFF.

Also on the jury is German producer Karl Baumgartner, who has co-produced Asian masterworks like Mira Nair's "Monsoon Wedding" and Kim Ki-duk's "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring".

The role of the New Currents award has become increasingly important in Asian cinema", he said, explaining that Asian cinema has made an incredible development during the past 15 years. Before, only Japapense directors like Kenji Mizoguchi were well known in Europe, but Chinese directors like Chen Kaige as well as Korean ones like Kim Ki-duk and Park Chan-wook have emerged, he said. PIFF also marked the first opening of an Indian movie in the international cinema scene, he said.

"Asians are encouraged to explore non-traditional Hollywood views, creating a platform for new Asian filmmakers", said another jury member, Indian director Santosh Sivan, whose works including "Nine Emotions" have screened at PIFF.

Also part of the jury is actress Lee Hwa-si, who marks the heyday of retro South Korean cinema with the late director Kim Ki-young. The 57-year-old had recently made a comeback to acting after a long hiatus and expressed her great amazement with the heightened speed, youth and passion of today's local filmmaking. Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf was unfortunately unable to attend the festival due to a case of dyspnea but PIFF festival director Kim Dong-ho joined the members for the talk.

"New Currents focuses on discovering new directors and new movies. The most impressive work will be given the award, and the jury makes the entire decision", said Kim. A total of 14 works from young directors from the world will contend for two awards, a cash prize of $300,000 each. The winners will be announced Oct. 7.

PIFF runs through Oct. 10. Visit Open the link (Korean and English) for more information.

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