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PIFF: Movie Buffs Learn Filmmaking

2006/10/17 Source

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By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

PUSAN _ A small room in an apartment in Haeundae is crowded with some 20 people. They move their busy hands quickly, following the director's shouts of "ready", "action" and "cut".

The scene that shot on Oct. 12 seemed simple. The sound of a toilet flushing was heard from the bathroom next to the room, and a camera filmed a woman checking out a pregnancy test kit.

But when the camera stopped rolling, all of them looked seriously into a small monitor and discussed the scene in clumsy English but with inquisitive eyes. "Should there be a plastic bag from the pharmacy?" someone suggests. And the same scene was shot over and over again with little changes and new trials.

The nation's biggest port city is now permeated with a festive mood of the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF), but some people _ especially students of the Asian Film Academy (AFA) _ are using the festival as an opportunity to learn about filmmaking.

Co-organized by PIFF, the Korean Film Council and Dongseo University, the educational program, in its second year, aims to help promising young Asian filmmakers. A total of 24 students from 19 Asian countries, including Japan, China and Kurdistan, were invited, and they spent their busiest moments learning about filmmaking and shooting their own short films in Pusan.

"It's a very interesting experience to meet people from different countries but with the same interest in filmmaking", Sultonov Dilovar from Tajikistan said. "We can understand each other and share what we have despite obvious differences that we have, and I think we can facilitate such experiences when we make our own movie".

They were selected from 143 submissions after a screening process of submitted portfolios and joined the program on Sept. 19. The program continues through Oct. 20.

Divided into two groups, they participated in a series of classes, group activities and seminars. After completing intensive training courses for basic film techniques, they have completed a short film based on what they learned.

"It's sometimes confusing to work with students from different countries with different cultural backgrounds", Kenji Takama, a renowned Japanese cinematographer who serves as a faculty member of AFA, said. "It's also an important part of training for them to discuss various things and reach an agreement".

Along with Takama, South Korean director Bae Chang-ho teaches students in the program. Bae is in charge of Group A, whose film was "All Bunnies Can Dance", the story of a woman suffering in a relationship with her boyfriend.

Under the guidance of Kazakh director Darezhan Omirbayev and Korean cinematographer Bak Ki-ung, Group B will present their movie, "The Calling", the story of a Filipino worker in South Korea. The two completed works will be screened Oct. 19 at the festival.

Renowned South Korean director Im Kwon-taek, who is now making his 100th film, "Beyond the Years", joined the program as dean this year. Last year, 28 students from 19 countries joined the program and Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien served as dean.

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