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PIFF to continue growing with film market

2006/09/14 Source

An Asian Film Market, a four-day full-scale market covering financing, production, post-production and sales of Asian films, will be launched at this year's Pusan International Film Festival.

The festival's organizing committee hosted a press conference at the Convention and Exhibition Center of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in downtown Seoul yesterday to brief the press on this year's festival program (Oct. 12 to 20), including the film market.

"With the Asian film industry advancing rapidly, the Asian Film Market will play a pivotal role in accelerating the pace", market director Park Kwang-su told reporters. Participants will have opportunities to engage in every aspect of the Asian film business at relatively low costs through the market, he said.

The film market starts Oct. 15, on the heels of the Toronto and Venice international film festivals. The American Film Market, the world's largest annual motion picture trade event held in Santa Monica, California, will be in early November, prompting skepticism from film critics and the media as to the need of such a market within the festival. Park, however, claims that the new film market shares little in common with existing major markets. "Ours will be more genuinely focused on Asian films than any other event of the kind", he said.

What differentiates the Asian Film Market from others is its talent market, called Star Summit Asia, which is expected to provide Asia's promising actors and actresses with opportunities to showcase their best in front of global leaders of the industry. Stars to be invited for the inaugural event include Hwang Jung-min ("You are my Sunshine"), Aoi Yu ("Hula Girl") from Japan and Guo Xiao Dong ("Summer Palace") from China.

The organizing committee estimates that about 2,000 people from 40 different countries will visit the market during the 11th PIFF. Among them will be visitors from leading film production companies Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures.

"Enhancing human exchange is important to have better coproductions among different Asian countries, which is what Star Summit Asia is for", continued Park. The market will take up around 150 rooms at the Grand Hotel in Busan, supporting international coproductions with various services.

Opening this year's PIFF on Oct. 12 will be director Kim Dae-seung's melodrama "Trace of Love", which stars Yoo Ji-tae, Kim Ji-soo and Uhm Ji-won. The former assistant director of the legendary Korean director Im Kwon-taek has gained critical acclaim for such films as "Blood Rain" (2005) and "Bungee Jumping of their Own" (2000).

The closing film of the festival will be Chinese director Ning Hao's low-budget black comedy "Crazy Stone", which will be screened Oct. 20. The film, about the comedic adventures of a gang of thieves plotting a jewel theft, was a box office hit in both Hong Kong and mainland China this year.

A total of 245 films from 63 countries will be screened during the nine-day event. Among them, 64 will be screened for the first time. The Korean Cinema Retrospective portion of the festival will screen late director Shin Sang-ok's 1961 film "Bound by Chastity Rule" for the first time. It took the Korea Film Archive three years to restore the film after it was discovered at the Chinese Taipei Film Archive.

"We have been focusing on securing a stable ground for the festival's survival for the past 10 years, which was more successful than anyone could have expected", said Kim Dong-ho, director of the festival, during the press conference. The 11th festival will be a stepping stone to a much greater turn out".

All of the participating films will be screened at five multiplexes in Busan. For more information, call (02) 3675-5097 or go to Open the link

By Lee Yong-sung

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