DOCUMENTARIES, FESTIVALS / EVENTS, NEWS — 10/16/2010 1:26 AM

Pusan International Film Festival loves docs

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The festival was founded to promote Asia’s vast independent filmmaking scene and it offers a main jury prize of 30,000 dollars — the New Currents award — to two first or second time Asian directors. This year there were 13 films vying for the award from as far as Iraq and Vietnam.

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The Pusan Film Festival also promotes the often neglected Asian documentary scene though its Wide Angle programme which this year features 26 feature productions and a series of short films.

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They cover topics as diverse as the fate of a coal-mining town in China (“New Castle” ) to the life of a young Kashmiri footballer (“Inshallah, Football”). Wide Angle this year presents a variety of subjects and styles. The documentary section will vindicate the energetic support of the Asian Network of Documentary (AND). AND threw its weight behind various visions, including “Passion” (Mongolia) , a study of past and present Mongolian cinema through a director’s creative journey; “Amin” (Iran) , which chronicles a musician’s passionate search for Iranian traditional music; “Inshallah, Football” (India)  sees an aspiring football player’s struggle to go Brazil when faced with political conflict; and “New Castle” (China)  is a record of a declining coal town and the false image of a new city. In addition to those, “I Wish I Knew” (China)  beautifully captures a history of Shanghai, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (Taiwan)  sees the world and lives in it from the perspective of autistic children, and “Let the Wind Carry Me” (China)  illuminates Taiwan’s master cinematographer Mark Lee.

All these films prove the cinematic energy of Asian documentaries.

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Other documentaries provide unique views of Asia, both in- and outside of it. Anna May Wong: “In Her Own Words” (United States) tracks down Hollywood’s first major Asian actress. In “Through Korean Cinema” (Italy) , an Italian director offers a view of Korean history and directorial lives in it. “Return to Manila: Filipino Cinema” (France/Philippines)  observes a new wave of contemporary Filipino cinema. Additionally, world documentary exposes profound views of its own cultures. “Dancing Dreams” (Germany)  follows the progress of teenage turbulence, as it becomes an artistic dance. “Maria and I” (Spain) records the journey of a father and his autistic daughter. “My Perestroika” (United States/United Kingdom) tells the story of a Russian living historical vicissitudes.

Official selection :

“Amin”
Wide Angle – Documentary Competition
Iran / Korea / Canada  2010  120min  Digi Beta  color/b&w
Shahin PARHAMI

“Cheonggyecheon Medley”
Wide Angle – Documentary Competition
Korea  2010  79min  DV  color
Kelvin K. PARK
Everyday Life Era

“Dream Factory”
Wide Angle – Documentary Competition
Korea  2010  80min  HD  color
KIM Sung-kyun
Social Issues Music/Musician Capitalism

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“Inshallah, Football”
Wide Angle – Documentary Competition
India  2010  78min  HD  color
Ashvin KUMAR

“Let the Wind Carry Me”
Wide Angle – Documentary Competition
Taiwan  2010  88min  35mm  color
KWAN Pun Leung,CHIANG Hsiu Chiung
Film about Film

“Miracle on Jongno Street”
Wide Angle – Documentary Competition
Korea  2010  119min  HD  color
LEE Hyuk-sang
Homosexual Identity

“New Castle”
Wide Angle – Documentary Competition
China  2010  112min  HD  color
GUO Hengqi

“No Name Stars”
Wide Angle – Documentary Competition
Korea  2010  104min  HD  color
KIM Taeil
War Era Identity

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“Passion”
Wide Angle – Documentary Competition
Mongolia  2010  80min  HD  color
Byamba SAKHYA

“Sweet Nuke”
Wide Angle – Documentary Competition
Korea  2010  115min  HD  color
LEE Kang-gil
Social Issues Era

For Pusan’s documentary section ‘Wide Angle’ were jurors Sean Farnel, director of programming at the Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival, KIM Myung-jun who is the director of the non profit MediAct in Seoul and the Executive at the Korean Visual Media Education Association. Also on the jury the Cambodian documentary director and screenwriter Rithy Panh.

ACF / AND selection

9 documentaries which have been completed with support of ACF this year were shown at this year’s Pusan International Film Festival (Oct 7-15).

. “My Sweet Baby“ㅣRYU Mi RyeㅣKorea | 2006 AND David Young Fund

. “Passion” ㅣByamba SAKHYAㅣMongolia | 2008 AND Panstar Fund

. “Sweet Nuke“ㅣLEE KanggilㅣKorea | 2008 AND Kyungsung Fund

. “Amin“ㅣShahin PARHAMIㅣIran | 2009 AND Dongseo Asia Fund

. “Masquerade“ㅣMUN Jeong-hyunㅣKorea | 2009 AND Kyungsung Fund

. “New Castle“ㅣGUO HengqiㅣChina | 2009 AND Dongseo Asia Fund

. “No Name Stars“ㅣKIM Tae-ilㅣKorea | 2009 AND Hyowon Fund

. “First Love” – 1989, Memory of SumidaㅣPARK Jeong SukㅣKorea | 2010 AND ACP Fund

. “Inshallah, Football“ㅣAshvin KUMARㅣIndia | 2010 AND PUFS Fund

Among its three categories – the Script Development Fund, Post Production Fund and the Asian Network of Documentary Fund, the Asian Cinema Fund has supported 27 projects in total.

The Asian Network of Documentary (AND) organized events alongside the market. AND Class of 2010 on Oct. 10-11 gives participants the chance to interact with AND-funded projects and discuss future plans. AND Seminar – Documentary A to Z on Oct. 11 was a series of panels on documentary filmmaking. AND Project Meeting offered one-on-one meetings between documentary filmmakers and sales agents/distributors.

2 AWARDS

The PIFF Mecenat have been awarded to 2 documentaries :

Korean winner :

Miracle on Jongno Street“, by LEE Hyuk-sang (Korea)

The PIFF Mecenat Award for  Best Korean Documentary went to “a film that demonstrates excellent craft and storytelling in addressing issues of social justice for the LGBT community in Korea. Trusting their director, LEE Hyuksang, with their personal stories, the characters display an openness which provokes feelings of compassion, humour and empathy for their struggles”.

Asian winner :

New Castle“, by GUO Hengqi (China)

For the PIFF Mecenat Award for Best Asian Documentary, the jury recognized a “courageous film which brings dignity to the people it observes, despite the severe difficulties of their daily lives. Skillfully filmed and edited by a first-time director, GUO Hengqi”.
306 FILM SCREENINGS

Globally, PIFF sold 182,000 admissions during the festival with 306 film screenings, including 101 world premieres (including shorts) and 52 international premieres. On the market side, 108 companies from 26 countries participated in the Asian Film Market. Online screenings that started this year attracted 240 people.

Next year’s 16th Pusan International Film Festival will happen in Oct. 6th – Oct.14th, 2011.

IN THE PRESS

Film on N.K. defector wins top PIFF prize (15/10/2010)

“One of the most talked about win was a documentary about the gay and lesbian community “Miracle on Jongno Street” which was honored with the PIFF Mecenat Award. Director Lee Hyuk-jang’s uncompromising examination of a socially marginalized group was given wide praise by the jury who cited Lee’s ability to gain the confidence of his subjects to open the doors to their lives for his documentary.”

Korean Herald

Busan bids to become hub of Asian film world (15/10/2010)

AFP

Related posts:

2010 TIDF Announce The Nomination Lists of Competition Sections
The Bengali Detective (2010 / UK / USA / India)
2 Asian 4 European docs selected by Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2011
Japan: the sleeping documentary giant (C21Media)
Five Asian docs and reports selected by FIPA 2012

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