The Pusan International Film Festival, held in Busan, South Korea annually, closed yesterday. The winners in the competitive category New Currents are Life Track, a Chinese and South Korean co-production directed by Jin Guanghao, the Malaysian film Flowers in the Pocket, directed by Liew Seng-tat, and Wonderful Town by Aditya Assarat from Thailand. Flowers in the Pocket has also won the audience award at the festival, while the international film critics jury presented the FIPRESCI Award to the Chinese film The Red Awn.
Woong’s Story and A Man Under the Influence shared the Sonje Award for best Korean short film and the Woonpa Award for best Korean documentary went to Tear Drop, directed by Mun Jeong-hyun.
Iranian New Wave writer and director Dariush Mehrjui, Chinese actress Yu Nan, Serbian writer and director Goran Paskaljevic, South Korean Lee Chang-dong and Romanian Cristian Mungiu, who won several awards this year for his film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, were members of the jury at this year’s Pusan festival.
The NETPAC Award, presented by the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, a non-profit foundation founded by Asian cinema journal Cinemaya and UNESCO, went to South Korean films Hello, Stranger by Kim Dong-hyun and With a Girl of Black Soil by Jeon Soo-il.
The first Pusan Film Festival was held in 1996. It is South Korea’s first international film festival and one of the most important festivals in Asia. Its main focus is to promote new films and introduce new filmmaking talent. Since 1996, it has had a wide appeal to young audiences and it did not take long before it began to attract international interest. This year, the festival had a record attendance and guests included legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone and Malaysian star Michelle Yeoh.