Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has announced 22 projects to receive Asian Cinema Fund support this year, including Park Kyoung Tae’s Ne Me Quitte Pas and Venice Biennale College project Hotel Salvation.
“Although this year’s number of submissions went down, in comparison, we had a lot of good documentary projects from Korea. We also have our first project from Bhutan selected for post-production support,” said ACF director Hong Hyosook.
Park previously co-directed, with Kim Dong-ryeong, the documentary Tour Of Duty, also an earlier ACF recipient that went on to win the Jury’s Special Prize at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in 2013.
Continuing his exploration of filmmaking through collaboration with women working around US military bases in Korea, Ne Me Quitte Pas delves into the past while looking into the disappearance of a prostitute who in 1972 wrote a bestseller about her life and loves around an army base.
The five winners of the Post-production Fund include the Bhutan project Honeygiver Among The Dogs – a mystery thriller from award-winning shorts director Dechen Roder (Original Photocopy Of Happiness) and Indian project Hotel Salvation, directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani, whose Kush won the Venice Orizzonti Award for best short.
As a Biennale College Cinema project, which gets completion funding according to the Venice Film Festival and Busan fest’s agreement, Hotel Salvation will make its world premiere at Venice before screening at Busan this year.
The Post-production Fund winners get support to finish their films in Korea with ACF partners such as the Korean Film Council, CJ Powercast and Pluto Sound Group doing digital intermediate, sound mixing and DCP work on the films.
Asian Network of Documentary Fund (AND)
The Asian Network of Documentary Fund (AND) selected 12 projects such as Baby Ruth Villarama’s Filipino project Sunday Beauty Queens, focusing on a beauty pageant for Filipino workers in Hong Kong, and Indian project Shifting Lines Of The Desert, directed by Pushpendra Singh (The Honour Keeper), following a talented young boy in a village near the India-Pakistan border in the midst of changing times for the Manganiyar, traditional folk musicians.
Korean projects include Park’s Ne Me Quitte Pas and A War Of Memories, directed by Lee-Kil Bora whose Glittering Hands won a Special Mention at the Yamagata documentary fest.
A War Of Memories follows the survivors of a civilian massacre perpetrated by South Korean soldiers during the Vietnam War in their memorial rituals and as they visit Korea and meet former ‘comfort women’ – sex slaves to the Japanese military during WWII – and the families of the victims of the Sewol ferry disaster.
AND gives cash awards ranging $4,580 - $18,325 (KW5m - KW20m).
Script Development Fund
ACF’s five Script Development Fund selections include Crossroads director Wang Jing’s Changfeng Town, which she calls “an expression of my own nostalgia for my hometown” featuring six interlaced chapters about small town people in an isolated part of China; Indian project Goodbye Mr. Kanay, about a retired space scientist with Alzheimer’s Disease, directed by independent producer and director Shrihari Sathe (Dukhtar, 1,000 Rupee Note); and Asian Film Academy graduate project Mediterranean Blue from Lebanon, directed by Sarah Francis (Birds Of September).
The five projects each get $9,160 (KW10m) for script development.
BIFF will run October 6-15.
Local film organisations are still debating the industry boycott of BIFF that has not yet been lifted but saw a 4:4:1 vote (for, against and abstaining) announced earlier this month.