South Korea's Park Chan-ok's (pictured, right) debut Jealousy Is My Middle Name and Indian director K.N.T. Sastry's (pictured, left) The Rite' A Passion shared the top prize in the Pusan International Film Festival's New Currents competition for first and second-time Asian directors.

A Special Mention was awarded to Park Jin-pyo's Too Young To Die, which also picked up the FIPRESCI Award for best Asian film and the festival's Audience Award. The story of an elderly couple in love, the film was effectively banned by Korea's national ratings board due to its explicit sex scenes before receiving approval for release in late October after controversial scenes were darkened.

PIFF's seventh edition once again proved popular with audiences, with 167,349 tickets issued for 226 films (up from 143,103 last year). A total of 53,38 local and international guests crowded the official screenings and the various industry events held concurrent to the festival such as the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP, see Screendaily, Nov. 21) and the Busan International Film Commission Exposition (BIFCOM).

The festival's closing days played host to a NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) General Assembly, in which the association voted to move its headquarters to Busan, where it will be managed by new Secretariat Jongsuk Thomas Nam.

Aruna Vasudev and PIFF festival director Kim Dong-ho were re-elected chairperson and vice chairperson respectively, and the organisation also announced the publication of a monthly email newsletter and a NETPAC yearbook from 2003.


New Currents Award ($10,000) shared
Jealousy Is My Middle Name, dir. Park Chan-ok
The Rite' A Passion dir. K.N.T. Sastry

Special Mention
Too Young To Die, dir. Park Jin-pyo

FIPRESCI Award for Best Asian Film
Too Young To Die, dir. Park Jin-pyo

NETPAC Award for Best Korean Film
Roadmovie, dir. Kim In-sik

Sunje Fund Award for Best Korean Short Film ($8,250)
Chapter Two: How To Breathe, dir. Lee Hyung-suk

Woonpa Fund Award for Best Korean documentary ($8,250) - shared
On The Right Track, dir. Lee Ji-young
Mudang - Reconciliation Of The Living And The Dead, dir. Park Kibok

PSB Audience Award ($8,250)
Too Young To Die, dir. Park Jin-pyo