The 14th Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF)’s international competition Grand Prize went to Eve Deboise’s French coming-of-age film Lost Paradise at the closing ceremony Friday (May 3). The award comes with a $18,000 (KW20m) cash prize.
The Best Picture Prize which comes with $9,000 (KW10m) towards the filmmaker’s next project, was split between Ozawa Masato’s Remages, a world premiere film from Japan, and Dwein Blatazar’s Mamay Umeng, an international premiere from the Philippines.
Jury head and filmmaker Darezhan Omirbaev noted he and his fellow jury members director Ryoo Seung-wan, critic Don Fredericksen and actor Jung Woo-sung struggled through days of discussions due to greatly differing perspectives and that they found it especially difficult to compare the two documentary films in the selection with the eight fiction films.
He added: “I wish to have more than ten films in International Competition and also I have to say those ten movies were not radical, experimental or bold enough considering they’re first or second features.”
The Special Jury Prize with KW7m ($6,400) went to Bojan Vuletic’s Practical Guide To Belgrade With Singing And Crying from Serbia.
The Korean Film Competition jury headed by Laurent Cantet seemed happier with its six fiction and four documentary films saying the selection was “packed with various subject matters and distinctive styles. Especially four non-fictions boldly face [the] reality of Korea with straightforward cinematic language.”
They awarded the section’s Grand Prize (KW10m) to Park Jeong-hoon’s debut feature December saying: “the director brings the ordinary narrative [of a relationship drama] into a new light with innovative plot structure and beautifully composed visual elements.” The jury composed of director Cantet, critic Carlo Chatrian and novelist Kim Young-ha said they hoped for good things from his next project.
The CGV MovieCollage Prize went to two films this year: Kang Ji-na’s Dear Dolphin and Jung Young-heon’s Lebanon Emotion, both world premieres. The coveted prize given by major local exhibitor CJ CGV guarantees a minimum of two weeks’ commercial release at their theatres with a KW20m budget for P&A as well as a KW10m cash prize.
The Audience Critics’ Prize (KW2m) went to Park Moon-chil’s My Place, a family documentary about the personal struggles entwined in Korean history that is uncovered when his unmarried sister decides to have a baby on her own.
Jeonju’s NETPAC prize went to Atsue Tetsuaki’s Japanese documentary Flashback Memories 3D, a previous favorite at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
JIFF opened April 25 with Laurent Cantet’s Foxfire, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates. The director presented it with Katie Coseni, who won San Sebastian’s Best Actress Award for her performance in the film.
The fest screened 178 films from 46 countries with 45 world premieres (17 features, 28 shorts) and 18 international premieres (10 features, 8 shorts). Last year’s edition screened 184 films from 42 countries with 36 world premieres.
Plagued by four days of rain in its nine-day run (including on the Closing Night), the fest’s audiences numbers dipped from 67,144 last year to approximately 65,300. JIFF this year was run on a budget of 3.27bn ($2.98m), reduced from last year’s KW3.56bn ($3.25m).
The fest’s biggest draw was JIFF-commissioned Jeonju Digital Project 2013, the omnibus directed by Kobayashi Masahiro, Zhang Lu and Edwin. This year’s commissioned Korean triptych Short! Short! Short!, based on novelist Kim Young-ha’s short stories and directed by Lee Sang-woo, Lee Jin-woo, the co-directing team of Park Jin-sung and Park Jin-seok, was also a hit.
Running parallel to the festival, the 5th Jeonju Project Promotion awarded four of its five selected projects with KW10m grants and post-production support. The winners are: producer Kim Hyung-oak’s mystery thriller 13 Steps, producer Lee Chang-won’s human comedy My Dear Brother, director Park Hyuck-jee’s human documentary With Or Without You and director Kim Ki-min’s “personal love documentary” We Are Hongrean.
JIFF wrapped its nine-day run with Wadjda, directed by Saudi Arabian female director Haifaa Al Mansour.