24 participants have been selected for the 10th Asian Film Academy, which will have Hungarian director Bela Tarr as its dean.

In Korea, the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has announced its selection of 24 fellows for the 10th Asian Film Academy (AFA). Hungarian director Bela Tarr will be this year’s AFA dean.

BIFF says the number of applicants this year has increased by “more than 52%” and the competition was stiff. Applicants included filmmakers who had already been invited to “renowned film festivals” including Cannes.

The fest notes “growth in the Chinese film industry has led to an increased number of applicants from China” and ventures the influence of Television, the 17th BIFF Closing Film from Bangladesh, has encouraged more young filmmakers from that country to keep applying.

The number of female applicants, which has been growing yearly, “now represents 1/3 of the total applications in 2014”. Seven of the final 24 participants this year are female.

The 24 fellows will produce two short films which will be screened at the festival. Other AFA programs include workshops, a masterclass, special lecture series and mentoring.

In addition, Busan’s Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) has a grant set aside for AFA graduates.

Increased support

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, AFA has increased support for its fellows. Previously, the Academy had two or three AFA graduates on board to help out the fellows as technical assistants each year in shooting and post-production. This year, they will have seven.

Also, earlier this year AFA partnered with the New York Film Academy and Full Sail University, respectively.

For the New York Film Academy, two AFA fellows will have the opportunity to participate in four-week “hi-def” filmmaking workshops, one in New York and one in Beijing.

Instructors from Full Sail University will give special lectures for fellows during AFA in Busan.


In addition to dean Bela Tarr, Busan Film Commission (BFC) director Oh Seok-geun will be this year’s deputy dean while Korean director Song Il-gon will be the directing mentor, Polish cinematographer Ryszard Lenczewski will be thecinematography mentor.

Previous AFA deans include directors such as Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Im Kwon-taek, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Abbas Kiarostami, Jia Zhangke, and Lee Chang-dong.

To date, AFA has graduated 217 young filmmakers from 29 countries, including Edwin from Indonesia, whose Blind Pig Who Wants To Fly and Postcards From The Zoo competed at fests such as Busan, Rotterdam and Berlin.

The 10th AFA will run Sept 25 to Oct 12. The 19th BIFF runs Oct 2-11.

Asian Film Academy 2014 participants (in alphabetical order of country)

Sayed Masood Eslami (Afghanistan)

Chaitali Somadder (Bangladesh)

Sambath Chey (Cambodia)

Jianshang Hsu (China)

Siyang Wen (China)

Kayla Tong (Hong Kong)

Tojo Xavier Cheruthuruthil (India)

Mikhail CH Marak (India)

Manas Mittal (India)

Aditya Ahmad (Indonesia)

Saeid Behbahaninia (Iran)

Cho Hyungdong            (Korea)

Lee Sohee (Korea)

Tan Jingliang (Malaysia)

Min Min Hein (Myanmar)

Asmita Shrish (Nepal)

Shahrukh Shah (Pakistan)

Giancarlo Lauro C. Abrahan V (Philippines)

Josemaria Basa (Philippines)

Bryan Dumaguina (Philippines)

Chia Meng Chee (Singapore)

Shyan Tan (Singapore)

Chanaka Krishan Viduranga Wijamunige (Sri Lanka)

Patiparn Boontarig (Thailand)