Bucheon Award

Source: Rita Andreetti / Screen International

Bucheon Award winners 2024

Molder from Filipino director Kenneth Dagatan has scooped the top Bucheon Award at the 17th Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) project market, which runs alongside South Korea’s Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (Bifan).

As well as a cash prize of KRW15m ($11,000), the upcoming horror thriller also won the Blood Window Award, which includes an expenses-paid invitation to the Blood Window project market at Ventana Sur in Argentina.

Scroll down for full list of winners

It marks the next feature from Dagatan, whose fantasy horror In My Mother’s Skin was the first ever Midnight section selection from Asia at Sundance in 2023. It also reunites the director with producers Bradley Liew of the Phillippines’ Epicmedia Productions, Stefano Centini of Volos Films Italia and Huang Junxiang of Singapore’s Dropkick. Liew and Centini were most recently producers on Viet And Nam, which played in Un Certain Regard at Cannes in May.

Receiving the prize at the Webtoon Convergence Center in Bucheon, Dagatan said: “Thank you Bifan for nurturing genre films. Thank you for bringing them to the world.”

Several winners of both cash and in-kind prizes were announced at a closing ceremony of the Bifan+ industry platform, which ran from July 5-8.

Vietnam horror The Heirloom by Lê Hoàng, presented by producer Tran Thanh and Mai Ngoc from 89s Group, won the NAFF Excellence Award and KRW10m ($7,200).

The Asian Discovery Award went to Japanese dark comedy Push-Button Syndrome by Riko Murakami. The director and the producer collected the award, each carrying an emergency button.

The TAICCA prize was awarded to Japanese director Daihachi Yoshida for his project Bait, supported by Toei Company. Yoshida is known for Funuke: Show Some Love, You Losers!, which played at Cannes’ Critics’ Week in 2007.

Indonesia stood out with two projects. Dancing Gale by Sammaria Simanjuntak won the DHL Award and Virgin Bash by Randolph Zaini received post-production support from Mocha Chai.

Thai filmmaker Patiparn Boontarig of Busan New Vision 2023 winner Solids By The Seashore received the VIPO Award for his next feature, Naga Swim Upstream. In-kind support was given to Hong Kong-based director Shreyom Ghosh to bring his project The Vampire of Sheung Shui to the next FanPitch of the Sitges Film Festival.

In the Korean section, the Korean Discovery Award of KRW15m ($11,000) went to Jung Seeum’s project Folklore, a story of grief and reincarnation. The film is supported by Film Run, the same production behind the award-winning Moonlit Winter.

Two projects received the Korean NAFF Award. The first was Dhammapada, a project set in Nepal by director Lee Taegyeom and producer Kim Young from Miru Picture. This team also received post-production support from Thailand’s Kantana Post Production. The second was Idiot Girls and School Ghost 2: Teaching Practice, a sequel by director Kim Minha, which received the NAFF prize of KRW5m ($3,600).

NAFF 2024 winners

Bucheon Award (Grand Prize)
Molder, dir. Kenneth Dagatan (Phil-It-Sing)

NAFF Award (Excellence Award)
The Heirloom, dir. Lê Hoàng (Viet)

Asian Discovery Award
Push-Button Syndrome, dir. Riko Murakami (Japan)

Korean Discovery Award
Folklore, dir. Jung Seeum (S Kor)

NAFF Korean Award
Dhammapada, dir. Lee Taegyeom (S Kor-Nepal)

NAFF Korean Award
Idiot Girls And School Ghost 2: Teaching Practice, dir. Kim Minha (S Kor)

Bait, dir. Daihachi Yoshida (Japan)

VIPO Award
Naga Swim Upstream, dir. Patiparn Boontarig (Thai)

DHL Award
Dancing Gale, dir. Sammaria Simanjuntak (Indo)

Mocha Chai Award
Virgin Bash, dir. Randolph Zaini (Indo)

Kantana Post Award
Dhammapada, dir. Lee Taegyeom (S Kor-Nepal)

Blood Window Award
Molder, dir. Kenneth Dagatan (Phil-It-Sing)

Sitges FanPitch Award
The Vampire Of Sheung Shui, dir. Shreyom Ghosh (HK)

Goedam Short Film Production Support
Holo, dir. Choi Junhyuk (S Kor)
Don’t Let Me In, dir. Lee Suhyeon (S Kor)
Baljjeo, dir. Kim Sung-hyen (S Kor)
Broken Winter, dir. Jeong Yuwon (S Kor)

Strange Award
Memory Puzzle, dir. Lim Seunghyun (S Kor)

Bucheon Award
The Heirlooms, dir. Devina Sofiyanti (S Kor)