Asian Project Market

Source: ACFM

Asian Project Market

Myanmar project Future Laobans, directed by Maung Sun and produced by jailed filmmaker Ma Aeint, won the Busan Award at the Asian Project Market today (October 11).

The project picked up the $15,000 cash prize in Busan. Currently in script development, Future Laobans is about three young scavengers in Myanmar who smuggle a jade stone across the border with dreams of becoming millionaires.

Filmmaker Ma Aeint was jailed in Myanmar in April on charges of anti-junta activity and is serving a three-year sentence. She was mentioned as part of protests at the BFI London Film Festival today and a raft of international film festivals, including Cannes and Berlin, have previously called for her release.

Scroll down for full list of APM winners

The CJ ENM Award, which includes a prize of $10,000, went to Indonesia’s Gaspar. Directed by Yosep Anggi Noen and adapted from an award-winning novel by Sabda Armandio, the story centres on a detective in a near-future apocalyptic Indonesia where humanity is suffering. It was presented as a work-in-progress at APM.

The cast is led by Reza Rahadian, Shenina Cinnamon and Laura Basuki, winner of the Berlinale Silver Bear this year for best supporting performance in Before, Now & Then (Nana). Producers are Yulia Evina Bhara and Cristian Imanuell.

The TAICCA Award, which comes with $10,000 and budget support from Taiwan’s International Co-Funding Programme (TICP), went to Sima’s Song by Afghanistan’s leading female director Roya Sadat.

Before the market, Screen revealed that Afghan-Canadian actress Mozhdah Jamalzadah is set to star in the Spain-Netherlands-France co-production, on which production is scheduled to begin next month. It marks the second feature from Sadat, whose drama A Letter To The President was her country’s submission to the Oscars in 2018.

“ACFM and BIFF’s vision is to find and identify and support Asian films and to help them gain a competitive edge commercially and artistically,” said ACFM director Oh Seok Geun, explaining why APM is so important to him and the festival.

Oh said the project market received around 400 submissions, of which 29 titles made it into the official selection.

“The 29 selections are ones that the Busan International Film Festival and ACFM chose with pride, so whether they win or not at tonight’s ceremony, you shouldn’t be disappointed or discouraged,” he said. “We will keep making efforts to help see these films funded and introduced to the larger international market.”

Oh added that the heads of the Cannes, Berlin and Tokyo film markets - Guillaume Esmiol, Dennis Ruh and Yasushi Shiina - were in Busan and at the ceremony in order to discuss and exchange ideas on how to further their support of films.

“It was always difficult before the pandemic, during the pandemic, and will continue to be after the pandemic - that is the nature of our fate as filmmakers. That’s why not just anybody can make films,” he said.

“Even if it’s difficult, please continue and complete your films, and as much as possible, please keep registering at the Busan International Film Festival,” added Oh, to applause and cheers.

Asian Project Market 2022 winners

Busan Award ($15,000)
Future Laobans (My)
Dir. Maung Sun

CJ ENM Award ($10,000)
Gaspar (Indo)
Dir. Yosep Anggi Noen

TAICCA Award ($10,000 + TICP budget support)
Sima’s Song (Sp-Neth-Fr)
Dir. Roya Sadat

VIPO Award ($10,000)
In The Land Of Brothers (Fr-Iran-Neth)
Dir. Raha Amirfazli

Lotte Award (KW10m / $7,000)
The Day of Dongkyeong (Kor)
Dir. Kim Sein

KB Award (KW10m /$7,000)
Something About Us (Kor)
Dir. Lim Jungeun

Nutrilite Award (KW10m /$7,000)
People’s Violence (working title) (Jap)
Dir. Mori Tatsuya

Sørfond Award
Diaphanous (Iran-HK-China)
Dir. Dornaz Hajiha

Pop Up Film Residency Award
Erinyes (Kor)
Dir. Jung Wonhee

ARRI Award
The Sea Is Calm Tonight (Sing)
Dir. Le Bao

My Sunshine (Jap)
Dir. Okuyama Hiroshi

Kongchak Studio Award ($25,000 in sound post-production services)
Last Shadow At First Light (Sing-Jap-Slov)
Dir. Nicole Midori Woodford

MONEFF Award ($20,000 in post-production services)
Loop Out (Kor)
Dir. Kim Dukjoong