The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) has created the $20,000 Flash Forward Award for first or second-time directors from non-Asian countries.

“In the past 13 years, the Pusan film festival’s main point has been to discover and showcase Asian films, but it also showcases the best of world cinema each year,” said PIFF deputy director Jay Jeon.

“The festival has grown to the extent that non-Asian directors, producers and film promotion bodies have expressed the wish that we would create an award, like the New Currents award, to encourage non-Asian films.”

Initially launched without an award in 2007, the festival’s Flash Forward section aims to find and showcase eclectic non-Asian films from a younger generation of cineastes. Previous selections include Lee Isaac Chung’s Munyurangabo and Annemarie Jacir’s Salt Of This Sea.

PIFF will invite three well-known local and international personalities to award the new prize. The Flash Forward award joins PIFF’s other prizes which include:

  • New Currents Award - $30,000 each to two films from the New Currents section of first and second features, designed to discover up-and-coming new Asian talent.
  • PIFF Mecenat Award - for the best Korean and the best Asian documentary films from Wide Angle section. A cash award of KW10m (approx $8,000) is given to each director toward their next films.
  • Sonje Award - for the best Korean and Asian short films in the Wide Angle section. KW10m (approx $8,000) goes to each director to assist in their next films.
  • KNN Award - an audience award of $20,000 for the most popular film in the New Currents section.

This year’s PIFF is scheduled to take place in the port city of Busan, South Korea, October 8-16.