Local Korean director Hong Sang-soo anda team of Taiwanese directors headed by veteran Hou Hsiao-hsien were named asprize-winners at the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) projects and co-productionmarket that is held parallel with the Pusan festival.

Determiningthe real winners - in terms of which projects get the finance and commercialpartners they need - will only emerge over the next year or so. But given thegrowing level of interest in this year's PPP - the 5th such event - whichwrapped yesterday, there should be no lack of opportunities.

ThePPP organisers claim that the total number of participating guests rose by 35%to exceed 1,000, from 35 countries and 300 companies. Many of these operated inthe margins of the official and highly-organised meeting schedule and tookadvantage of the presence of so many visiting film financiers, distributors andbuyers. Notable among these was Michelle Yeoh, who made an unscheduled visit toseek financing for her company Mythical Films' forthcoming slate.

ThePPP organisers reported having arranged over 500 half-hour meetings for the 21PPP scripts and five NDIF projects. The most requested meetings were for theproject Solongos, by Korean director Min Kyu-Dong, Texture Of Skin by LeeSang-Gong, Taiwanese omnibus The Best Of Our Times and Chinese director Li Yu'sDam Street.

Fromnext year the event will operate as a merger with the BIFCOM locations marketand is expected to host another meeting of the Asian Film Industry Network(AFIN), an international convention, that was launched here this week. Itsfirst session attracted over 400 participants.

PPP winners 2002

Pusan Award ($20,000), jointwinners:

Fifth Project,dir Hong Sang-soo (Korea) and The Best OfOur Times, dirs Chung Mong-hong, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Hwarng Wern-Ying, WaynePeng (all Taiwan).

Hubert Bals Fund Award ($10,000)

GIE, dir Riri Riza (Indonesia).

Kodak Award (film stock worth$20,000)

Solongos, dir Min Kyu-dong (Korea)

Busan Film Commission Award($10,000)

Leap Of Love, dir CheeK (Singapore)

Gothenberg Festival Award(SKr100,000)

Dam Street, dir Li Yu (China)

New Directors In Focus Award(Won10m)

Good Bye To Arms, dirs Woo Min-ho and Lee Seock-keun(Korea)