The 15th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) has announced their line-up with the international premiere of Zhang Yimou’s Under The Hawthorne Tree to open the fest.

The closing film will be the world premiere of PIFF-produced omnibus Camellia by directors Wisit Sasanatieng, Yukisada Isao and Jang Jun-hwan.

The festival is to screen a total of 308 films from 67 countries, with 103 world premieres (82 features and 21 shorts) and 52 international premieres (49 features and 3 shorts). All the New Currents and Flash Forward films this year are world and international premieres. (Full line-ups below.)

Festival co-director Kim Dong-ho said, “This year we have cut back from 355 to 308 films, which we think is a more appropriate number of films for PIFF. The programmers have mentioned how there were so many cinema gems this year that they had a very hard time keeping the number of selections this low.”

The fest includes nine Gala Presentations with international guests are to include Juliette Binoche and Abbas Kiarostami with his film Certified Copy, Oliver Stone for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Chang Tso-chi with When Love Comes, Tang Wei for Late Autumn, and Ann Hui for All About Love. Other guests include Zhang Yimou, Ananda Everingham, Jane March, Wisit Sasanatieng and Aoi Yu.

In addition to previously announced events such as a book/photo exhibition launch cum retirement party for Kim Dong-ho, PIFF will also have showcases on Spanish Masterpieces from the Franco Regime, a retrospective on Czech films, and a tribute to the late director Kwak Ji-hyun.

The Asian Film Market will host 94 exhibitors including Memento Films, Trust Nordisk, Toei, Lionsgate, CJ Entertainment and Golden Network Asia. Buyers include Wild Side, Diaphana, Splendid, Polybona Films, Kadokawa, UniKorea, First Hand Films, 20th Century Fox International and Magnolia Pictures.

Online market screenings started yesterday (Sept 6).

“This year, we faced some financial difficulties, but Busan City and several sponsors were very generous and so PIFF, the Asian Film Market, the Asian Cinema Fund and other programs all benefited, for which we are truly thankful,” said festival co-director Lee Yong-kwan.

“The Asian Network of Documentaries has been doing well, and following last year’s successes with PPP-like meetings we set up between filmmakers and financiers and buyers, we are going to continue this support and hopefully gradually integrate it with the market,” he said.

As a result of last year’s AND meetings, New Zealand’s Smiley Film Sales picked up worldwide rights to The Border City 2. Also, First Hand Films signed a first-look deal for Sandeep Ray’s The Earnest Years and Shahin Parhami’s Amin. The former is still in production while the latter has been completed and is due to screen in the Wide Angle Documentary Competition this year.

Also, the organizers announced that the long-awaited PIFF Festival Center is due to complete construction in Sept 2011.

New Currents line-up (Title/country/director)

Ashamed (Korea) KIM Soo Hyun 

Boys into the Night (Korea) YUN Sung-hyun 

Eternity (Thailand) Sivaroj KONGSAKUL 

Floating Lives (Vietnam / Singapore) NGUYEN Phan Quang Binh 

Lover’s Discourse (Hong Kong/China) Derek TSANG,Jimmy WAN 

Memories in March (India) Sanjoy NAG 

Sampaguita, National Flower (Philippines) Francis Xavier E. Pasion 

Strawberry Cliff (Hong Kong, China / United States / France) Chris CHOW 

The Journals of Musan (Korea) Park Jung-Bum 

The Old Donkey (China) LI Rui Jun 

The Quarter of Scarecrows (Iraq) Ali HASSAN 

The Spectacular Theatre (China) LU Yang 

Ways of the Sea (Philippines) Sheron DAYOC 


Flash Forward line-up

Afraid of the Dark(Bruises) (Italy) Massimo COPPOLA 

Children of the Green Dragon (Hungary) Bence MIKLAUZIC 

Crebinsky (Spain) Enrique OTERO

Disenchantments (Germany) Andreas PIEPER

Erratum (Poland) Marek LECHKI

Juan (Denmark) Kasper HOLTEN

Lou (Australia) Belinda CHAYKO 

Lullaby for Pi (Canada / France) Benoit PHILIPPON 

Ollie Kepler’s Expanding Purple World (United Kingdom) Viv FONGENIE 

Pure (Sweden) Lisa LANGSETH

Rondo (Belgium / France) Olivier VAN MALDERGHEM