The 15th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) will have Academy Award-winning costume designer Wada Emi heading its New Currents jury while Sundance festival director John Cooper will head the Flash Forward jury.

PIFF invited Wada Emi to head the jury for New Currents “because of her established aesthetic sense in films and her passion over five decades that captured the hearts of audiences.” Wada received an Oscar for her work on Akira Kurosawa’s Ran and an Emmy Award for her work on Julie Taymor’s TV opera Oedipus Rex.

For newly up-and-coming Asian directors, the New Currents section will also see on the jury Cannes award-winning director Murali Nair, head of the Berlinale Forum Christoph Terhechte, and actresses Yunjin Kim, from US TV’s Lost and films such as Seven Days, and Yang Kuei mei who won a Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actress for her performance in The Moon Also Rises.

For the Flash Forward Award launched last year for talented non-Asian directors, the jury will be led by Cooper. He will be joined by renowned film scholar Thomas Elsaesser, head of the Cinema Digital Seoul (CinDi) film festival Lee Kwangmo who is also a longtime distributor of arthouse films and previously directed Spring In My Hometown, joined by award-winning directors Alex Popogrebsky (Koktebel), and Jasmila Zbanic (Grbavica).

In the Wide Angle section PIFF Mecenat Award the jurors are Sean Farnel (HotDocs Documentary Film Festival), Kim Myungjun (Media Act Director and Korean Visual Media Education Association Executive), and director Rithy Panh. For the Sonje award, director Woo Ming Jin (Woman On Fire Looks For Water), cinematographer Kim Myeong Joon, and Remi Bonhomme (Cannes programmer) are appointed as jurors.

For the NETPAC Award, the jurors are Nestor Jardin (Cinemalaya festival director), Martine Theoruanne, (Vesoul festival director), and Moon Kyuan Kyu (Professor of the Department of Film at Pusan National University).    

PIFF runs Oct 7-15, with the full line-up to be announced Sept 7. The festival will include a retrospective on prolific veteran actress Kim Jimi, who starred in films such as Im Kwon-taek’s Ticket and Kim Soo-yong’s The Earth.