Showing posts with label awards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label awards. Show all posts

Saturday, October 13, 2012

BIFF 2012: Closing Press Conference - Awards and What's in Store for 2013

Part of MKC's coverage of the 17th Busan International Film Festival.

The 17th Busan International Film Festival just held its Closing press conference at which the award winners of the event were announced. Festival director Lee Yong-Kwan was in attendance along with the following Jury members: Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio; David Gilmour (New Currents Jury); Arturo Ripstein (Flash Forward Head Jury), Mun Jeong-hyun (BIFF Mecenat Jury); Min Yong Keun (Sonje Jury); Melis Behlil (FIPRECI Jury); and Beck Una (NETPAC Jury).

Though not really a competition festival, there are nevertheless many sponsored, audience and press association awards handed out at the festival in addition to BIFF's own short and documentary prizes. However, the most significant prizes are the New Currents and Flashforward awards which are given to the best first or second feature from Asian and non-Asian filmmakers respectively. Those went to 36 and Kayan for the former and Flower Buds for the latter.

36, from Thailand, also picked up the FIPRESCI prize but the big winner at this year's Busan Film Festival was O Muel's Jeju Island massacre pic Jiseul which walked away with four awards, including the CGV Movie Collage Award, the DGK Awards for Best Director (shared with Russian Novel's Shin Young-shick) and the NETPAC Jury Award. Shin Su-won's Pluto, Chung Ji-young's National Security and Lee Dongku's Fatal, three of the most hyped films of the fest, were left empty-handed but again, as this is not a big competition festival, this shouldn't really hurt their prospects.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Udine Far East Film Festival - Final Thoughts, Top 10 and Awards

Ongoing reports on the 14th Udine International Film Festival which Modern Korean Cinema will be covering onsite.

Last week was my first time at the Udine Far East Film Festival and straight off the bat the only negative point I can think of was that I wasn't there earlier to participate in the entire event.  Regardless it was still a packed week during which I saw nearly 30 films, ate some great food and made a lot of new friends.  I look forward to coming back soon but I'm sure it won't be in 2013 as I'll be making my way to Seoul next month.  That said I do hope to meet up with many of the same people later this year at the Busan International Film Festival.

The highlight for me during the week was the opportunity to soak in the 'Darkest Decade' retrospective on 1970s Korean film.  Darcy Paquet did an incredible job to bring these films, in good condition and many with brand new subtitles, to Italy and furthermore his picks were phenomenal, yielding some of the best Korean films I've seen.  It was a pleasure to see rarer Im Kwon-taek, Kim Ki-young and Yu Hyun-mok films as well as to discover the works of Kim So-young, Ha Kil-young and Kim Ho-sun.  I was particularly drawn to the many island dramas which have added new dimensions to an essay I have been planing on rural spaces as a site of horror in Korean cinema.  Darcy's monograph (pictured) is another wonderful resource and a great complement to the retrospective.

Just like last month's Fribourg International Film Festival (which was also covered by MKC) one of the prevailing themes of the festival's program was filmmaking itself.  Romancing in Thin Air (2011), The Woodsman and the Rain (2011), Vulgaria (2012) and The Woman in the Septic Tank (2011) all featured films within a film and each had their own novel take on the industry.  Despite the global glut of awards bestowed on The Artist (2011), and to a lesser extent on Hugo (2011), I'm still finding that the past year's best films that cast an eye on the medium are those that sadly won't be seen by many.  Although considering the cinephile-ready content, perhaps it's just as well that they feature strongly on the festival circuit above all else.

The great thing about the FEFF was its atmosphere: it's accessible, centralized, friendly and a lot of fun.  There was lots of events and special deals in restaurants for anyone attending the festival.  The Teatro Nuovo Giovanni, the single theater of the festival, was a wonderful venue with four levels.  I stayed down in the pit for all of my screenings and I don't think I would have liked to be seated too high up (some seats were above the screen) but the projections were all top notch.  Udine is also a wonderful little town with numerous restaurants, historic architecture, beautiful squares and everyone's favorite, gelato!  I didn't have much opportunity to visit beyond the town's centre but what I saw was very charming.

Anyone interested in Asian cinema should definitely make their way to Udine at some point in the future and if you do, hopefully I'll see you there!

Below are my favorites of the festival and the FEFF 2012 award winners.

Festival Picks

Top 10

1. Iodo (South Korea, 1977) - Day IV
=2. Punch (South Korea, 2011) - Day V
=2. Sunny (South Korea, 2011) - Day I
=2. The Woodsman and the Rain (Japan, 2011) - Day VI
=2. Unbowed (South Korea, 2012) - Day IX
6. Pollen (South Korea, 1972) - Day IV
7. Splendid Outing (South Korea, 1978) - Day VIII
8. One Mile Above (China, 2011) - Day VI
9. The Woman in the Septic Tank (Philippines, 2011) - Day IX
10. Vulgaria (Hong Kong, 2012) - Day VII

14th FEFF Awards

Audience Award

1. Silenced 4.4
2. One Mile Above 4.2
3. The Front Line 4.16

Black Dragon Award

Silenced 4.24

My Movie (Online) Award

Thermae Romae

FEFF Preview
Day IV Report
Day V Report
Day VI Report
Day VII Report
Day VIII Report
Day IX Report
Blind (블라인드, Beulraindeu) 2011
Dangerously Excited (나는 공무원이다, Naneun Gongmoowonida) 2012
Disney, Nostalgia, and Politics in Sunny (써니, Sseo-ni) 2011
Moby Dick (모비딕, Mo-bi-dik) 2011
Penny Pinchers (티끌모아 로맨스, Ti-kkeul-mo-a Ro-maen-seu) 2011
The Front Line (고지전, Gojijeon) 2011
Unbowed (부러진 화살, Bureojin Hwasal) 2012

Reviews and features on Korean film appear regularly on Modern Korean Cinema.  For film news, external reviews, and box office analysis, take a look at the Korean Box Office UpdateKorean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-up, which appear weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (GMT+1).

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Fribourg International Film Festival - Final Thoughts, Top 10 and Awards

Ongoing reports on the 26th Fribourg International Film Festival which Modern Korean Cinema will be covering all week.

It's been a long week and after 35 screenings which included nearly 50 films, my time at the festival comes to an end.  As I had mentioned in the preview this was the first time I've been able to attend the festival despite living so nearby.  From what I understand the direction of the FIFF has changed somewhat under the guidance of its new director Thierry Jobin.  I was lucky to speak with him a few times during the week and I appreciated his thought process behind the selections on display at this year's event.

We spoke a little about Korean films and he seems to be just as excited as I am about Bong Joon-ho's upcoming Snow Piercer (which everyone should be)!  I also asked him what his favorite Korean films were and he professed great admiration for Bong and Park Chan-wook, choosing Oldboy (2003), Memories of Murder (2003), Lady Vengeance (2005) and The Host (2006).  In addition, he was particularly excited to be presenting The Raid (2011) as a midnight screening and he plans to expand the midnight section for next year's edition, a commendable decision!

There was a lot on offer at this year's festival, the program was deep and particularly strong.  Typically when you go to a festival, unless you cherry-pick the films that are most likely to impress, you wind up with a mixed bag of films.  The brilliant coexists with the drivel and there's always a number of wild cards which will entrance some and infuriate others.  At this year's FIFF there was very little I didn't enjoy and there was a lot that I outright loved.  There were a number of films I didn't have the chance to see that I was interested in and after experiencing such a wonderful week of cinema it saddens me a little to think of what I may have missed.

A film festival is about the joy of cinema and the beauty of discovery and this is where this event stood apart.  There were many films which celebrated the medium, but in much more intelligent and energizing ways than say the pleasant nostalgia of The Artist (2011) or Hugo (2011).  Films like Cut, Golden Slumbers, Salt and This Is Not a Film (all 2011) were great reminders of why I was there in the first place.  As far as discovering new areas of cinema goes, I will be seeking out the works of Khoo, Labaki, Naderi, Ouedraogo, Panahi and Xiaoshuai and I will be trying to get my hands on more Bangladeshi cinema and, if at all possible, Golden Age Cambodian films.

Below I offer my favorites of the festival and beneath that the festival's press release listing the prize winners of the 26th Fribourg International Film Festival.

As a final word I'd like to offer a big thank you to the festival for hosting such a wonderful event and giving me a press pass to attend it!  Particularly Thierry Jobin for a great program and Gunnar Gilden for all his help with my press queries.

Festival Picks

Top 10

1. Cut (Japan, France, USA, South Korea, Turkey; 2011) - Day V
2. The Raid (Indonesia, 2011) - Day VIII
3. This Is Not a Film (Iran, 2011) - Day VIII
4. Tatsumi (Singapore, 2011) - Day VII
5. Where Do We Go Now? (France, Lebanon, Egypt, Italy; 2011) - Day IV
6. 11 Flowers (China, 2011) - Day I
7. Historias Que So Existem Quando Lembradas (Argentina, Brazil, France; 2011) - Day I
8. Asmaa (Egypt, 2011) - Day VI
9. Honey Pupu (Taiwan, 2011) - Day VII
10. Romance (Switzerland, 2011) - Day VII

26th FIFF Prize Winners (FIFF Press Release)

Never Too Late by Ido Fluk wins 'Regard d’Or' 2012

Israeli-born director Ido Fluk‘s film debut was an International Premiere at FIFF.  Brazilian director Julia Murat won a total of four awards for her first full-length feature film Historias Que Se Existem Quando Lembradas, including the highly endowed Talent Tape Award.  The Egyptian film Asmaa by Amr Salama is the winner of this year’s Audience Award.  The award ceremony took place in Fribourg last night.

Never Too Late, winner of the Grand Prize "Regard d’Or" 2012, is a touching story of a personal quest:  A young man by the name of Hertzel comes back to Israel broke after years abroad and finds work hanging advertising posters.  He drives across the country from north to south in his deceased father’s old Volvo until his journey brings him face to face with himself.  The award "Regard d’Or" is endowed with 30'000 Swiss Francs.

On stage during the ceremony, Ido Fluk declared how touched he was by this award and that his film is not about politics, that it shows different realities:  He pointed out that there are a lot of Israelis like him who want withdrawal from the occupied territories and peace.

The Special Jury Award, worth CHF 10’000 goes to The Last Friday by Yahya Al-Abdallah, a co-production between Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

The Talent Tape Award worth 19'000 CHF was awarded to the producers of Historias Que Se Existem Quando Lembradas, a co-production between Brazil, Argen-tina and France.  The film by director Julia Murat also wins the Exchange Award (Youth Jury), the Don Quijote Award of the International Federation of the Film Societies (FICC Award) as well as the Ecumenical Jury Award.

Taiwanese film Honey Pupu received a special mention by the International Jury, while the film Asmaa by Amr Salama (Egypt) won the audience award.  The International Federation of the Cinematographic Press FIPRESCI awarded the South Korean director Huh Jong-ho for his film Countdown.

The 26th edition of the FIFF, the first under the artistic direction of Thierry Jobin, recorded steady audience numbers: More than 30’000 tickets were issued.  Filmmakers from all over the world found their way to Fribourg.  Panel discussions, evening events and a masterclass with Ivan Passer also generated interest.  Thanks to very successful screenings at local schools and video workshops for multimedia students the festival keeps in touch with future festival generations.

The 27th edition of the Fribourg International Film Festival will take place from March 16 – 23, 2013.
Reviews and features on Korean film appear regularly on Modern Korean Cinema.  For film news, external reviews, and box office analysis, take a look at the Korean Box Office UpdateKorean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-up, which appear weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (GMT+1).

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Korean Cinema News (11/03-11/09, 2011)

A number of Korean sales at worldwide film markets this week, along with some festival, casting, and awards news.  Some fantastic features and interviews to boot, as well as some trailers and posters as per usual.  It seems Jang Jin will now be doing the Korean Saturday Night Live, while this sounds interesting does this mean he won't have time to make films anymore?



Finecut Sells Leafie to Italy, Launches New Films at AFM
Major South Korean sales company Finecut has sold hit animation Leafie to Mediterranea Productions for Italian-speaking territories at the Rome Film Festival’s Business Street market.  Mediterranea Productions plans to release the film in Italy on 50 screens with Italian dubbing.  (KOBIZ, November 3, 2011)

Jo Yeo Jeong to Bare it All Again in New Film
Filming for Royal Concubine, which has garnered immense interest from the screenwriting stage to casting, will begin on November 3 with confirmed leads Jo Yeo Jeong and Kim Dong Wook.  (enewsworld, November 3, 2011)

Korean Documentary The Color of Pain Invited to Int'l Film Fests
Korean documentary The Color of Pain has been invited to two upcoming international film festivals, according to the movie's distributor Cinemadal on Friday.  (, November 4, 2011)

Steven Spielberg Praised Park Chan Wook. “I Want to Work With Him.”
A Hollywood director, Steven Spielberg, praised Park Chan Wook who directed Old Boy (2003).  Section TV met Steven Spielberg in Europe on the 6th.  A reporter asked Steven Spielberg if he has ever watched Korean movies and he answered directly. Old Boy.  (, November 6, 2011)

Putting the 'Han' in Korean Cinema: Meta-narratives and Cultural Identity
Where are Korea's happy endings?  If you have ever watched a Korean film you will know that they don't always conclude as they might have done if produced by Hollywood.  The characters and their stories seem to be influenced by an invisible force that marks a film as typically "Korea".  From its melodramas to revenge thrillers, there is something tragic and constant driving the Korean film culture, but what exactly?  (, November 5, 2011)

First Live Comedy Program in the Country, Directed by Jang Jin
Cable channel tvN attempts a live comedy show.  It has recently imported the rights to the American NBC comedy program Saturday Night Live.  The Korean SNL is aiming for the 3rd of December.  Director Jang Jin is the main writer for the Korean 'SNL'.  tvN stated, "He is the main writer and director who is putting his passion in the scripts and continuity."  (, November 8 2011)

Yoo Ji-tae Debuts as Feature Film Director
Actor Yoo Ji-tae is debuting as a movie director.  He is in charge of the movie Sanseberia, which Lotte Entertainment is producing and distributing.  According to his management, he completed the signing of contracts on November 8th and will start shooting sometime at the end of this year or next January.  (, November 8, 2011)

9ers Pre-Sells Miss Conspirator
South Korean sales company 9ers Entertainment has done a raft of sales at the American Film Market (AFM) on titles including Miss Conspirator, starring Ko Hyun-jung (Woman on the Beach, 2006), according to UK-based trade magazine Screen International.  (KOBIZ, November 7, 2011)

The nominations for the upcoming 32nd Blue Dragon Film Awards have been announced and The Front Line, War of the Arrows and Silenced lead the pack.  (AsianMediaWiki, November 6, 2011)

Saving World Through Cinema, Korean Style
In the film A Barefoot Dream, a failed Korean businessman trains a children's soccer team in strife-torn East Timor and helps the nation heal.  Not only this, but four more interesting tales were told at the just concluded Korean Film Festival here.  The tiny nation of South Korea can afford to only help heal a nondescript Timor.  Yet like A Barefoot Dream – based on a true story – shows, it is much more real and tangible than saving the world from aliens.  (, November 5, 2011)

Riding the Wave
Since the first theatrical release in the UK of Lee Myung-Se’s wickedly innovative crime thriller Nowhere to Hide in 2001, South Korean cinema has emerged as one of the most dynamic, if not notorious, foreign national cinemas.  At the time of its release, in the absence of any immediate points of reference, critics compared it with the best known Hong Kong action films and hailed its director as the next John Woo.  (Glass, November 2, 2011)

Lee Byung-hun Mulling Historical Film Role
Actor Lee Byung-hun is considering appearing in a historical film, according to his agency BH Entertainment on Friday.  "He's looking into the movie after being offered a role in it although nothing has been decided as of yet," an official at BH said of the pic tentatively named I am the King of Joseon.
 (, November 4, 2011)

Korean documentary The Color of Pain has been invited to two upcoming international film festivals, according to the movie's distributor Cinemadal on Friday.  The official Facebook webpage of Cinemadal showed that Pain will be screened at the 13th annual Cinemanila International Film Festival to be held in Taguig in the Philippines from November 11 to 17.  (, November 4, 2011)

Actor Cha Seung-won got the title, "The Best Icon of 2011".  The "2011 Style Icon Awards" was held on November 3rd at CJ E&M Center in Seoul. Cha Seung-won won the "Style Icon of the Year" award, which is like the Grand Prize.  The 4th Annual "Style Icon Awards" is one of its kind in Korea, choosing characters who've introduced a new paradigm to life and style within the year.  (, November 3, 2011)

Films Probe Experimentalism, Human Rights
Korea has its fair share of thematic film festivals but a couple of upcoming events will offer moviegoers a unique opportunity to reflect on human rights in North Korea and the spirit of experimentalism in filmmaking.  The Off and Free International Film Festival (OAF) will hold its third edition from Nov. 17 to 23 in Seoul, offering fans zany alternatives to mainstream franchises.  (The Korea Times, November 3, 2011)

Only Second Time Around, but Korean Cinema is Definitely Down Under
South Korea and Australia are celebrating the last stretch of their Year of Friendship, with this year marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, bringing more attention to the second annual Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA).  (Yonhap News Agency, November 7, 2011)

Feel The Film Emotion With These Korean Movie Songs
Korean movie songs rock and it may be quite hard to choose which the best song because there are so many to choose from.  Nevertheless, here are six absolutely amazing songs you'll hear from your favorite Korean movies.  (Screen Junkies, November 8, 2011)
Kwon Soon Keun, 70, went from one of South Korea’s biggest celebrities to a Canadian immigrant, working in obscurity in a factory and running a variety store, far from the spotlight. But through seven decades of drastic change, his love for drums and percussion persisted. His story will be featured in a short documentary called A Drummer’s Passion, part of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. (, November 7, 2011)

CJ Adds in the Pipeline Trio
South Korean major CJ Entertainment Inc. has added three new titles to its already bulging American Film Market sales line-up.  The additions are headed by sports drama As One, a period piece about North and South Korea playing table tennis in a United Korea team.  (Film Business Asia, November 4, 2011)


Judy Ahn, Head of International Business, Showbox / MediaplexJudy AHhn is Head of International Business at Showbox / Mediaplex, the company responsible for the hit Korean War film The Front Line. Directed by Jang Hun, the film has been selected as South Korea’s entry for consideration to be nominated to the Oscars foreign language film category.  Kim Seong-hoon met with Ahn to talk about Showbox’s films and The Front Line in particular.  (KOBIZ, Nobember 7, 2011)

Dark, Brutal King of Pigs no Milquetoast Cartoon
You may love it or hate it. Regardless, animation director Yuen Sang-ho’s debut feature film The King of Pigs is different from anything you’ve been watching. (Joong Ang Daily, November 4, 2011)

The ‘Catcher’: Yoon Sung-hyun
Director Yoon Sung-hyun has been watching a lot of soccer games on TV lately.  It’s always been his favorite sport, and he’s been an avid fan since he was a child.  And though it’s only been two weeks since he won a prestigious film award, what pops in his head, when asked about recent days, is watching the sport, not winning his trophy.  (The Korea Herald, November 8, 2011)



(Modern Korean Cinema, November 7, 2011)

Korean Cinema News is a weekly feature which provides wide-ranging news coverage on Korean cinema, including but not limited to: features; festival news; interviews; industry news; trailers; posters; and box office. It appears every Wednesday morning (GMT+1) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at the Korean Box Office Update and the Weekly Review Round-upReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

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