After climbing a hill at dusk and wandering along a low-lit path, guests at Monday’s Asian Talent Forum stumbled upon a building styled like the spaceship from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
The pillars of the distinctive Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation building were decked out in satin and dried flowers, with long escalators reaching to an upper-deck VIP area.
The music pulsed and, one by one, a collection of thesps hailed as the stars of tomorrow descended to terra firma where they were given marks to stand on, but no lines to utter.
Speeches instead were made by ubiquitous Pusan fest chief Kim Dong-ho and vice mayor Lee Kweong-sung and SKII cosmetic boss Sam Kim.
The talent was a mixed bunch, including the more established Zhou Xun, cross-over Will Yun-lee and hopeful Qi Ji. Common factor was a polished and radiant beauty.
Crowd of onlookers included a handful of starstruck locals who had a high time photographing themselves at the empty rostrum where the stars had recently stood.
A more bemused industry group included Thierry Fremaux of the Cannes Film Festival and Olivier Pere of Cannes’ Directors Fortnight, Focus Films’ Daniel Yu, Paramount’s Dede Nickerson, casting agent John Jackson and Sahamongkolfilm’s Gilbert Lim.