'Elephant,' 'Lumberjacks' split prize

The first edition of the Cinema Digital Seoul festival wrapped Friday night with an unusual degree of consensus among its multiple juries.

The directors jury, comprising thesps Lav Diaz, Bahman Ghobadi, Hur Jin-ho, Suwa Nobuhiro and d.p. Chung Chung-hoon, split a $32,000 prize between Malaysian feature “The Elephant and the Sea” by Woo Ming Jin and Chinese doc “The Last Lumberjacks” by Yu Guangyi.

A jury consisting of five international critics came to the same conclusion separately, dividing their $21,000 prize between the same two films.

“Elephant” portrays two people dealing with loss during a mysterious epidemic, while “Lumberjacks” depicts the hardships of loggers in China’s Heilongjiang forest.

A third jury made up of younger Korean critics recognized Chinese director Wang Bing’s documentary “Fengming, a Chinese Memoir,” which was also given special mentions by the directors and critics juries. Local auds, meanwhile, threw their votes behind Japanese feature “Lost in Tokyo” by Ikawa Kotaro.

CinDi screened a total of 40 films, 20 of them in competition. Sponsored by the CJ Culture Foundation and the Arts Council Korea, fest was deemed to be very well organized, though ticket sales did not meet expectations.

“This was a great opportunity for us to meet the future cineastes of Asia, who are making their films in digital,” said fest co-director Chung Sung-ill.

Event ran July 20-27 and also featured multiple “digital lessons” given by visiting directors.

Directors Award ( tie): “The Elephant and the Sea” (Malaysia), d. Woo Ming Jin / “The Last Lumberjacks” (China), d. Yu Guangyi

Critics Award (tie): “The Elephant and the Sea” (Malaysia), d. Woo Ming Jin / “The Last Lumberjacks” (China), d. Yu Guangyi

Young Critics Award: “Fengming, a Chinese Memoir” (China), d. Wang Bing

Audience Award: “Lost in Tokyo” (Japan), d. Ikawa Kotaro

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