Asian Film Market receives mixed reviews

This mart at the Busan Exhibition Convention Center was a bigger affair than last year, with 1,098 badge holders from 690 companies in attendance, up on 2011’s 1,080 badge holders from 583 firms.

The number of screenings rose from 64 to 80 plus 280 online screenings.

Some 70 deals were concluded, according to organizers, many of them involving Korean titles.

CJ Entertainment sold “Deranged,” “Spellbound,” “Perfect Number” and “Masquerade” to Twin for Japan. Showbox sold “A Company Man” to Pony Canyon (Japan), New View (China) and Thailand’s STG, as well as to Splendid Films and Synergy Cinema for Europe.

Korean indie films fared well at the mart, with Mirovision selling Japanese Oscar entry “Our Homeland” to Edko for Hong Kong and “Melo” to Sundream for Hong Kong.

Aside from deals involving Korean films, U.S. and European companies such as CMG (U.S.), Sola Media (Germany), and Celluloid Dreams (France) sold films to numerous Asian countries. Despite strong sales, some bizzers reported a downward turn in the market’s general mood.

“I’m seeing fewer people, especially from Europe,” said Soojin Jung, VP of international business at Showbox.

“It may be because Mipcom is held around the same time. The number of meetings has not gone down, and we’re happy about that, but I wish the atmosphere was more heated,” she said. This year’s mart included new programs such as Book to Film, where 10 authors pitched their stories to potential investors and producers.

Organizers reported numerous meeting requests for “Easy Girl” (Park Sung-Kyung/Human & Books), “Goodbye Zoo” (Kang Tae-Sik/Hankyoreh Publishing Co.), and “For Yoriko” (Norizuki Rintaro/Foret).

ASIAN PROJECT MARKET WINNERS

Busan Award ($20,000) — Royston Tan, “69”

Kodak Award ($18,000 worth of negative film) — Juhn Jaihong, “Cafe Flower”

CJ Entertainment Award ($10,000) — Yang Ya-Che, “The Rouge-sang de Chine”

Lotte Award ($9,000) — Kim Tae Yong, “The Movieteller” (working title)

PanStar Cruise Award ($9,000) — Teddy Soeriaatmadja, “An Innocent Trip to New York”

Promo org. Kocca’s Award ($17,000) — Min Kyu-dong, “Lucky Boy” (working title)

Technicolor Asia Award ($25,000 worth of post-production services) — Mohsen Abdolvahab et al., “Persian Gulf”

International Relations Arte Prize (€6,000) — Park Jung-bum, “Pawel”

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