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Pusan fest’s pitch event seeking hits

PPP choses leading Asian auteurs

BUSAN — This year’s Pusan Promotion Plan, the project market and professional sidebar of the Pusan Intl. Film festival (Oct. 2-10), closes today in the Korean port city after three days in which Asian helmers and producers pitched projects to international producers, distributors and sales agents.

They have mulled 18 projects selected by PPP to compete for six awards and the accompanying recognition boost that is welcomed by up-and- coming directors. This time around, PPP chose projects by leading Asian auteurs who have enough name value to make their films fly without the help of PPP.

Among them is veteran Chinese thesp and helmer Joan Chen’s “The Concubine,” the story of a Chinese woman in 1920s Canada at the time of the infamous Exclusion Act that barred Chinese immigration. Pic is to be produced by Canadian producer PoPing Au Yeung’s shingle Electric Shadows Pictures on a relatively hefty $5.5 million budget, at least by PPP standards.

Hong Kong’s Stanley Kwan presents “A Letter From an Unknown Woman,” a romantic drama set in 1930s Shanghai, while Wong Kar-wai brought “Unforgettable” to the PPP, a project he intends to produce. From Japan, Kiyoshi Kurosawa entered his next film “Loft,” which will be produced by Mirovision in Korea.

Five projects from Korea, two from Thailand and one each from China, Taiwan and Vietnam complete the lineup. Korea’s entrants include arthouse darlings Hur Jin-Ho (“One Fine Spring Day”) and Jeong Jae-Eun (“Take Care of My Cat”).

In the PPP’s New Directors in Focus, five first-time Korean directors got a chance to find production partners.

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