Surprise ‘Cut’ highlights PiFan fest

New pic from Cannes winner closes event

See Winners

PUCHON, South Korea — The world preem of “Cut,” latest work by Cannes Grand Prix winner Park Chan-wook (“Old Boy”), wowed auds at the 8th Puchon Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan), which wrapped Saturday.

Unveiled as a surprise screening on the final afternoon, with director and several actors in attendance, the 45-minute pic forms the middle seg of “Three: Monster,” a Hong Kong-South Korean-Japanese co-production that’s a follow-up to the 2002 episode film “Three.”

A comic but bloody tale typical of the writer-director, “Cut” describes the revenge inflicted by a crazed movie extra on a famous director and his wife. Other segs (not shown at PiFan) are directed by Hong Kong’s Fruit Chan (“Dumplings”) and Japan’s Takashi Miike (“Box”). Complete pic is released in East Asia late August.

Held in a satellite town west of Seoul, PiFan has grown in the past couple of years into a popular audience event that attracts a small number of specialized international press and fest scouts.

However, the foreign contingent is equally there to check out the latest releases in the burgeoning local industry, both in PiFan’s still-undeveloped “industry screenings” as well as in local theaters.

New titles in the fest that drew most interest included the martial arts fantasy “Arahan” by Ryu Seung-wan (“No Blood No Tears”) and Hong Kong director Derek Yee’s crime drama “One Nite in Mongkok,” starring Daniel Wu and Cecilia Cheung.

Of the two world preems of Korean ghost movies that closed the fest — in a summer season thick with generic horror pics — Jeong Yong-ki’s “The Doll Master” impressed the most. The much-awaited “Bunshinsaba,” a girls’ high-school haunter by Ahn Byung-ki (“Phone”), was reckoned ho-hum.

Jury was headed by Yank director Stuart Gordon, whose “King of the Ants” opened the fest July 15, and included German splattermeister Joerg Buttgereit, also in for a retrospective.

And the winners are…

Best of Puchon
Arahan (S Korea), dir. Ryoo Seung-wan

Jury Award
The Taste Of Tea (Japan), dir. Katsuhito Ishii

Best Director
Leonardo Di Cesare, Good Life Delivery (Argentina)

Best Actor
Benoit Delepine & Gustave Kervern, Aaltra (Belgium/France)

Best Actress
Nat Wattanapat, My Suicide (Thailand)

Citizen’s Choice
Arahan (S Korea), dir. Ryoo Seung-wan

EFFFF Asian Award
Virumaandi (India), dir. Kamal Haasan

EFFFF Asian Award, Special Mention
Innocence (Japan), dir. Mamoru Oshii

Grand Prize, Short Films
Goodbye, Cruel World (UK), dir Vito Rocco

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