‘Love’ conquers Pusan fest

Debut pic shared New Currents Award with 'Betelnut'

See Winners

“Love Conquers All” by Malaysian director Tan Chui Mui emerged as the big winner of the 11th Pusan International Film Festival.

Debut pic shared the fest’s $30,000 New Currents Award with Chinese director Yang Heng’s “Betelnut”, and also picked up the FIPRESCI Award. Part of an emerging wave of Chinese-language filmmaking from Malaysia (fellow helmers James Lee and Ho Yuhang contributed to the film as cinematographer and editor respectively), “Love” tells the story of a woman who moves to Kuala Lumpur and finds a new boyfriend, who may or may not be a pimp.

Other prizewinners included Vietnamese pic “The White Silk Dress”, which took home the audience award; and Locarno selection “The Last Dining Table”, which won the NETPAC Award for best Korean film.

Local major CJ Entertainment also continued its tradition of picking up five Asian films in the program for guaran-teed theatrical and DVD release in Korea. This year’s “CJ Collection” selections were closing film “Crazy Stone” by Chinese director Ning Hao; “Wool 100%” from Japan; “Illusion” from the Philippines; Venice selection “Rain Dogs” by Malaysian director Ho Yuhang; and Hong Kong pic “My Mother is a Belly Dancer”.

Total attendance for this year’s edition added up to 162,835, which ranks as the second-lowest ever (although the 71.3% seat occupancy rate compares favorably to last year).

The event also pulled in a record 8,321 local and international guests, not including those at the Asian Film Market.

11th Pusan International Film Festival, awards

New Currents Award for new Asian filmmaker ($30,000) (tie)
“Betelnut” (China), dir. Yang Heng “Love Conquers All” (Malaysia), dir. Tan Chui Mui

FIPRESCI Award for best film from New Currents section
“Love Conquers All” (Malaysia), dir. Tan Chui Mui

NETPAC Award for best Korean film
“The Last Dining Table”, dir. Roh Gyeong-tae

KNN Audience Award for most popular film from New Currents section
“The White Silk Dress” (Vietnam), dir. Huynh Luu

Sunje Fund for Best Korean Short Film ($20,000) (tie)
“The Wind Stirs”, dir.
Lee Jin-woo “Portfolio”, dir. Yoon Seong-ho

Woonpa Fund for best Korean documentary ($20,000) (tie)
“People Crossing the River”, dir.
Kim Duk-chul “Our School”, dir. Kim Myeong-joon