Makhmalbaf joins Pusan academy

Ratanaruang enters faculty

SEOUL — The Pusan International Film Festival’s annual teachfest, the Asian Film Academy, has signed on Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf (“Kandahar”) to serve as its third principal.

Helmer follows in the footsteps of Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien, who headed the inaugural AFA in 2005, and Korean veteran Im Kwon-taek, who held the post last year.

PIFF presented Makhmalbaf with an Asian Filmmaker of the Year award in 2003.

Joining him on the faculty will be Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang (“Last Life in the Universe”), whose latest film “Ploy” screened in Directors’ Fortnight section at Cannes, and Japanese d.p. Kurita Toyomichi, whose career spans both Hollywood (“Cookie’s Fortune”) and Japan (“Gohatto”).

The AFA will provide free accommodation and instruction to young filmmakers from across Asia, and guide them in the making of a collaborative short film. Program starts on Sept. 27 in Seoul before moving to Pusan for the duration of the festival (Oct. 4-12).

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