Big Names Hog Asian Project Market Awards

Kim Jee-woon, Wayne Wang, Wang Wei-ming among Busan funding winners

BUSAN – Prizes at the Busan festival’s Asian Project Market were largely kept close to Korean home turf.

Announced on Thursday evening, the top prize, The Busan Award, went to “Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade” by top local director Kim Jee-woon (pictured). Kim recently directed Arnold Schwarzenegger comeback vehicle “The Last Stand” and previously made “A Bittersweet Life,” “Two Sisters” and last year’s black hit “I Saw The Devil.” Jin Roh is understood to be fully funded by local Korean major CJ Entertainment.

Three of the other eight prizes also went to Korean projects. A fourth, the KOCCA Award went to Australia’s Eron Sheean for “End of Animal,” an English-language remake of a Korean drama.

European cultural TV channel Arte gave its prize to Indonesian director Edwin for his raunchy “Exotic Pictures.”

U.S.-based Wayne Wang claimed the ‘Creative Director’ award for his mystery about honeymoon murders “While The Women Are Sleeping.”

With Jin Roh green-lighted and another winner “Sex Appeal” set to shoot next week, there is bound to be debate over the usefulness of official awards at project funding markets.

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“Sex Appeal” to be made on a $2 million budget, by experienced Taiwan-born director and producer Wang Wei-ming, is the story of four women involved in a rape trial. It stars Vivian Hsu, Leon Dai and Amber Kou and has prize-winning cinematographer Mark Lee behind the camera. Mainland Chinese distribution is already assured through Stellar Megamedia.

Market organizers said that the main Asian Film Market grew by 16% compared with last year.

It claimed the participation of 733 companies and 1,272 market badge holders, compared 2012’s 690 companies and 1,098 badge holders. Including the BIFCOM locations market there was a total of 92 booths from 198 companies and 32 countries.

Market screenings also increased, with 100 screenings of 87 completed films, compared with 71 films last year.

Asian Project Market — 2013 winners
Busan Award “Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade” (South Korea) KIM Jee-woon
CJ Entertainment Award “Samuel Over the Rainbow” (Philippines) Benito BAUTISTA
LOTTE Award “OTS Virus Project” (South Korea) KANG Yi-kwan
PanStar Cruise Award “Have a Nice Trip!” (South Korea, China) LEE Seo
KOCCA Award “End of Animal” (Australia) Eron SHEEAN
Technicolor Asia Award “Sex Appeal” (Taiwan, Hong Kong) WANG Wei-ming
ARTE International Prize “Exotic Pictures” (Indonesia, Netherlands, Germany) Edwin
Funding 21 Award “Gyeongju” (South Korea) ZHANG Lu
Creative Director Award “While The Women Are Sleeping” (Japan, U.S.) Wayne WANG

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