You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Pascha’ and ‘Remote Control’ win Busan Festival Awards

Festival claims continued talent discovery, huge visitor total despite typhoon,

BUSAN — Local South Korean film “Pascha” and Mongolian-German co-production “Remote Control” shared the top prize at the 18th edition of the Busan International Film Festival.

The films, by Ahn Seonkyoung and Byamba Sakhya respectively, were named as winners of the festival’s New Currents prize for young film-makers. They were joined by “Transit” a Filipino film about migrant workers in Israel, which had long been the critics’ favorite, but which in the end earned a ‘special mention.’

The festival closed on Saturday evening with a pageant in perfect crisp weather at the two year old Busan Cinema Center and the screening of “The Dinner” by local director Kim Dong-hyun.

Over its ten days the festival enjoyed 218,000 admissions, fractionally down on last year, but still the second successive year that its ticketing total exceeded 200,000, and a noteworthy score considering the typhoon weather conditions which affected travel around the city on Sunday and Monday.

A further opening up of the Center’s lobby to the public and the creation of the BIFF Terrace made the spectacular, but previously austere, building a place where people were more likely to linger.

“We feel we have finally reached our goal of being a festival where filmmakers and audiences can come together,” said a delighted festival director Lee Yong-kwan.

Lee also expressed considerable satisfaction with the locations market BIFCOM and the BIFF conference series, saying that feedback gave them confidence to expand these segments in future years.

The festival welcomed 7,730 accredited professional guests, 55% from overseas.

In its 18th edition, the Busan festival screened 299 films from 70 countries, including 94 world premieres and 40 international premieres. They played out at 35 screens at 7 different venues.

In a final communique the festival claimed the successful discovery and introduction of several lesser-known directors, especially those from Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

“Remote Control” (pictured) is the debut feature of Mongolia’s Sakhya, who has an extensive track record of writing, editing, lensing and line producing the works of other Mongolian film-makers. The picture blurs the border between reality and fantasy and tells the story of an alienated youngster who believes he can connect with a woman in another apartment block by using a TV remote control.

“Pascha” is the second film by Ahn and tells the story of a 40-something woman and her 17 year old lover, their cat and the hostility they suffer from conventional society. The jury described it as an “intimate and highly original expression of an unusual love story.”

The New Currents jury included Iranian director Rakhshan Banietemad, Japanese director Aoyama Shinji, Cannes’ Critics Week selector Charles Tesson and Variety’s head critic Scott Foundas.

Away from the heat of the competition the festival put on a massive 71-title retrospective of the works of prolific Korean director Im Kwon-taek. Im duly responded by using Busan as the platform for announcing his 102nd feature production.

There was also high drama late in the week when U.S. maestro Quentin Tarantino swept into to town on a hastily arranged visit which festival organizers turned into an on-stage encounter with “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-ho.

The local media got itself into a flurry over the increasing level of undress it perceived on the red carpets, and by a controversy which broke out between Korean Cinema Programmer Nam Dong-cheol and Kang Dong-won, the male lead of Kim Ji-woon’s Screen X flick, “The X” over the issue of taking part in official festival events.

BIFF’s world cinema section also saw some sweeping changes, with its formerly competitive section, Flash Forward, becoming an audience award. This year it was won by Maximillian Hult’s “Home.”

BIFF World Cinema programmer Pak Dosin said “we have always striven to focus on what the audience likes and giving opportunities for quality films from everywhere to be shown in theaters after the festival. That is our focus and we’ll work toward that goal in the future.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Joker Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

    Box Office: Villains Face Off Again as 'Joker' and 'Maleficent' Battle for First Place

    Despite three new nationwide releases, domestic box office charts look to be dominated by holdovers — Warner Bros.’ “Joker” and Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” — during the last weekend in October. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted last weekend with $36 million in North America, enough to dethrone “Joker” after the super-villain origin story’s back-to-back [...]

  • Yasushi Shiina

    Tokyo Market is Finding New Strengths, Says Yasushi Shiina

    Clouds on the global economic horizon and disruption to the scheduling of the event, have done little to dampen the interest of foreign visitors to TIFFCOM, Japan’s biggest film and TV market. Especially those from China, says market head, Yasushi Shiina. The market is again running at the Sunshine City shopping, entertainment and business complex [...]

  • "Weathering With You" directed by Makoto

    Toho Unveils Dual Media Romance 'Love Me, Love Me Not' at Tokyo Market

    Japan’s biggest film company, which produces, distributes and exhibits its own product in partnership with leading media companies, Toho has brought a line-up to TIFFCOM full of present and future hits. The biggest is “Weathering with You,” the love story animation by Makoto Shinkai that surpassed the $100 million mark only a month after its [...]

  • Hit Me Anyone One More Time

    TIFFCOM: Pony Canyon Saddles up FujiTV's Smash 'Hit Me Anyone'

    One of Japan’s five major broadcast networks, Fuji TV has also been a pioneer and leader among the networks in feature film production. This year at TIFFCOM long-time partner Pony Canyon is representing Fuji TV films that have recently hit number one at the Japanese box office. Among the hottest, with three straight weeks atop [...]

  • Martin Scorsese Avengers

    Are Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola Right About Marvel? (Column)

    If you want to shoot holes in the comments that Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola made recently about Marvel movies (Scorsese: “That’s not cinema”; Coppola: “Martin was being kind when he said it wasn’t cinema. He didn’t say it was despicable, which is what I say”), then go right ahead, because they’ve practically handed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content