Busan Festival: Competition Stretches From ‘Sex Appeal’ to ‘Sunrise’

HONG KONG – Busan’s New Currents competition has a strong track record of discovering new Asian directorial talent.

This year’s selection is kept at 12 titles, hailing from 10 countries or territories. Organizers have picked two each from Iran and – inevitably – South Korea. But they also point to the inclusion of films from Lebanon and Bangladesh for the first time.

Unusually, there is only one from South East Asia, Meriquina by Filipino director Milo Soqueco.

Early standouts appear to be “(Sex) Appeal,” from Taiwan and “Sunrise” from India.

Directed by “(Sex) Appeal” Wang Wei-ming (producer of “Love At 7-11”), the film a high tension drama based on real events involving a woman music student who accuses a man of rape, but does not provide physical evidence. With a high profile cast including Vivian Hsu, Amber Kuo and Leon Dai, the film was previously shopped at the 2013 edition of Busan’s project market. It is set for commercial release in Taiwan at the end of October through new distributor Hualien International.

“Sunrise” is a Marathi-language India-French co-production directed by FEMIS-trained Partho Sen-Gupta, whose early career was spent in design on Bollywood productions. The psychological journey features a broken Police Inspector who plumbs the depths of Mumbai’s underworld to find the daughter, who he believes to be kidnapped. It stars Adil Hussain and Tannishtha Chatterjee.

Busan International Film Festival – 2014 New Currents Competition Line-up
“(Sex) Appeal” dir. Wang Wei Ming  (Taiwan)
“13” dir. Hooman Seyedi (Iran)
“Don’t say that word” dir. Sato Takuma (Japan)
“End of Winter” dir. Kim Daehwan  (South Korea)
“Ghadi”  dir. Amin Dora (Lebanon)
“Jalal’s Story” dir. Abu Shahed Emon (Bangladesh)
“Meriquina” dir. Milo Sogueco (Philippines)
“Nezha” dir. Li Xiaofeng (China)
“Sunrise” dir. Partho Sen-Gupta (India)
“The Face of the Ash” dir. Shakhawan Idress (Iraq)
“We Will Be OK” dir. Baek Jaeho (South Korea)
“What’s the Time in Your World?” dir. Safi Yazdanian (Iran)

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