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Nine Asian Talents in the Race for the Busan Fest’s Kim Ji-seok Award

Nine films chosen from Busan’s A Window on Asian cinema strand will vie for the festival’s annual Kim Ji-seok award this year.

Japan’s Kazuya Shiraishi, whose debut feature “Lost Paradise in Tokyo” was a Busan New Currents award nominee in 2009, is in the running for the Kim Ji-seok prize with “Dare to Stop Us,” pictured above. Award-winning Singaporean director Daniel Hui (“Snakeskin”) is in contention with “Demons”; China is repped by Zhan Wei’s “The Rib.”

India’s Devashish Makhija, whose “Ajji” premiered at Busan in 2017, is a nominee for “Bhonsle” this year, alongside compatriot Praveen Morchhale (“Walking With the Wind”) for “Widow of Silence.” Celebrated Sri Lankan filmmaker Asoka Handagama (“Let Her Cry”) is nominated for “Asandhimitta”; Indonesian filmmaker Ravi Bharwani (“The Rainmaker”) has “27 Steps of May” in the running.

Jamshid Mahmoudi, whose 2014 film “A Few Cubic Meters of Love” was Afghanistan’s entry to the foreign-language Oscar race, is a nominee for Afghanistan/Iran co-production “Rona, Azim’s Mother.” Kazakhstan’s Farkhat Sharipov (“Tale of a Pink Hare”) rounds off the nominees with “The Secret of a Leader.”

All the nominees are world premieres except “Dare to Stop Us,” which is an international premiere.

The award was instituted in 2017 in memory of late Busan programmer Kim Ji-seok, who nurtured a generation of emerging Asian talent during his tenure.

The jury this year comprises former Variety and current Los Angeles Times film critic Justin Chang, veteran Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo (“Ramen Shop”) and international film festival consultant Hayashi Kanako. They will select two finalists who will receive a prize of $10,000 each.

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