Eight Asian Talents in the Race for Busan Festival’s Kim Ji-seok Award

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

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

From Hong Kong, Ray Yeung, winner of multiple awards around the world for 2015’s “Front Cover,” is nominated for “Suk Suk”.

From Japan, young filmmaker Nakagawa Ryutaro, known for festival favourites “Summer Blooms,” “Tokyo Sunrise,” and “August in Tokyo,” is in contention with “It Stopped Raining.” So too is “The Promised Land” by veteran compatriot Zeze Takahisa, who has been winning awards globally since 1989.

Thailand’s much decorated multihyphenate Kongdej Jaturanrasamee (“Snap”, “So Be It”) is in the fray with “Where We Belong.”

Iranian actor-turned-director Shahed Ahmadlou’s “Cinema Donkey” is in the running for the prize, as is Pakistani actor and director Sarmad Sultan Khoosat with “Circus of Life.”

Across the border, from India, Gurvinder Singh, whose 2011 debut feature “Alms for a Blind Horse” premiered at Venice and played Busan, and whose 2015 feature “The Fourth Direction” bowed at Cannes, will compete with “Bitter Chestnut”. Also from India, Pradeep Kurbah, known for 2013’s “RI: Homeland of Uncertainty” and 2016’s “Onaatah: Of the Earth” is in the running with “Market”.

With the exception of “Where We Belong” and “The Promised Land” that are international premieres, the rest are world premieres.

The three member jury deciding the prize comprises Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf (“Kandahar”), Huh Moonyung, program director of the Busan Cinema Center, and Malaysian director Tan Chui Miu, who won the festival’s New Currents award in 2006 for “Love Conquers All”. They will select two finalists who will receive a prize of $10,000 each.

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