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Busan’s Project Market Returns to Full Strength, Excludes Non-Asian Titles

Busan festival poster 2022
Busan International Film Festival

The Asian Project Market, the film financing event attached to the Busan festival’s Asian Contents & Film Market, will return this year as an in-person event. To increase the focus on regional projects it has selected 29 titles and excluded those from outside Asia.

The APM will be held at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) and run Oct. 9-11, 2022. The Busan International Film Festival runs Oct 5-14.

Organizers say that thematically the selection – made from 288 projects submitted – highlights women filmmakers and the return of a handful of Busan festival alumni. The selection also finds house room for nine projects from South Korea.

The APM prizes awarded to be awarded on Oct. 11 will also be “more diverse.” They include a newly-established TAICCA Award and the VIPO Award, sponsored by Taiwan Creative Content Agency and Japan’s Visual Industry Promotion Organization respectively, which will pay out $10,000 to support film development. And Cambodia’s Kongchak Studio will an in-kind prize worth $25,000 in sound post-production services and facilities.

Director Farkhat Sharipov, who was invited to A Window on Asian Cinema at the 25th Busan International Film Festival and was the winner of the Grand Prix of the Generation 14plus section at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival, presents “Soldier of Love.” Mainland Chinese director, Wang Qi, recipient of the Kim Jiseok Award Special Mention in the 26th Busan International Film Festival, presents “Red River.” Director Natesh Hegde, who visited Busan last year, has returned with “Tiger’s Pond,” the second film of the mystery trilogy, following “Pedro.”

Other highlights include: “Last Shadow at First Light,” to be directed by Nicole Midori Woodford, who recently shot “Last Shadow,” and which is presented as a Singapore-Slovenia-Japan co-venture produced by Jeremy Chua; “Sima’s Song,” directed by Roya Sadat, whose “Letter to the President” was previously Afghanistan’s Oscar contender; and “The Thonglor Kids,” by Thailand’s Aditya Assarat.

The selection also includes “Future Laobans,” a project to be directed by Myanmar’s Maung Sun, whose “Money has Four Legs” appeared at Busan in 2020 and Udine and Locarno in 2021. Producing credits go to Maung Sun and partner Ma Aient. She is currently serving a three year jail sentence in Thayarwaddy Prison having been found guilty of political crimes against the military junta that seized power in January 2021.