The 14th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) wrapped up over the weekend after a closing ceremony on Friday followed by two additional days of post-screening for special and encore runs of the fest's award-winning films.
Although this year's PiFan was the first run by newly appointed Festival Director Kim Young-bin, the 11-day fest held under the theme of "Love, Fantasy and Adventure" was received favorably for its wide variety of services for the audience and stable operation.
Participants of PiFan's industry program the Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) in particular, ranging from investors to producers to directors, applauded Asia's largest genre film festival.
This year's NAFF attracted attention and was commended for the relatively high standard of projects presented at the It Project genre film market, its timely spotlight on the Taiwanese film industry and a first-time introduction to Swiss design incorporated in Hollywood films.
However, some also pointed out that the screenings should have taken the balance of countries into more consideration. This year's PiFan put excessive weight on Japanese films in terms of selections for Asian films, proving to be short to look into the overall aspect of genre film in Asia in general.
In particular, it barely shed light onto China's rapidly growing commercial genre film market and despite Taiwan projects selected as the country to receive the spotlight at this year's fest and over 30 Taiwanese visiting the country, the lack of various genre films recently popular in Hong Kong containing elements of fantasy were nowhere to be seen.
The most popular film at the closing event was Korean director Jang Cheol-su's "Bedevilled," a feature about a serial killing case occurring on a small island, which had garnered attention when revealed for the first time at the International Critic's Week of this year's Cannes Film Festival. It had also been nominated for the Camera d'Or Prize.
At Bucheon, "Bedevilled" competed in the Puchon Choice Feature category, raking in three titles including Best of Puchon for best picture of the year, Best Actress with Seo Yeong-hee and the Fujifilm Eterna Award handed to the best Korean independent feature film by Fuji Film.
Past Puchon Choice Award winners have been popular amongst the domestic audience and lodged respectable results on the local box office. Hence, the release date for "Bedevilled" has yet to be set but Jang's directorial debut pic may be headed toward becoming the next 'discovery' of the Korean film industry.
At the post-screening carried on into the weekend, Jury's Choice award claimer "Confessions" by Japanese filmmaker Tetsuya Nakashima and "Fire of Conscience," a movie starring Best Actor recipient Richie Jen, a Hong Kong singer and actor, met with the audience again over the weekend.
Nakashima, of hit films "Kamikaze Girls" and "Memories of Matsuko," has many fans in Korea and his latest pic "Paco and the Magical Picture Book" started its run in Korea on July 22.
"Fire of Conscience," an action thriller about an incident which occurs when a detective gets involved in the murder of a prostitute, became talked about for its two main characters including rising star Jen and Leo Lai. Director Dante Lam won the award for best director at last year's PiFan with "The Beast Stalker."
PiFan 2010 Official Competition Awards
- Puchon Choice Short: Official Competition
- Citizen's Choice for Short Film: "Melt Down" (Director David GREEN)
- Best Korean Short Film (KRW 5,000,000): "Rail" (Director MYUNG Bae Young)
- Jury's Choice for Short Film (KRW 3,000,000): "St. Christophorus: Roadkill" (Director Gregor ERLER)
- Best Short Film (KRW 5,000,000): "PLAY" (Director David KAPLAN)
- Puchon Choice Feature: Official Competition
- Prugio Citizen's Choice: "Gintama The Movie" (Director TAKAMATSU Shinji)
- Jury's Choice: "Confessions" (Director NAKASHIMA Tetsuya)
- Best Actress: SEO Yeong Hee, "Bedevilled"
- Best Actor: Richie JEN, "Fire of Conscience"
- Best Director: Gareth EDWARDS, "Monsters"
- Best of Puchon: "Bedevilled" (Director JANG Cheol Su)
- Fujifilm Eterna Award
- "Bedevilled" (Director JANG Cheol Su)
- Netpac Award
- "Permanent Nobara" (Director YOSHIDA Daihachi)
- European Fantastic Film Festival Asian Award (EFFFF)
- "Bestseller" (Director LEE Jeong Ho)
Contributing Reporter : Gloria Kim
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@
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