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NOH's Scarecrows Tops 13th PIFF Awards

2008/10/30 Source

South Korean film "Land of Scarecrows" shared the top prize with Japanese drama Naked of Defenses in the New Currents competition section of the 13th Pusan International Film Festival which wrapped October 10th. The award is worth US$ 30,000.

Scarecrows is director Noh Kyeong-tae's sophomore effort, a cinematic cross-section of marginalized characters that lives up to the promise of his 2006 daring debut "The Last Dining Table".

French New Wave actress Anna Karina, who headed the jury this year also made two special mentions. Korean debut director Baek Seung-bin's "Members of the Funeral" and Chinese feature Er Dong by Yang Jin.

This year's PIFF drew a new record in audience admissions with 198,818 and an overall occupancy rate of 72.3%. The fest screened 315 films including 85 world premieres. The Asian Film Market, held during PIFF, drew 4,640 participants and 132 companies.

The Asian Film Academy also ran for the 4th time during the fest, with 24 filmmakers guided in workshops and mentoring sessions under the deanship of Hou Hsiao-hsien. Festival master Kim Dong-ho presided over the groundbreaking ceremony on what will be PIFF's permanent home, called 'Dureraum' or the Busan Film Center, due to be completed in 2011.

Other prizes handed out at PIFF included the $10,000 Sonje Award for best Korean short to Girl by HONG Sung-hoon while best Asian short went to Andong by Rommel Tolentino Milo of the Philippines.

The PIFF Mecenat Award for best documentary was shared by Japan and Korea. Mental by Soda Kazuhiro and "Old Partner" by Lee Chung-ryoul were named winners. This year's NETPAC award was shared by two Korean films. Kim So-yong's second feature "Treeless Mountain", a US-Korea co-production, and BAEK's "Members of the Funeral" both won.

The FIPRESCI award went to China's Jalainur by Ye Zhao, while the Audience Award KNN Movie Award worth $20,000 was given to 100 by Chris Martinez of the Philippines.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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