[PIFF] Korean, Thai Directors Win Top PPP Prize

The 8th Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) wrapped up its three-day schedule yesterday by handing out awards in Pusan (Busan).

Among 33 official projects _ 27 PPP projects from 19 countries and six New Directors in Focus (NDIF) projects by promising Korean directors _ eight projects were announced at the closing ceremony at the Paradise Hotel in Haeundae.

Both "Fairy Tale of a Picture Tree" by Lee Kwang-mo from South Korea and "Heartbreak Pavilion" by Thunska Pansittivorakul and Sompot Chidgasornpongse from Thailand won the Busan Award, the largest prize bestowed by the Pusan city government with $20,000 in prize money.

"Paju" by Park Chan-ok, which won the Kodak Award, received 20 million won ($19,000).

Ten million won ($10,000) for the MBC Movies Awards and $10,000 for the CineclickAsia Award were given to Hong Ki-seon's "Broken Piece of Mirror" and Afghanistan director Siddiq Barmak's "Opium War". French director Djamshed Usmonov's "To Get to Heaven First You Have to Die" grabbed $10,000 provided by the Busan Film Commission (BFC).

Among NDIF projects, LJ Film Inc. granted 20 million won to "A Girl from the 4th Dimension" by Park Eun-yeong and guaranteed its production. Barunson Inc. also endowed 10 million won to "Stay with Me" by Cheong Hee-seong.

Some 1,100 potential investors, directors and producers from around 30 different nations visited this year's PPP, holding some 600 meetings, the organizing committee said.

IHQ Inc., one of 21 local and international promotion companies participated in this year's Industry Center of PPP, announced its new film "Sad Movie'" was sold at a record high price to a Japanese firm.

"Compared to 2001, when I first visited PPP, it's been improved so much", said Eric Geay from French firm SND. "PPP helps me save time before visiting the American Film Market, the largest motion picture trade event in the world. I select many Asian films here and buy them at AFM".

"Our upcoming blockbuster `Typhoon' has been sold to Japan. Last year we had a lucrative deal at PPP as Japanese buyers aggressively contended to buy our `A Moment to Remember', which they thought would greatly appeal to Japanese audiences" said Kim Sung-eun, overseas sales representative of CJ Entertainment.

Kim added CJ promotes not only big commercial films, but also such independent films as "Love Talk" directed by Lee Yoon-ki and "The Peter Pan Formula" by Cho Chang-ho, which drew keen attention from audiences at this year's PIFF.
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