The Busan International Film Festival has established and re-established itself as the place to discover new Asian talents for the past 15 years. Since the introduction of the New Currents section, numerous directors have been active in producing cinematic works that would clearly imprint their names in the global film industry.
The themes for New Currents section this year are “Homecoming”, “Alienation”, “Family” and “Growing”. The works of young talented directors that illustrate the brilliant, refreshing and interesting interpretations of these themes are selected.
The films are as follows:
Director Aruna JAYAWARDANA
Sri Lanka | 2011 | 108min | 35mm | color
In a drought-plagued Sri Lankan village, a woman undertaker and an epileptic architect, bound by their “otherness,” join forces to build the crematorium she believes will bring her the respect she is denied. This is a film about the human condition created by expectations, life and death.
Director KIM Joong-hyun
In a melancholy but unsentimental portrait of family breakdown, a young man deals with the pain of his family’s disintegration at his mother’s hands. Choked is also the story of teenaged obligations, made all the more vivid by its naturalistic performances and masterful direction.
Director KITAGAWA Hitoshi
Japan | 2011 | 84min | 35mm | color
The indiscretions of the past haunt two alienated office workers in Damn Life. Following the death of a co-worker, compulsively dutiful Kotani’s childhood trauma and Imasawa’s emotional disconnection are the keys that lead the duo to a chilling final act.
Director Siu PHAM
Vietnam / Switzerland | 2011 | 91min | HD | color
A retired European man and his Vietnamese wife living in a peaceful fishing village are separated by a tragedy at sea. The man’s disappearance troubles his wife, but it also leads to a dream-like exploration of sexuality, desire, and the ghosts of our lives.
I Carried You Home
Director Tongpong CHANTARANGKUL
Thailand / Singapore | 2011 | 100min | HD | color
* 2008 ACF Script Development Fund Project
* 2011 ACF Post-Production Fund Project
Pann and Pinn are sisters living in the wake of their mother’s death at the core of this time-shifting road trip drama. Despite communication difficulties from years apart, the women slowly reconnect as they ponder about loneliness, abandonment, and the secret that tore them apart.
Lost in the Mountain
Director GAO Zipeng
China | 2011 | 95min | HD | color
How does the disappearance of a friend affect those who remain? Will there be anyone to remember him? Those are the main questions addressed in Lost in Mountain, when Da Ta is among the climbers searching for the missing Bielei on Tie Tuo Mountain.
The Mirror Never Lies
Director Kamila ANDINI
Indonesia | 2011 | 100min | 35mm | color
Twelve-year-old Pakis believes that a mirror, which her father left her before his death at sea, always shows her the truth. Though too young to understand reality, Pakis does understand that the sea is a source of comfort. This film is a beautiful story about hope and loss.
Director Morteza FARSHBAF
Iran | 2011 | 84min | 35mm | color
A deaf couple travels to Teheran to reunite their nephew with his parents after a ferocious argument and discovers there has been a horrific accident and must shield the boy from the truth. Mourning is a mysterious catalogue of events unfolding over a long emotional journey.
Director Loy ACRENAS
Philippines | 2011 | 100min | 35mm | color
Elderly patriarch and music lover Gaspar, his dependent opera singer sister Celia, and conniving daughter Raquel are at the core of the drama of tangled family relationships linked by greed. The only beauty that remains is the music that lingers amid the raging dispute.
The Passion of a Man Called Choe Che-u
Director Stanley PARK
Choe Che-u’s mortality is the subject of Stanley Park’s historical drama about maintaining faith despite the resulting alienation. Using still frames and delicate sound effects, first-time filmmaker Park crafts an internal dialogue that asks viewers fundamental questions about art and life.
Return to Burma
Director Midi Z
Myanmar / Taiwan | 2011 | 84mm | 35mm | color
A Burmese-Chinese director living in Taiwan reports on life in contemporary Myanmar. Expatriate Xin Hong returns to Burma to explore how his homeland has changed. Though the country seemed much different on the surface, Xin Hong soon discovers that the country he left is fundamentally the same—familiar and reflecting hopelessness.
Starry Starry Night
Director Tom Shu-yu LIN
Taiwan / China | 2011 | 120min | 35mm | color
* 2010 Asian Project Market (formerly PPP) Project
* 2011 ACF Post-Production Fund Project
Twelve-year-old Mei meets transfer student Lee, a seemingly innocent moment that becomes a watershed for the isolated pair. Deciding to run away from home to fulfill their young lives, Mei and Lee’s admissions and confessions strengthen their bond as the starry trek becomes more perilous.
Watch Indian Circus
Director Mangesh HADAWALE
India | 2011 | 100min | 35mm | color
Kajaro’s quest to take her children to the circus unfolds alongside an election defined by empty promises. Kajaro manages to buy circus tickets, but not for everyone and difficult choices must be made. This is a film about maternal devotion despite harsh reality of poverty.