BUSAN, South Korea — The 17th Busan International Film Festival came to a close yesterday, with the ten-day run being considered the most successful in its existence. The closing ceremony preceded the final screening, Television, by Bangladesh director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki.
In total, 221,002 movie tickets were sold to the 304 screenings, 39 of which were international premiers, while 93 were world premieres. Over 11,500 accredited guests attended the festival, while 2,357 accredited press also covered the event. In comparison to last year, attendance at the nine day event totalled 196,177 with 2,237 accredited journalists, and over 9,000 accredited guests—a significant rise and notice of the festivals gaining popularity.
36, from Thailand, and Kayan, a Lebanese drama, were awarded the main prize in the New Currents award, which nets both Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit and Maryam Najaf $30,000 for their win, which was for first- or second-time Asian or Middle Eastern directors.
Najafi's first feature film and revolves around a woman working in a male-dominated Lebanese community in Vancouver, while Thamrongrattanarit’s experimental hour-long movie uses 36 still photos to recount a relationship between a film location scout and an art director, according to the Huffington Post.
Flower Buds, from Czech director Zdenek Jirasky, won the $30,000-Flash Forward award.
17th BIFF Award Winners
CGV Movie Collage Award – O Muel (JiSeul)
Busan Cinephile Award – 5 Broken Cameras, a Korean documentary
DGK Awards: Best Director – O Muel (JiSeul) and Shin Young-shick (Russian Novel)
DGK Awards: Best Actor – Shim Hee-seop, Kim Chang-hwan and Ahn Jae-hong (The Sunshine Boys)
DGK Awards: Best Actress – Jang Young-nam (Azooma)
New Currents Award: 36 (Thailand) and Kayan (Lebanon/Canada), with special mention for Fimnistaan (India)
BIFF's Flashforward Prize: Flower Buds (Czech Republic)
KNN Movie Award (Audience Award): Touch of the Light (Taiwan)
Sonje Award (Short Films): A Little Farther (Iran) and The Night Of The Witness (Korea), with special mention to Transferring (Japan)
NETPAC Jury Award: JiSeul (Korea)
FIPRESCI Award: 36 (Thailand)
Citizen Reviewer's Award: JiSeul (Korea)
BIFF Mecenat Award (Documentary): Embers (Lebanon/Qatar/Armenia) and Anxiety (Korea), with special mention for Wellang Trei (Korea)