SEOUL, South Korea – Asian Film Academy (AFA) in its eighth year is an intensive educational program for up-and-coming Asian filmmakers. AFA brings together promising Asian filmmakers to foster them as well as to help create a multicultural network among them.
Previous AFA Deans have been appointed among world-renowned filmmakers such as Im Kwon-teak, Hou Hsiao Hsien, and Krzysztof Zanussi. AFA2012 newly appointed Jia Zhangke, a leading figure in Chinese cinema, as its Dean.
Born in 1970, Jia Zhangke is one of Chinese Sixth Generation filmmakers and one of the most celebrated film directors with a unique style and auteurial voice in the global film sphere. JIA launched his international career at the Busan International Film Festival. His first feature film “Xiao Wu” (1997) won the New Currents Award at the 3rd Busan International Film Festival followed by the Golden Montgolfiere at the 20th Nantes Three Continents Festival and the Dragons & Tigers Award for Young East Asian Cinema at the 17th Vancouver International Film Festival. His second feature “Platform” (2000) realized through the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP, current Asian Project Market) along with “In Public” (2001), “Unknown Pleasures” (2002), and “The World” (2004) received critical acclaim at major international film festivals. “Still Life” (2006) recognized for JIA’s signature cinematic vision and aesthetics won the Golden Lion at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival. Recently, JIA produced films of young Chinese film directors including “Yulu” (2011) and “Mr. Tree” (2011).
Along with Jia Zhangke as the Dean, the rest of the AFA2012 faculty has been finalized. Director of the Busan Film Commission, Oh Seok-geun (South Korea) will serve as Deputy Dean. Iranian filmmaker and screen writer, Parviz Shahbazi (Iran) will be Directing Mentor. Esteemed Japanese cinematographer Watanabe Makoto (Japan) will be Cinematography Mentor.
AFA2012 will be held from September 27 to October 14
Asian Film Academy is co-hosted by Dongseo University, Busan Film Commission, and the Busan International Film Festival. Since its inception in 2005, AFA has produced 171 graduates from 25 countries.
For 18 days, young filmmakers from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds will gather in Busan to participate in short film production, workshops, master class, special lectures, and faculty mentoring. The program will offer actual film production experience as well as a chance to study the philosophy behind filmmaking.