A Normandy Beachhead for Asian FilmsDEAUVILLE － An unusual group of visitors streamed in and out of the doors of the Hotel Normandy Barriere in the normally sleepy town of Deauville, France, during the first two weeks of March. Famous for its 26-year-old annual American Film Festival in the fall, Deauville is a posh resort town on the Normandy coast which is usually quiet, even desolate, in the rainy late-winter season. This time the special guests were all Asian, and they had all flown half way around the world to attend the third Asian Film Festival in Deauville.
The Deauville festival, organized by the Panasia Film Festival, took place from March 1 through 4 and attracted more than 20,000 visitors this year. It was a meeting of film professionals, movie goers and the public, surrounded by peaceful Normandy architecture.
"JSA" won the Golden Lotus for Best Film, and its leading actor Song Kang-ho was awarded the Golden Lotus for Best Male Performance. The film also received the Viewer's Award, organized by the French magazine Premiere.
The aim of the film festival is to publicize, promote and pay tribute to Asian films and their creators. To enhance cultural exchange between Korea and France, the general manager of Air France Korea, Nicolas Delaporte, has been working to help Korean films such as "JSA" gain exposure not only among foreign communities within Korea but also in Europe. He told the JoongAng Ilbo English Edition that Air France has been actively promoting the exposure of Asian films in Deauville and at other prestigious festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Asian Short Films Festival in Clairmont, France, and the Pusan International Film Festival in Korea.
The JoongAng Ilbo English Edition met and talked with leading personalities at the festival.
by Ines Cho