PIFF summit fosters Asian movie industryThis year, the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) launched its “Star Summit Asia,” in which promising Asian actors get to introduce themselves to film producers in the hope of receiving role offers in their films. The event is the first of its kind in Busan, or anywhere in the world. For the actors, this opens doors to Asian markets outside their home countries, and for the producers, it will provide a natural meeting ground to get a feel for foreign actors and actresses.
Nineteen actors and actresses, including Hwang Jung-min and Jang Jin-young from Korea, along with others from Japan, China, Thailand and Vietnam, are scheduled to participate.
“Curtain Call,” the first part of the summit, featured nine actors and actresses from Korea, China, Japan and Vietnam, who have notoriety outside their respective countries. These included Xun Zhou who acted in the “The Night Banquet;” Kashii Yu and Bae Doo-na, who starred in the Korean film “Linda, Linda, Linda;” Zhang Jingchu from “The Road;” Hayato Ichihara, of “Rainbow Song;” Hai Yen, of “Story of Pao;” Aoi Yu from “Hana and Alice;” and Guo Xiao Dong, who starred in “Summer Palace.” Korean actors participating were Hwang Jung-min, from “Bloody Tie,” and Jang Jin-young, from “Love, Charm.”
The second part of the program, “Casting Board,” featured seven actors and actresses who are just beginning their careers, including Ha Jung-wo, Shin Sae-jyeong, Lee So-yun, Choi Yeo-jin and Kim Ji-suk from Korea. During a special segment called, “Asian Face in Hollywood,” Korean-American actors Leonardo Nam, Will Yun Lee, and Sung Kang were introduced.
On Monday, the actors took part in a promotional “Fan Road,” where, decked out in evening gowns and suits, they trod the red carpet and greeted fans, as well as meeting leading film producers, directors, distributors and other industry members to network.
Besides parties and events, the stars also got to showcase their creative talents to the film industry executives during the screening event of “Curtain Call,” in which recent movies starring each of the featured stars were shown to participants.
Talent agencies including Japan’s Horipro and Stardust, and Korea’s iHQ, Namu Actors and Star J Entertainment have set up temporary offices to consult with the actors and actresses. PIFF market director Park Kwang-su commented that in order for the Asian film industry to blossom, cooperation between countries is important, as well as collaborative projects featuring actors and actresses from other Asian countries.
Alongside the “Star Summit Asia,” PIFF is also introducing its “Asian Film Market 2006,” a four-day event that will showcase movies already in post-production to investors and distributors. There will also be an exhibition featuring special effects used in the movies.
Unlike most major film markets, “Asian Film Market 2006” will not be providing its guests complimentary flights, lodging and other expenses. Even so, there will be 156 film companies participating in the event as well as 131 booths. Mr. Park commented that the reason PIFF decided not to cover travel expenses is because it wanted to emphasize that the launching of the “Asian Film Market” meant “real business,” and not just “filling seats.”
by Joo Jung-wan