Korean, Japanese share top film award in Busan

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Korean, Japanese share top film award in Busan

BUSAN - Two films about two very different kinds of women shared the major award at the 13th Pusan International Film Festival yesterday.

South Korean director Roh Gyeong-tae’s “Land of Scarecrows” and Japanese director Ichii Masahide’s “Naked of Defences” were awarded the New Currents award for first- or second-time Asian filmmakers.

“These are two very beautiful portraits of women,” said French actress Anna Karina, who served as the head of the New Currents jury.

“They are both very truthful and very simple and they leave a lasting impression. We were impressed by all the entries and by the quality of filmmaking that we witnessed and I think that is a positive sign for filmmaking in Asia.”

Roh’s atmospheric film tells the story of a Korean woman who wants to become a man, and the problems she encounters when she falls in love, while Masahide’s focuses on the relationship between two women - one who is pregnant and another who has recently suffered a miscarriage.

The winning films were chosen from a field of 14 New Currents selections representing the work of young filmmakers from across the region. This year’s field included films from as far afield as Iran and Indonesia.

“I wanted this film to show how people deal with isolation, and how people are drawn to each other no matter what the difficulties are,” Roh said.

This year’s festival broke attendance records, with almost 200,000 tickets being sold over nine days. A total of 315 films were screened, including 85 world premieres.

The festival ended Friday with the premiere of “I Am Happy,” starring Hyun Bin and Lee Bo-young. AFP
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