BIFF Asian Cinema Fund 2019 Selection Announced

Asian Cinema Fund (ACF), a funding initiative that discovers and supports creative and talented Asian filmmakers to vitalize the production of Asian independent films, announces its 2019 selection. ACF selected 17 of 368 projects submitted to ACF’s three funding categories: Script Development Fund, Post-Production Fund, and Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund.

ACF 2019 Script Development Fund
(3 Asian projects, in alphabetical order by project title)

Category Project Title Director Country
Asian Projects Black and White Photo* Rajesh Prasad Khatri Nepal
Commedia Myriam El Hajj Lebanon
A Pair of Leather Clogs* Olga Korotko Kazakhstan, France


AFA (Asian Film Academy) Project

The Script Development Fund selected three Asian projects for script development support. Projects that show clear evidence of a director’s originality have been selected for this year. Following last year’s trend, projects submitted by graduates of the Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Film Academy (AFA) were of exceptional quality in storytelling skills. Social criticism and fresh insights of the director are evident in the film treatment of selected projects.

Black and White Photo follows the journey of a young student in a remote Nepal village in his quest to obtain a black and white photo to complete his high school entrance exam application form. Commedia tells a story of a woman who tries to find her own answers in a world of patriarchy and corrupted politics. It has a bold and clever narrative structure in the context of a thriller film. In A Pair of Leather Clogs, an elderly homeless woman tries to reestablish her relationship with her daughter while the country is preparing for the Olympics. It offers an insightful, but a bitter look into the absurdities in this world.

ACF 2019 Post-Production Fund
(2 Asian projects and 2 Korean projects, in alphabetical order by project title)

Category Project Title Director Country
Asian Projects The Murders of Oiso Misawa Takuya Japan, Hong Kong (China)
Nirvana Inn Vijay Jayapal India
Korean Projects Moving On Yoon Danbi South Korea
Way Back Home(working title) Park Sunjoo South Korea

The Post-Production Fund supports four feature film projects that will be world premiering at the 24th Busan International Film Festival.

The Murders of Oiso is set in a small rural city in Japan where various societal problems abound. The director Misawa Takuya’s experimental style in editing and use of sound is notable in trying to bolster the narrative. A mystery drama set in a Himalayan resort, Nirvana Inn is director Vijay Jayapal’s second feature film that was presented at the Asian Project Market last year.

Moving On and Way Back Home (working title) are selected for Korean projects. Moving On is a story about a teenage girl’s family and their stay at a house where she acts as an observer who eventually overcomes the feeling of loss and moves on. Way Back Home (working title) tells the story of a woman’s journey of overcoming her pains after hearing from the police that a sex offender from ten years ago was caught.

The Post-Production Fund provides in-kind support consisting of Digital Intermediate (DI), sound mixing, English subtitles, and Digital Cinema Package (DCP). Partner companies continuing in their support are Korean Film Council (KOFIC), CJ Powercast, Studio 2L, Wavelab STD., Plus Gain, Pluto Sound Group, and KUMTLE. This year, Algorithm Media Lab, IYUNO Media Group, C-47 Post Studio, and DOLUCK will also offer post production support as newly-joined partners.

ACF 2019 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund
(4 Asian projects and 6 Korean projects, in alphabetical order by project title)

Category Project Title Director Country
Asian Projects Children of the Mist Ha Le Diem Vietnam
Embodied Chorus Danielle Davie & Mohamed Sabbah Lebanon, Germany
The Golden Thread Nishtha Jain India
People’s Hospital (working title) Chen Siyi China, U.S.A.
Korean Projects Letters to Buriram Oh Minwook South Korea
MORE (working title) Lee Ilha South Korea
My Missing Aunt* Yang Juyeon South Korea
Romani’s Life Kim Taeil
Ju Romi
South Korea
Speed of Happiness* Park Hyuckjee South Korea
Tomorrow Will Never Come Kim Kyungman South Korea

* KBS Doc Fund

AND Fund has selected 10 projects this year to support feature-length documentaries that aim for theatrical release.

The number of submissions for Korean projects this year has doubled from the previous year, and many projects now show diverse and vast viewpoints, while upholding a critical awareness of pertinent issues. The projects selected this year are distinguished by their original and fresh perspective on a variety of topics ranging from the lives of gypsies in Bosnia to the Korean election campaigns.

The KBS Doc Fund, newly added to the current AND Fund, is Asian Cinema Fund and Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)’s joint effort to support the production of Korean independent documentaries. This year’s selections, Speed of Happiness by Park Hyuckjee and My Missing Aunt by the director Yang Juyeon, will receive funding for production and distribution.

This year’s selected 4 Asian projects show a new approach and perspective to much-talked-about issues with great cinematography. They portray the lives of ordinary people in a simple and poetic manner, who are in the midst of extreme circumstances such as gender inequality, war, displacement, poverty and industrial disaster.

BIFF Mecenat, BNK Busan Bank and KBS provides sponsorship for the AND fund.

The 24th Busan International Film Festival will be held from October 3 to October 12, 2019.
The 2019 Asian Film Market will be held from October 5 to October 8, 2019.
Haps Staff
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