BIFF 2012: Awards Announced, JISEUL Picks Up 3

The 17th Busan International Film Festival just held its Closing press conference at which the award winners of the event were announced. Festival director Lee Yong-Kwan was in attendance along with the following Jury members: Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio; David Gilmour (New Currents Jury); Arturo Ripstein (Flash Forward Head Jury), Mun Jeong-hyun (BIFF Mecenat Jury); Min Yong Keun (Sonje Jury); Melis Behlil (FIPRECI Jury); and Beck Una (NETPAC Jury).

Though not really a competition festival, there are nevertheless many sponsored, audience and press association awards handed out at the festival in addition to BIFF's own short and documentary prizes. However, the most significant prizes are the New Currents and Flashforward awards which are given to the best first or second feature from Asian and non-Asian filmmakers respectively. Those went to 36 and Kayan for the former and Flower Buds for the latter.

36, from Thailand, also picked up the FIPRESCI prize but the big winner at this year's Busan Film Festival was O Muel's Jeju Island massacre pic Jiseul which walked away with three awards, including the CGV Movie Collage Award, the DGK Awards for Best Director (shared with Russian Novel's Shin Young-shick) and the NETPAC Jury Award. Shin Su-won's Pluto, Chung Ji-young's National Security and Lee Dongku's Fatal, three of the most hyped films of the fest, were left empty-handed but again, as this is not a big competition festival, this shouldn't really hurt their prospects.

Director Lee answered to press' questions following to awards announcements which ranged from concerns over the Nampo-dong cinema location which is very far away from the bulk of the festival, as well as the low weekday attendance. Commenting on the festival's added 10th day, Lee mentioned that, though not set in stone, the festival hopes to capitalize on two full weekends by opening on a Friday in October and closing on the following week's Sunday for its 18th edition in 2013.

Without further ado here are the winners of this year's Busan International Film Festival, looking forward to the 18th edition!

17th BIFF Award Winners

CGV Movie Collage Award - O Muel's JISEUL

Busan Cinephile Award - 5 BROKEN CAMERAS (Korean documentary)

DGK Awards: Best Director - O Muel (JISEUL) and Shin Young-shick (RUSSIAN NOVEL)

DGK Awards: Best Actor - Shim Hee-seop, Kim Chang-hwan and Ahn Jae-hong (THE SUNSHINE BOYS)

DGK Awards: Best Actress - Jang Young-nam (AZOOMA)

New Currents Award: 36 (Thailand) and KAYAN (Lebanon/Canada) - Special Mention for FILMISTAAN (India)

BIFF's Flashforward Prize: FLOWER BUDS (Czech Republic)

KNN Movie Award (Audience Award): TOUCH OF THE LIGHT (Taiwan)

Sonje Award (Short Films): A LITTLE FARTHER (Iran) and THE NIGTH OF THE WITNESS (Korea) - Special mention to TRANSFERRING (Japan)

NETPAC Jury Award: O Muel's JISEUL (Korea)

FIPRESCI Award: 36 (Thailand)

Citizen Reviewer's Award: O Muel's JISEUL (Korea)

BIFF Mecenat Award (Documentary): EMBERS (Lebanon/Qatar/Armenia) and ANXIETY (Korea) - Special Mention for WELLANG TREI (Korea)
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