Busan: Korean festival holds steady, market grows

The Busan International Film Festival and accompanying industry events Asian Project Market and market BIFCOM closed last week, with numbers similar to last year's. Antipodean wins included one for Fi
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The Busan International Film Festival and accompanying industry events Asian Project Market and market BIFCOM closed last week, with numbers similar to last year’s. Antipodean wins included one for Film NZ and one for the Michael Wrenn-produced Australian feature End of Animal.

Film NZ’s win was in the market, for its stand. End of Animal, the only market project from beyond Asia to take a prize, took the 10 million Korean won KOCCA Award (from Korea’s equivalent of NZTE). The feature is a reimagining of a low-budget Korean student film.

Screenwriter Shane Danielsen and director Eron Sheean will relocate the story from Korea in winter to the Australian outback. Sheean described the film as being “equal parts social commentary, personal apocalypse and science-fiction.”

Busan’s festival proved marginally less popular than its 2012 edition, attracting 217,865 attendances for 299 films against last year’s 221,000.

Market events claimed attendance of 4,000, a significant 16% jump on 2012. Exhibitors (including the NZ stand) represented 198 companies (half Korean) from 32 countries. Both Busan’s BIFCOM and Japan’s TIFFCOM, which runs 22-24 October, saw market numbers fall last year, in part due to ongoing territorial disputes with China.

The increase in Busan’s numbers does little to challenge the region’s largest market event, Hong Kong’s Filmart. In March Filmart presented 576 exhibitors (including 134 from Hong Kong) to over 6,300 market attendees.

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