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14th PIFF Wraps With Awards

2009/10/22 Source

The 14th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) wrapped Friday Oct 16 with an awards ceremony followed by closing film The Message, in its international premiere. Co-directed by Taiwan's CHEN Kuo-fu and China's GAO Qunshu, the lavish period epic is a suspenseful spy thriller set in the tense political climate of China in 1942.

Attendance to this year's PIFF was strong with 173,516 theater admissions and 7,270 accredited guests and press, including 860 international participants. PIFF's top prize, the New Currents Award, was shared again this year by two films.

Winners were "I'm in Trouble!" by South Korean debut director So Sang-min - a subtle and controlled comic-drama about the meanderings of a jobless young poet, and the Iraqi feature Kick Off by Shawkat Amin KORKI, about an Iraqi-Kurdish community that finds inspiration in football. The latter also picked up the FIPRESCI award.

A Special Mention went to Squalor by Giuseppe Bede SAMPEDRO of the Philippines. New competition section Flash Forward named Finnish-German co-production Last Cowboy Standing by Zaida BERGROTH as its winner, while adding a Special Mention to Miss Kikki by Taiwanese-Swedish director Håkon LIU.

The Sonje Award for best short film went to "Somewhere Unreached" by KIM Jae-won-I and Rare Fish by Basil Vassili MIRONER of Indonesia. The PIFF Mecenat Award for Documentaries was presented to "Earth's Woman" by KWON Woo-Jung and The Other Song by Saba DEWAN.

A NETPAC award was given to Korean director Park Chan-ok for her second feature "Paju", described by the jury as "a fine example of passionate, high-quality filmmaking". The Audience Award was captured by JIANG Wenli of China for her feature Lan.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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