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Busan 2012: Download THR's Day 6 'Daily'

Cinema Center
Coop Himmelblau

In day six of THR's Busan Festival Daily, China's indie filmmakers struggle for global exposure, censors loosen their grip on the Burmese film sector and Thai director Nonzee Nimibutr discusses his return to filmmaking after a five-year hiatus.

Chinese Indies Struggle Abroad

BOASTING A WIDE ARRAY of entries at BIFF this year — including films by Zhang Yuan, Wang Ping, Lou Ye and Emily Tang, among others — independent Chinese filmmakers have again shown themselves to be a force in global cinema.

But there’s a missing link there: most, if not all, of these directors are heavily reliant on international sales companies to bring their work onto the global stage.

Burmese Film Sector Opens Up

FOLLOWING THE RECENT formal abolishment of press censorship and the rapid economic and political reforms now underway in Burma, the country’s film sector is optimistic that similar changes will soon be made in the local film sector.

“Everything is changing so quickly, I believe that the lifting of film censorship could be next,” said Midi Z, director of BIFF Window on Asian Cinema entry Poor Folk. “We are already seeing small changes. Before, if filmmakers shot without a pre-approved license, the film would be shut down immediately; now the censors occasionally turn a blind eye.”

Nonzee Niminbutr Discusses 'Distortion'

NONZEE NIMINBUTR IS something of an elder statesman at the Busan International Film Festival. The garrulous 51-year-old Thai director-producer has attended every BIFF since its founding in 1996. Those visits have been crucial to his career: unlike many Thai filmmakers, Nonzee has worked extensively with fellow directors and producers around the region, producing with Hong Kong’s Pang Brothers Bangkok Dangerous (1999) — remade by the brothers in 2008, with Nicholas Cage — and partnering with Peter Chan and Korean director Kim Ji-Woon for the three-part horror omnibus, Three (2001), among other projects.

Nonzee is also credited for revitalizing the Thai film industry with a string of domestic box-office hits in the late 1990s, including Dang Bireley’s and Young Gangsters (1997) and Nang Nak (1999).

In recent years, Nonzee has spent most his time away from film, directing popular action series for Thai television. His first movie in four years, the psychological thriller Distortion, world premieres at BIFF this week.

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