Currents leading Mehrjui to PIFF

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Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui will head the New Currents jury at the 12th annual Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea, organizers said Monday.

The New Currents section is the only competitive section for feature films at PIFF, the largest film festival in Asia. The sidebar's prize is designed to promote emerging Asian film talent, and the jury presents $30,000 to each of three winning directors.

Organizers cited Mehrjui as a leading voice in the formation of Iranian New Cinema. His film "The Cow" won the Critics Award at the 1971 Venice Film Festival.

Other members of the jury include Chinese actress Nan Yu ("Tuya's Marriage"), Romanian director Cristian Mungiu ("4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days"), Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic ("Cabaret Balkan") and Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-dong ("Secret Sunshine").

In addition, PIFF announced the jury for its Sonje Award, given to the best short film and documentary in the Wide Angle section.

Winners receive 10 million won ($10,800) each. The Sonje jurists will include independent filmmaker Leesong Hee-il, independent producer Kim Il-kwon and documentary director Choiha Dong-ha.

PIFF runs Oct. 4-12 in the southern port city of Pusan. The Asian Film Market runs alongside the festival Oct. 8-11.
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