PiFan Fest Closes With Korean Romantic Thriller 'My Ordinary Love Story'

"The Dark Valley" starring Sam Riley won the Best of Puchon Prize.
"The Dark Valley" starring Sam Riley won the Best of Puchon Prize.
 Courtesy of X Filme

BUCHEON, South Korea—The 18th Puchon (Bucheon) International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) came to close with a festive ceremony on Friday, though screenings will continue through to Sunday.

The world premiere of local romantic thriller My Ordinary Love Story crowned the genre film event's closing ceremony. The second feature by Korean director Lee Kwon begins as a sweet romance between a young man and woman, before developing into an eerie mysterious thriller.

Lee and the lead cast members, Song Sae-byeok and Kang Ye-won, attended the closing event hosted by local actors Oh Seung-hun and Lee Jee-ae. Also in attendance were Korean directors Lee Dong Sam, Han Yun Sun, Lee Ik-jun, Cha Yup, Seo Ju Ah and Jang Cheol-soo, as well as overseas filmmakers including Japan's Hajime Hashimoto, Germany's Maximilian Erlewein (whose Stereo opened this year's PiFan) and Thailand's Kulp Kaljareuk, among others.

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This year's Puchon Choice competition winners were also announced. In the feature section, the top Best of Puchon award (cash prize  $15,000 or 15 million Korean won)  went to The Dark Valley (Austria/Germany) by Andreas Prochaska, while Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (Norway) by Tommy Wirkola up three prizes including Best Director (cash prize roughly $10,000 or 10 million won), Actor (Vegar Hoel) and NH Nonghyup Citizen's Choice. Essie Davis was named Best Actress for her role in the Australian film The Babadook.

The jury members — Cho Min-soo, Erik Matti, Tom Davia and Diego Marambio Avaria — were also in attendance to hand the Jury's Choice award to The Midnight After by Fruit Chan. "The film fully demonstrates the director's philosophy and is full of profound ideas," said Cho about the Hong Kong film.

Though the festival has come to an end, additional screenings for the 210 films from 47 countries continue through Sunday. As of Thursday, more than half of the total 256 screenings were sold out.

"This [high attendance rate] is very meaningful considering that our society is passing through difficult times," said festival director Kim Young Bin, referring to a devastating ferry disaster that took hundreds of lives in Korea. "I would like express my sincere gratitude for everyone who has been with the festival," added PiFan chairman Kim Man Soo.

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PiFan 2014 Puchon Choice Award Winners:

International Feature Competition

- Best of Puchon (roughly $15,000 or 15 million Korean): The Dark Valley (Andreas Prochaska, Austria/Germany)

- Best Director (roughly $10,000 or 10 million won): Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (Tommy Wirkola, Norway)

- Best Actress: Essie Davis (The Babadook, Australia)

- Best Actor: Vegar Hoel (Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead, Norway)

- Jury's Choice: The Midnight After (Fruit Chan, Hong Kong)

- NH Nonghyup Citizen's Choice: Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (Tommy Wirkola, Norway)

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International Short Film Competition

- Best Short Film (roughly $5,000 or 5 million won): Habana (Edouard Salier, France)

- Jury's Choice for Short Film (roughly $3,000 or 3 million won): Raging Balls of Steel Justice (Mike Mort, U.K.)

- Best Korean Short Film (roughly $5,0000 or 5 million won): Mould (Park Chun Kyu, Korea)

- Citizen's Choice for Short Film: Intruder (Park Geun Buem, Korea)

- European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation Asian Award: Mourning Grave (Oh In Chun, Korea)

- NETPAC Award: Wood Job! (Shinobu Yaguchi, Japan)

- LG HiEntech Award (roughly $5,000 or 5 million won): 18 – Eighteen Noir (Han Yun Sun, Korea)

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