Pusan festival sets dates for 14th edition

Organizers also set deadlines for submissions

BANGKOK -- Asia's largest annual film industry gathering, the Pusan International Film Festival, is set for Oct. 8-18, organizers of the seaside event said Friday as they announced the deadlines for project submissions.

Held in the South Korean resort also known as Busan since 1995, PIFF's 14th edition will again play host to sideline events promoting the growth of Asian cinema, such as the Asian Cinema Fund, the Asian Network of Documentary fund, the Asian Film Academy and the Pusan Promotion Plan.

Giving priority to world or international premiere screenings and 35mm formats, PIFF organizers said they would accept festival competition short film submissions postmarked by June 30 and feature and documentary submissions by July 30. There is no entry fee.

The 2008 festival awarded its New Currents prize to "Land of Scarecrows" by Roh Gyeong-tae of South Korea and to "Naked of Defenses" by Ichii Masahide of Japan.

The Pusan Promotion Plan matches producers of feature-length fiction film projects in any stage of production with money to complete their financing. Applications in English are due no later than June 30.

The 2007 PPP project, director Kim Jee-woon's Kimchi Western "The Good, the Bad, the Weird," made waves at the Asian boxoffice in 2008 and leads the pack with eight nominations for the Asian Film Awards, which kick off the Hong Kong International Film Festival on March 22.

Pusan's Asian Cinema Fund matches Asian writers and directors with new fiction feature scripts in development, and Asian directors with 16mm or 35mm fiction features films in postproduction with money to take the projects further toward completion.

The Asian Network of Documentary fund matches Asian directors (or non-Asians residing in Asia) who are far into production of an Asia-related nonfiction film aimed for theatrical release. Projects not accepted in previous years may be resubmitted with an explanation of how the film has changed.

All applications for eligibility for the ACF and AND funds must be received by April 30.

The Asian Film Academy's 17-day session at Pusan beginning Oct. 1 supports first-time English-speaking applicants of Asian origin and at least 18 years of age who wish to work in film and have begun to accumulate professional experience by directing, shooting editing or sound designing at least two short films or have worked as a member of the main crew on more than one feature film.

AFA applications in English will be accepted from April 1-May 30.

More information is available on the festival's Web site.
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