'A Separation' Director Asghar Farhadi to Head Busan Jury

Fabrizio Maltese
Asghar Farhadi

The Iranian director's latest, 'The Past' was a Golden Globe nominee

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, director of the Oscar-winning A Separation, will head up the main competition jury at this year's Busan International Film festival.

One of Iran's most acclaimed filmmakers, Farhadi will join fellow luminaries, including Korean director Boon Joon-ho (The Host, The Snowpiercer) and Indian actress Suhasini Maniratnam (Sindhu Bhairavi) in picking this year's winner of Busan's New Currents Asian film competition. French philosopher Jacques Ranciere and film studies professor Dina Iordanova complete the 2014 Busan jury.

An established figure on the festival circuit, Farahadi's international breakthrough came with A Separation, which looked at Iranian society through the lens of a couple's divorce. The film won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2011 and went on to take the best foreign film honor at the 2012 Oscars. Farhadi also received an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay.

Farhadi's most recent drama, the Parisian-shot The Past, debuted in competition in Cannes last year and was nominated for a Golden Globe for best foreign language film. In an exclusive interview with THR, Farhadi spoke about his struggles with state censorship in Iran and the impact the Oscar win has had on his country and career.

Other Asian celebrities set to attend Busan this year include Japanese star Ken Watanabe (Inception, The Last Samurai) and Korean actress Moon So-ri (Peppermint Candy), who will co-host the opening ceremonies.

Now in its 19th year, Busan is one of Asia's most important and prestigious film festivals. and its film market remains a key a major focus for the Asian industry.

The festival this year has dedicated its Korean cinema retrospective to veteran producer-distributor Jung-Jin woon, whose work has chronicled the development of Korean society — in particular the political division of the Korean peninsula and the struggle of woman — over the past several decades. Busan will screen 8 films from this body of work, including 1964's Border Line and Does Cuckoo Cry at Night from 1980.

The 2014 Busan International Film Festival runs October 2-11.

Twitter: @sroxborough