AFA picks 26 for 2009 edition

New students and better quality mark group for October

HONG KONG -- The Asian Film Academy, the educational affiliate of the Pusan Film Festival now in its fifth year, has picked 26 students for its upcoming edition in October 1-17, 2009.

The AFA said that it received 133 applications, including applicants from Pakistan and Cambodia for the first time, and that quality was noticeably improved. That was helped by recommendations from previous students, the requirement to submit a portfolio and greater interest from India's Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute and China's Beijing Film Academy.

The organization said that it rejected other applications from the U.S., Israel, Turkey and Azerbaijan on the grounds of either geography or availability of educational infrastructure. The final selection includes three students from Korea and two from China.

The AFA is co-hosted by Dongseo University, the Korean Academy of Film Arts and the Pusan International Film Festival. It provides a two-week study program on the theories and practice of filmmaking, through short film production, workshops, master classes, discussion sessions and mentoring.

The 14th running of the Pusan International Film Festival will take place from Oct. 8-16, 2009 and the Asian Film Market Oct. 11-14, 2009.