New award, prize set for rising director

Flash Forward to be given at PIFF closing ceremony

BUSAN -- Young non-Asian directors have a new friend at the Pusan International Film Festival.

A new Flash Forward award and a cash price of $20,000 will be given to one of the 11 features by emerging directors from Europe, South America, North America and the Middle East at the PIFF closing ceremony on Oct. 16.

Aimed to showcase the first or second features of non-Asian directors since 2007 as the “New Currents” has for Asian directors, the “Flash Forward” section this year includes selections from Argentina, Italy, Norway, Romania, Israel, Poland, Luxembourg and Canada.

“It’s important for festivals to have sections and awards for first and second movies, as it lets new filmmakers compete on the same level,” said Italian director Susanna Nicchiarelli, who is at PIFF with her debut feature “Cosmonaut,” a Cold War era coming-of-age story about an Italian girl’s obsession with the Soviet space program. The film, which is set between 1957-1963, won two prizes at the Venice International Film Festival in September. 

French director Pierre Vinour, in Pusan for the world premiere of his first feature “Magma,” said the local Korean audience might see the common root between his intense drama and Korean cinema. “The film is not typically French, and it showed my affinity for Asian cinema,” Vinour said. “The Flash Forward award is great because it presents new filmmakers to an Asian audience.”

“It’s a chance for new directors to establish themselves,” said Julian Giulianelli, an Argentinean first-time director presenting in Pusan “Bridges," the tragic misadventure of three trouble-making kids in the outskirts of Bueno Aires.

The Flash Forward award contenders also include “The Loners” by Israelite Renen Schorr, “Chicago Heights” by Canadian Daniel Nearing, “Dust” by Luxembourg helmer Max Jacoby, “Kino Caravan” by Romanian Titus Muntean, “Last Cowboy Standing” by Czechoslovakian Zaida Bergroth, “Miss Kicki” by Norwegian Håkon Liu, “The Frost” by Spaniard Ferran Audí, and “Zero” by Polish director Pawel Borowski.