Busan 2012: Download THR's Day 1 'Daily'

Busan Day 3 Cover Image - H

Director Kwak Jae-Yong, with stars On Joo-Wan, Fan Bingbing and Wang Leehom.

In day one of THR's Busan Festival Daily, tensions between China and Japan impact the Asian film world, BIFF's Asian Filmmaker of the Year Koji Wakamatsu discusses his eclectic career and dealmakers express optimism for this year's Asian Film Market.

China-Japan Feud Divides Film World

AS THE STANDOFF between Japanese and Chinese naval ships in the East China Sea continues, producers and directors preparing to attend the Asian Film Market in Busan are equally split about how the ensuing political crisis will affect the film industries in the two countries.

For the past month, a highprofile contingent of Chinese directors and actors have been vocal about their support for their country’s claims of sovereignty over what they call the Diaoyu Islands, known as the Senkakus to the Japanese. Jackie Chan has publically declared his support of Beijing’s position, while actress Li Bingbing told the Chinese-language media last month she wouldn’t be visiting Japan in the near future. She subsequently did not appear to promote her latest film, Resident Evil: Retribution, in Japan, where the film premiered on September 3. 

An Auteur Finally Gets His Due

JAPANESE DIRECTOR KOJI WAKAMATSU, has always walked the road less traveled. While his name may not be well known outside of Japan and the internatinoal art house, the prolific Wakamatsu has made more than 100 films, from the highly erotic to the overtly political. Now, as the Busan International Film Festival prepares to honor him with its Filmmaker of the Year award, the 76-year-old helmer says the recognition is appreciated — even though it has arrived late in his career.

“I’ve always made films according to my own agenda and it’s good to have them recognized recently," says Wakamatsu. “I’ve gotten a few awards in Europe before, and not being a major company, we [Wakamatsu Productions] can’t spend much on advertising. So the publicity is always a big help, as it gets coverage in the newspapers, magazines and on television.”

Asian Dealmakers Express Optimism

AS KOREAN CINEPHILES flock to Busan for their country’s premier international film festival, which began its ten-day run yesterday, anticipation of a more pragmatic kind is brewing among industry representatives from Asia and afar. Busan’s annual Asian Film Market kicks off October 8 to 11, and according general manager, Nam Dong-chul, this year’s event is expected to draw a record number of participants, booths and market screenings.


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