Busan: Fest Founder Kim Dong-ho Named APSA Jury President

Kim Dong-ho
Chung Sung-Ju/Getty Images

This year's festival is the first without beloved founding member Kim Dong-ho, who retired.

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards honor films that promote cultural diversity.

Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) founder and honorary chairman Kim Dong-ho will preside over the upcoming 2015 Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), organizers announced on Sunday during a joint function with the South Korean festival and Motion Picture Association in Busan.

"APSA is rich with cultural diversity and it is an honor to be named jury president of such an event that promotes cultural heritage through cinema. Culture is becoming increasingly homogenized through inevitable globalization, but the power of film should be never underestimated," said Kim, who became the APSA's first patron of the awards in 2010. He previously served as a jury member of the inaugural event in 2007.

Michael Hawkins, chairman of APSA, also announced this year's five nominees of the APSA UNESCO Award, which will be handed out during the ninth edition of the ceremony on Nov. 26 in Brisbane, Australia: A Corner of Heaven (China, France) by Zhang Miaoyan; The Gulls (Russia) by Ella Manzheeva; Motherland (Turkey, Greece) directed by Senem Tüzen; The Idol (Palestine, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Netherlands) by Hany Abu-Assad; and Spear (Australia) by Stephen Page.

Meanwhile, BIFF and MPA co-hosted mentoring and pitching workshops for 10 projects. South Korea's Lee Eun-sung won the pitching competition for crime thriller Surveillance, and will participate in a training in Los Angeles in November ahead of the American Film Market.

Surveillance is among 10 films featured in the pitching event, among which Abracadabra, by Ifa Isfansyah, won a special prize and invitation to the APSA ceremony. Other featured projects include No Man's Land by Bangladeshi star director Mostofa Farooki (Television, BIFF's 2012 closing film), which won the 2014 APSA-MPA Film Fund. 

The 20th BIFF continues through Oct. 10.