Busan Film Fest's Asian Project Market Presents Awards to Top Filmmakers

The festival's funding prizes went to notable Asian directors including Kim Jee-woon, Wayne Wang and Wang Wei-ming.

BUSAN — The Busan International Film Festival’s nine Asian Project Market prizes went to big names in the Asian industry on Thursday evening.                                                                                                  

South Korean helmer Kim Jee-woon claimed the top Busan Award for Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, which is expected to be fully backed by CJ Entertainment. Kim is known for the kimchi Western The Good, The Bad, The Weird and noir thriller I Saw the Devil. He recently made his Hollywood debut with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback piece The Last Stand.

The rest of the award recipients were mostly Korean, with three of the remaining eight prizes going to local projects. A fourth, the KOCCA Award, went to an English-language remake of a Korean drama, End of Animal, which will be helmed by Australia’s Eron Sheean.

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Wayne Wang won the Creative Director Award for the Japan-U.S. joint venture While the Women Are Sleeping, while Wang Wei-ming took home the Technicolor Asia Award for the $2 million Taiwan-Hong Kong collaboration Sex Appeal. The latter, however, is set to shoot next week and observers raised questions about the practical meaning of the project funding award.

Market organizers said the Asian Film Market, which the Asian Project Market is part of, made a 16 percent leap from last year. They claimed an estimated 150 deals were made from some 10,000 meetings that were held Oct. 7-10.

A total 733 companies and 1,272 market badge holders took part, compared to 690 firms and 1,098 badge holders from 2012. There were 92 booths from 198 companies representing 32 countries including the BIFCOM locations market.

Market screenings also increased, with 100 screenings of 87 titles, including 60 market premieres, compared to last year’s 71 films.

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2013 Winners of Asian Project Market Awards:

Busan Award: Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade (South Korea) by Kim Jee-woon

CJ Entertainment Award: Samuel Over the Rainbow (Philippines) by Benito Bautista

Lotte Award: OTS Virus Project (South Korea) by Kang Yi-kwan

PanStar Cruise Award: Have a Nice Trip! (South Korea, China) by Lee Seo

KOCCA Award: End of Animal (Australia) by Eron Sheean

Technicolor Asia Award: Sex Appeal (Taiwan, Hong Kong) by Wang Wei-ming

ARTE International Prize: Exotic Pictures (Indonesia, Netherlands, Germany) by Edwin

Funding 21 Award: Gyeongju (South Korea) by Zhang Lu

Creative Director Award: While the Women Are Sleeping (Japan, U.S.) by Wayne Wang