Busan: 'Pascha,' 'Remote Control' Win Awards

Ahn Seonkyoung's "Pascha"

Directors Ahn Seonkyoung and Sakhya Byamb were recognized by organizers. This year a total of 299 films from 70 countries were shown.

SEOUL — South Korean film Pascha and Mongolian/German co-production Remote Control shared the New Currents Award, the top prize given to two films at the Busan International Film Festival. The 18th edition of Asia's largest film festival came to a close Saturday with high admissions despite the typhoon.

Jurors praised Ahn Song-kyoung's Pascha, which tells the heart-breaking tale of a 40-year-old woman trying to hold on to her 17-year-old boyfriend, for its "intimate, highly original expression of an unusual love story." Byamba Sakhya's Remote Control, which looks at a young man's obsession with his beautiful neighbor, was noted for depicting "a sharply observed portrait of the tensions between city and country, reality and fiction."


Both filmmakers claim a cash prize of $30,000 in the competition for first or second features by emerging Asian directors. Jurors also gave special mention to Transit by Philippine director Hannah Espia for "opening a window onto an unknown dimension of contemporary Israeli life and fates of people caught in a despaerate political situation."

The New Currents jury included Iranian director Rakhshan Banietemad, Japanese director Aoyama Shinji, Cannes’ Critics Week artistic director (and this year's recipient of the Korean Cinema Award) Charles Tesson, and film critic Scott Foundas.

This year a total of 299 films from 70 countries were shown. Though the figure is slightly down from 2012’s 304 films from 75 countries, organizers say it reflects the festival’s efforts to concentrate on works by emerging Asian filmmakers.

The festival hosted some 218,000 visitors during its 10-day run, which marks the second successive year that admissions exceeded 200,000. Though it was slightly down from last year's score, organizers say it was a successful turnout considering the typhoon that struck over Sunday and Monday.

"I believe we are increasingly becoming a festival where everyone, both cineastes and film fans, can mingle together," said BIFF festival director Lee Yong-kwan. One visible sign was the opening of BIFF Terrace, featuring outdoor food stalls, tables, and exhibition areas, that made the Busan Cinema Center more accessible to the public.

2013 Busan Film Festival Awards:

-Sonje Award for Short Films: A Lady Caddy Who Never Saw a Hole in One by Yosep Anggi Noen (Indonesia) and In the Summer by Son Tae-gyum (Korea); Special mentions to Temporary by Behzad Azadi (Iran) and Sprout by Yoon Ga-eun (Korea).

-BIFF Mecenat Award for documentaries: Jalanan (Streetside) by Daniel Ziv (Indonesia) and Non-fiction Diary by Jung Yoonsuk (Korea); Special mention to Gureombi – The Wind is Blowing by Cho Sung-bong (Korea).

-Busan Bank Award (Audience Award): Home by Maximilian Hult (Sweden/Iceland)

-KNN Movie Award (Audience Award): 10 Minutes by Lee Yong-seung (Korea)

-FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Award: 10 Minutes by Lee Yong-seung (Korea)

-NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award: Shuttlecock by Lee Yubin (Korea)