'Decadent Sisters' takes PPP prize

Shinji Aoyama pitch gets $20,000; eight awards in total

BUSAN, South Korea -- Top prize among yet-to-be-made film projects presented at the Pusan Promotion Plan was Shinji Aoyama's "Decadent Sisters," which Wednesday walked away with a $20,000 check from the Busan Metropolitan City authorities.

Organizers of the mart for finished films, the Asian Film Market (Oct. 11-14), claimed that the fourth edition closed "with flying colors" and that some $2 million of deals had been agreed.

Most market participants agreed that this year's market was more vibrant than that in 2008, but many buyers and sellers remained highly circumspect. "The market just about exceeded my expectations, but I came with almost no expectations of it," said Michael Favelle of Australian sales agent Odin's Eye.

Sales offices at the Sea Cloud Hotel increased from 41 last year to 45 and participating companies increased from 72 to 75, while market screenings increased from 38 films to 43 and market screenings rose from 46 to 50. Some 30 selected projects in the PPP enjoyed 500 meetings.

Market statistics showed U.S. participation unchanged at just 3% of attendees, with European participation dropping from 32% to 27% and the Greater China contingent rising from 21% to fully one third of executives in the market.

Other PPP awards handed out included The Kodak Award, worth 20 million won ($17,100), for a Korean project went to Han Jae-rim's "Trace"; the Goteborg Film Festival Fund went to "Postcards from the zoo" by Indonesian auteur Edwin, and the $10,000 CJ Award to "Slightly Sane" by Pan Nalin.

2009 PPP Awards

Pusan Award ($20,000)
"Decadent Sisters" Aoyama Shinji (Japan)

Kodak Award ($17,100)
"Trace" Han Jae-rim (South Korea)

Goteborg Film Festival Fund (SEK150,000)
"Postcards from the zoo" Edwin (Indonesia)

The Goteborg Film Festival Fund also allocated a total of $17,100 to support 8 the travel and expenses of 10 directors/producers.

CJ Award ($10,000)
"Slightly Sane" Pan Nalin (India, France)

Lotte Award ($8,550)
"Villain and Widow" Son Jae-gon (South Korea)

Wooridul Award ($8,550)
"New Policemen Stories" Yang Jin (Hong Kong, China)

Prime Choice award (first look option) open to local projects presented at Korean Producers in Focus
"Good-bye Again" producer: Kim Young-jin