NAFF a big hit at PiFan

Market brings producers, distributors and financiers together

SEOUL – NAFF, the second running of the project market held in the wings of the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, got a huge thumbs up from producers, distributors and financiers.

The three-and-a-half day event, which focuses on matching 19 genre film projects with the folk who can make them happen, wrapped Thursday with a prize ceremony and a shower of praise.

"We came last year with a different project and the caliber of the event and the industry guests has really gone up. Quality is definitely higher," says Anderson Le, representing U.S.-Vietnamese project "Breaking Point." "We had over 30 meetings organized by NAFF and met people who actually have money. All the right kind of sales agents – Distant Horizon, Odin's Eye, Sahamongkol, Golden Network Asia – are here and now we have a bunch of follow up meetings."

"Many of the projects here are exactly right, they have low budgets, bankable cast attachments and strong concepts. A high percentage of them will actually get made," said Richard Jeffrey, Tokyo-based executive for Distant Horizon who took meetings as a producer on Japanese-South African project "Neighbor No.13" and as potential investor in other projects. "NAFF was very serious about checking the credentials of the projects we submitted. They wanted to see scripts, not just synopses written on napkins. And honestly we are not used to showing market organizers our deal memos, but it was interesting then to be presented with real projects."

Organized by Thomas Nam, NAFF this year also added a mentoring service for projects at an earlier stage of development, a mini showcase for Singaporean projects and a seminar series. The Korean Film Council brought a further five local projects.

The expansion and improvement in quality came despite the global economic recession taking a cut out of NAFF's budget.

Kenneth Tan, head of Singapore's Media Development Authority went out of his way to praise Nam and his team. "Thomas Nam has shown unprecedented efficiency, organization and energy," he said.

Rosa Li, with "Chased" from Hong Kong and the U.S., also pointed to a jury of experienced producers, Chris Lee, Lee Joo-ick, Nansun Shi and William Pfeiffer, who selected the NAFF prizes. "They were very direct with their opinions, and their questions on casting and concept were very constructive criticism."

NAFF 2009 Winners

IT Projects (title, director, nationality)

NAFF Post-Production Support Award (2 Projects)

"The Arsonists" Hah Jun-won (South Korea)

"Numeric Love" Nakano Hiroyuki (South Korea-Japan)


KOFIC Post-Production Support Award (2 Projects)

"Tattoo War" Pok Yue Weng (Singapore)

"Breaking Point" Ham Tran (U.S.-Vietnam)