PIFF honors Yang as Asian film pioneer


SEOUL -- The late Edward Yang will be awarded the Asian Filmmaker of the Year honor at the 12th annual Pusan International Film Festival, organizers announced Wednesday.

The announcement was the first in a small flurry of announcements made by PIFF, the largest film festival and market in Asia.

Yang, who directed such films as "Yi-Yi: A One and a Two" and "The Terrorist," was cited by PIFF organizers as "one of Asia's most prominent filmmakers" who "pioneered the Taiwanese New Wave and his intricate cinematic aesthetics elevated the status of Asian cinema in the world cinema."

Yang passed away in June, and his wife, Kaili Peng, will receive the award on his behalf.

PIFF has handed out the Filmmaker of the Year award since 2003.

Festival organizers also announced the two winners of the Korean Cinema Award, which went to Sabrina Baracetti, head of the Udine Far East Film Festival, and Jean-Francois Rauger, head programmer of the Cinematheque Francaise. Both were honored for their roles in popularizing Korean films with international audiences.

In addition, PIFF organizers announced 27 films that will receive a total of $840,000 as part of the newly formed Asian Cinema Fund.

Projects were selected in three categories -- eight for script and project development, six for postproduction support, and 13 documentaries.

Script and project development winners, earnings about $10,800 each, include "Virgin Goat" by Murali Nair of India, "Serbis" by Brilante Mendoza of the Philippines and "Waiting for Snow in Kyantan" by Tan Chui Mui of Malaysia.

Postproduction support comes from the Korean Film Council and a variety of private postproduction facilities. Winners will come to Korea beginning next week to use those facilities to finish their films, then show their finished works at PIFF in October.

Postproduction winners include "Opium War" by Siddiq Barmak of Afghanistan, "Wonderful Town" by Aditya Assarat of Thailand and "Fujian Blue" by Ming Weng Shou of China.

The documentary section is managed by the Asian Network of Documentary and includes awards of between $5,400 and $10,800. Winners include "In Search of the Riyal" by Kesang Tseten of Nepal, "Jalanan" by Daniel Ziv of Indonesia and "Black Mountain, Black Dirt and the Sky" by Kim Young-jo of Korea.

This year's PIFF runs Oct. 4-12 in South Korea's southern port city of Bucheon.