PPP offers worldly jewels chance to shine

27 projects feature big names like Tsai Ming-liang

BUSAN, South Korea -- The Pusan Promotion Plan bills itself as a way for investors to find the "hidden jewels" of Asian cinema, but it may be selling itself short, with films from noted Asian directors Oxide Pang ("Bangkok Dangerous") and Tsai Ming-liang -- who will receive the Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award at the main festival -- among the 27 projects slated for the event.

Although this year's PPP features more than its fair share of established Asian helmers, there promises to be more than a few up-and-comers to scope out as well. And this time around, "international" is the buzzword.

According to PPP, 2010 is all about emphasizing their eagerness to help any director with his or her eyes set on the big screen make it there, regardless of nationality.

While films out of Hong Kong, Japan and Korea are plentiful, Argentinian, Turkish and Bangledeshi directors are in line to get their 15 minutes as well. Mohamed Al Daradji of Iraq and George Ovashili of Georgia, both of whom made waves last year on the festival circuit, are coming to PPP with new projects in tow --"The Train Station" for Al Daradji and "Khibula" for Ovashili.

Along with the films being showcased, PPP plans to work more closely with PIFF's Asian Cinema Fund than it has in past years, with three of the event's 27 projects receiving nominations for funding from the festival's script development fund.