PPP set with 30 projects for 2009

Three-day co-production platform kicks off Sunday

BUSAN -- The Pusan Promotion Plan is hoping that a change of scenery will lead to more traffic and more co-production connections.
Relocated for the first time to the ninth floor of the Seacloud Hotel, the 12th PPP will launch 30 projects from local favorites, new talent and filmmaking veterans Asian and non-Asian beginning Sunday.
Taking place right above the Asian Film Market, the co-production and networking platform is expected to benefit from the traffic at the market downstairs. An estimated 300 participants will participate during the three-day event to discuss the co-production and distribution possibilities of projects from Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Despite the wide-ranging places of origin, homegrown projects dominate the selection, with eight films from Korea introduced. The projects are getting bigger, too – eight have a proposed budget of more than US$3 million, five of which are from Korea. 
“In spite of the weak economy, the Korean film industry has been doing better than last year. The successes of films such as ‘Haeundae’ and ‘Take Off’ gave confidence to Korean producers and distributors in big budget domestic films,” said Nam Dong-chul, who oversees both PPP and the Pusan market. “But as the budget gets higher, producers want to reduce risk, so the necessity of co-producing grows. In this way PPP can provide another opportunity to boost the Korean film industry.”
Nam said among the most requested projects are the two big budget Korean ones with blockbuster potential, Bong Joon-ho’s “Le Transperceneige” and Han Jae-rim’s “Trace,” both comic book adaptations.
Bong, whose 2006 “The Host” was seen by more than 10 million people in Korea, disclosed his plans to make “Le Transperceneige” three years ago, but is finally launching officially at this year’s PPP to develop overseas market. It’s the only project whose budget was not specified in the official PPP documents, and despite rumors, a representative at the film’s production company, Moho Film, said the first draft of the script hasn’t been completed and the budget is as yet undermined.
Meanwhile, the US$7.7 million “Trace” is set to start pre-production later this year and production in early 2010. Although the total budget is now in place, the film’s production company Barunson Co. is looking to find mainly domestic investments and talk with Asian studios while in Busan. “But we’re not in the stage of being very aggressive, only to let the buyers, producers and investors know about the project,” said Park Ji-ye of Barunson Co.
This year’s PPP also sees a focus on Southeast Asian cinema. “For the last four to five years, many new filmmakers emerged from Southeast Asia; but many of them – from the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia – don’t have enough channels for fundraising and investing, so they are very positive about PPP,” Nam said.
Five projects from the region are introduced, including “Enemies” from Thailand’s Ekachai Uekrongtham, “The Family Photograph” from Malaysia’s Yeo Joon-han, “Happyland” from Filipino Jim Diamond Libiran, “Postcards from the Zoo” from Indonesia’s Edwin, and “The Year Without A Summer” from Malaysia’s Tan Chui-mui.
The projects in the PPP this year are:
“Berlin-Tashkent-Transit,” Estonia, Uzbekistan, Ayub Shakhobiddinov
“Between the Suns,” China/Hong Kong, Kit Hui
“Black Stones,” Korea, Roh Gyeong-tae
“A Butterfly’s House,” China/Korea, Jin Guang-hao
“Decadent Sisters,” Japan, Aoyama Shinji
“Endless Day,” Singapore, Ho Tzu Nyen
“Enemies,” Thailand, Ekachai Uekrongtham
“The Family Photograph,” Malaysia, Yeo Joon Han
“GF&BF,” Taiwan, Yang Ya Che
“Gray,” Iran, Mohamad Ahmadi
“Great Love,” China, Pang Ho Cheung
“Happyland,” Philippines, Jim Diamond Libiran
“In Dreams” (working title), Korea, Hur Jin-ho
“Limbo,” Turkey, Yesim Ustaoglu
“Love Without Pain,” China, Ma Liwen
“Midnight to Four AM,” Canada/Korea/Singapore, Jeon Soo-il, Eric Khoo, Yung Chang, Ounie Lecomte, Lee Mi-Jeong
“Missing,” China, Wang Shiqing
“New Policemen Stories,” China, Yang Jin
“O.D.V.” (Opposite Domestic Violence), Japan, Jeong Jae-eun
“Postcards from the Zoo,” Indonesia, Edwin
“The Silver Gate,” France/Germany, Nuray Sahin
“Slightly Sane,” India, Pan Nalin
“Trace,” Korea, Han Jae-rim
“Le Transperceneige,” Korea, Bong Jun-ho
”Villain and Widow, Korea, Son Jae-gon
“Waiting for the Sea,” Belgium/France/Germany/Russia, Bakhtiar Khoudojnazarov
“Warm Bread & the Nipple’s Circle,” Afghanistan, Roya Sadat
“While Love is Coming,” Taiwan, Chang Tso Chi
“The Year Without A Summer,” Malaysia, Tan Chui Mui
“Youth is Reckless,” Korea, Lee Myung-se