The 26th Busan International Film Festival Announces 7 Nominees for the Kim Jiseok Award

Published : Monday, September 6, 2021, 9:04 am
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The 26th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), which will be held from October 6 (Wed) to October 15 (Fri), has selected 7 nominees for the Kim Jiseok Award.

The Kim Jiseok Award is celebrating its 4th year at the 26th BIFF, and was established in respectful memory of the late program director Kim Jiseok in 2017. The award will be given to the most attractive films that reflect the contemporary standing of Asian cinema in accordance with the late Kim's intent. Among the films in the A Window on Asian Cinema section, seven candidates are selected to compete for the award. Two award recipients will be chosen by jurors and be given a cash prize of 10,000 USD each.

This year the Kim Jiseok Award is expected to be more competitive due to the inclusion of new titles from prominent filmmakers such as Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, Brillante Mendoza, Ogigami Naoko, Aparna Sen, among many others.

GENSAN PUNCH (2021), directed by master filmmaker Brillante Mendoza from the Philippines, stars Japanese actor Shogen and depicts the true story of a handicapped athlete's fight against discrimination to be recognized as a professional boxer. Singaporean director, Royston Tan, who is well-known in Busan because of his black comedy and musical films, is showcasing his latest film 24 (2021), which frames the satire and inner beauty of Singapore's rigid culture and atmosphere with a warm perspective.

Japanese director, Ogigami Naoko, who has attracted Korean audiences with her previous works such as Kamome Diner (2006), Glasses (2007) and Close-Knit (2017), has also been nominated for the Kim Jiseok Award with her new title, Riverside Mukolitta (2021). The film captures the director's unique minimalism and follows the humorous process of a young man with a criminal record settling in a fishing village.

Azerbaijani director, Ilgar Najaf, who has drawn attention for Buta (2011) and Pomegranate Orchard (2017), has newly released a black-and-white film, Sughra′s Sons (2021), that calmly portrays the struggle of Sughra and his sons working on a collective farm under communism and the unforgettable historical wounds caused by abusive power.

Aparna Sen, a representative director and actress of India, revisits BIFF in a long time with her 16th title, The Rapist (2021). The film narrates a story about an incident that suddenly and completely disrupts the comfortable life of a couple, who are both professors and anti-death penalty activists, and follows their lives after the incident. The 76-year-old director has made an insightful portrayal about the problems of gender, class, laws, and institutions in India by capturing the devastating aftermath of the incident that the couple faced in the film.

Chinese director, Wang Qi’s new title, The Bargain (2021), has also been nominated for the Kim Jiseok Award and will be introduced at BIFF for the first time. The Bargain (2021) tells a story of an ordinary family dealing with a sudden change in Chinese society.

Finally, leading Bangladesh's New Wave, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, who is already familiar to Korean audiences with his BIFF 2012 closing film, Television (2012), has been nominated for the Kim Jiseok Award with his new title, No Land′s Man (2021). The film, which was selected at the Asian Project Market (APM) 2020, carefully deals with discrimination and hate crimes based on race, religion, and nationality with A. R. Rahman’s music.

The festival appointed Iranian director Reza Mirkarimi as head of the jury, along with the two other jurors Gulnara Abikeyeva, Kazakhstani film critic and professor at Turan University, and Kim Haery, a Korean film critic and a member of the editing committee at CINE21 magazine. The two winners of the award will be announced at the Closing Ceremony of the 26th Busan International Film Festival on 15th October (Fri).

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