Chinese Films at the Busan International Film Festival

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

In the recently closed 16th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), which ran from October 6 to 14, 2011, two independent Chinese productions made to the list of 30 finalists in the Asian Project Market (APM). They were Late August by YANG Heng (director of Betelnut, distributed by dGenerate) and Du, Zooey, and Ma by Robin WENG Shouming (director of Fujian Blue, distributed by dGenerate).

The Asian Project Market of BIFF, previously known as the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP), is a venue for promising Asian directors and producers to get help and support from industrial representatives from all over the world. This year, 27 of the 30 finalists competed for six cash awards that ranged from 8,717USD (Lotte Award and PanStar Cruise Award) to 22,777USD (Göteborg Film Festival Fund from Sweden); 7 films won. See list.

This year, 307 films in 11 categories were screened at BIFF this year, with 134 world or international premieres. Below is a complete list of 22 Chinese films screened at the festival.

Gala Presentation

This section is reserved for renowned Asian directors.

Life Without Principle by Johnnie TO
Wu Xia by Peter CHAN

A Window on Asian Cinema

This section is not a competition section of BIFF.

11 Flowers by WANG Xiaoshuai
Celestial Kingdom by WANG Chao
Here, There by LU Sheng
Inseparable by Dayyan ENG
Mr. Tree by HAN Jie
The Sword Identity by XU Haofeng

New Currents

This section shows the first or second film by an up-and-coming Asian director. Films in the section are considered for a $30,000 prize.

Lost in Mountain by GAO Zipeng

Wide Angle

This section is divided into competition and non-competition units. Shorts and documentaries in the competition units are considered for the Sonje Awards and the BIFF Mecenat Awards respectively. Korean shorts in the competition units are also considered for the Busan Cinephile Award.

Documentary Competition
The Vanishing Spring Light (China/Canada) by YU Xun
Documentary Showcase
Yulu by WEI Tie, TAN Chui Mui, JIA Zhangke, CHEN Tao, CHEN Zhizheng, SONG Fang, WANG Zizhao
Animation Showcase
(3D) Legend of a Rabbit by SUN Lijun

Special Program in Focus:

Special Focus on Yonfan, A Touch of Sensuality
7 films by Yonfai: A Certain Romance (1984), Bishonen (1998), Color Blossoms (2004), Double Fixation (1987), In Between (1994), Peony Pavilion (2001), and Promising Miss Bowie (1990).

Special Focus on Asian Western: Men of the East
Let the Bullets Fly by JIANG Wen

Special Screening
The 14 Amazons by Kang CHENG

Midnight Passion

This is not a competition section of BIFF. Films selected in this section are screened at night for festival attendees.

The Sorcerer and the White Snake by Tony CHING Siu Tung

Lastly, Hong Kong director Tsui Hark is the Asian Filmmaker of the Year at BIFF.

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