The Busan International Film Festival ends on a high note, taking place for a total of 10 days from October 6–15. There was a total of 76,072 attendees which accounted for 80 per cent of the available seats.
The prestigious film festival was the first international event in South Korea where over a thousand audiences participated following the outbreak of the pandemic. This year was also the first edition where foreign guests were able to visit—a total of 60 international guests including directors Hamaguchi Ryusuke and Leos Carax were in attendance.
Despite its hybrid format, this year’s edition boasted a strong lineup of more than 200 films from 70 countries. There was also an expansive jury for each award and the South Korean movie, The Apartment with Two Women emerged with the most prizes. Read more to find out the full list of winners.
1. Closing Ceremony Awards
New Currents Award
- Farewell, My Hometown by Wang Er Zhuo (China)
Jury comment: Farewell, Hometown, director Er Zhuo Wang’s first feature film, opened the door of perception for one of our jury members, and literally helped the other members through the door so we could also see what had captivated and enthralled them about this enigmatic film. For enigmatic as it is, with its gentle exploration of time, poverty, education and compromise the female protagonists make. Set against the dreamy landscape of the countryside and then the box-like tiers of suburban Beijing, followed by the centres of learning where the relevance of choices made in the past is pondered.
- The Apartment with Two Women by Kim Se-in (South Korea)
Jury comment: Let me quote my hero filmmaker Luis Buñuel who wisely said that, “The minute a film, in particular, is the minute it becomes universal.” The Korean film, The Apartment with Two Women, directed by Kim Se-in, struck that very note with me. A film about the well-explored antagonism between a mother and daughter was so particular to the world it was set in. Amazing performances by the two leading actors had me holding my breath at times. The ultimate question one would ask this mother is, “Does self-determination mean selfishness?”
Kim Jiseok Award
- The Rapist by Aparna Sen (India)
Jury comment: The director tried to cover all the elements behind the sexual assault case, including psychology, social environment, class, and religion. But the film is not only about the incident, it is also about Indian society and its ability to discuss and decide these kinds of issues.
- Gensan Punch by Brilliante Mendoza (Philippines, Japan)
Jury comment: Incredibly strong story narrated in a documentary style. It is not just a story of a hero’s path to victory, but a story of building human relationships. Okinawa and Gensokyo are two seemingly different worlds, but they are connected by the warmth of people and their beliefs.