BUSAN, South Korea (AFP) – A Korean and an Iranian film exploring family and relationships shared the top award at Asia’s largest film festival Saturday, with jury members praising both for expressing “what it means to be a human being”.
“End of Winter” from Kim Daehwan and “13” from Hooman Seyedi will be officially handed the two $30,000 prizes given for the New Currents award for first- or second-time Asian filmmakers when the 19th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) draws to a close later Saturday.
At the event’s closing press conference, New Currents jury head and Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi said “End of Winter” was a unanimous choice. The film is the tale of how a family deals with a shock announcement from their father.
“It impressed us with its stylistic consistency, its skilful exploration of family relations, its elegant mastery of cinematic space, and its great ensemble cast,” said Farhadi.
The Iranian production “13” – which follows the story of how a young boy copes after being driven from the family home – showed “inventive camerawork” and “dynamism”, Farhadi said.
Farhadi, whose Oscar-winner “A Separation” (2011) also focused on issues of family, said the jury had been impressed by the ability of both films to portray “deep feelings” that were “very close to real life”.
This year’s New Currents award was chosen from 12 entries representing 12 countries, with both Bangladesh and Lebanon represented for the first time. Farhadi said the films had shown the future of Asian cinema was in good hands, and encouraged all the filmmakers to continue making “honest films”.
After 10 days, a record attendance of 226,473 people and the screening of more than 300 films, BIFF will come to a close Saturday with the world premiere of the Hong Kong drama “Gangster Pay Day” from director Lee Po-cheung.