Director SUWA Nobuhiro Appointed Dean of 2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy
2023. 06. 21 10:54
Press Release | 2023.06.21

Director SUWA Nobuhiro Appointed Dean of 

2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy

Asia’s most significant film education program, CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy, has appointed this year’s dean and faculty, beginning the preparations for its 2023 edition.

Director SUWA Nobuhiro, Master of Bold Mise-en-scène, 

to Lead the 2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy!

The 2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy’s faculty consists of director Suwa Nobuhiro as dean, director Kim Hee-Jung as directing mentor, and cinematographer Artur Żurawski as cinematography mentor. Through this year’s faculty appointment, a blueprint for discovering new talents in Asian cinema is underway.

[2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy Faculty]

(From left: Director SUWA Nobuhiro, Director KIM Hee-Jung, Cinematographer Artur ŻURAWSKI)

Director Suwa Nobuhiro, who is set to lead the 2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy, came to the forefront with his official debut, 2/Duo (1997) which was honoured with the NETPAC Award at the 1997 Rotterdam International Film Festival and a Special Mention for the Dragons and Tigers Award at the 1997 Vancouver International Film Festival. Following his debut, he received the FIPRESCI Award at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival with his second film, M/Other (1999), and the Jury’s Special Prize and C.I.C.A.E Award at the 2005 Locarno International Film Festival with A Perfect Couple (2005), receiving numerous awards and high acclaim from the media and critics around the world. Establishing his unique style using refreshing cinematic language that twists clichés, Suwa built his filmography by participating in various global projects. The omnibus film, Paris, je t'aime (2006), in which he collaborated with 20 directors, including the world-renowned Alfonso Cuarón and Coen brothers, and starred 50 leading celebrities such as Natalie Portman, Juliette Binoche, and Willem Dafoe, was screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Yuki & Nina (2009), which he co-directed with French actor Hippolyte Girardot, debuted at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival. He is currently a professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts, focusing on maintaining the sustainable development of cultural arts.

Director Kim Hee-Jung will be joining the faculty as the directing mentor. Known for her distinctive delicate screenplay and lyrical directorial style since her feature debut, The Wonder Years (2007), Kim has continued her career in domestic and international spheres, participating in leading international film festivals. She received the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) Award at the 2016 Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Project Market (APM) with The French Woman (2019), and at the 2023 Jeonju International Film Festival presented the closing film, Where Would You Like to Go?, a 2021 APM selection scheduled to be released in theaters on July 5 this year. She is currently a professor in the Department of Creative Writing at Chosun University.

Polish cinematographer Artur Żurawski, who was a cinematography mentor at the 2018 Asian Film Academy, will return to the position this year for the 2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy. He received international acclaim with his work in Sultan (2016), an official selection at the Busan International Film Festival in 2016 and the highest-grossing film of the year in India. He was awarded Best Cinematography at the 2018 Berlin Sci-fi Filmfest with Zblizenie (2017) and nominated for Best Film at the 2021 Gdynia Film Festival with Lokatorka (2021). He continues to work on animations, films, documentaries, TV series, advertisements and music videos.

Record High Apply Rate of 21:1!

Returning with an Updated Curriculum,

Program Period Extended and Script Doctor Onboard

The CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy, which provided a roadmap for developing Asian film education with Chanel joining as co-host in 2022, anticipates a further strengthened educational program this year. Extending the program period from 18 to 20 days seeks to secure additional time for pre-production and feedback, enhancing the quality of the projects. In addition to the original line-up of the dean, directing mentor, and cinematography mentor, a screenplay specialist, the ‘script doctor’, will join the faculty to develop the storyline. This year’s script doctor is director Lee Wanmin, who received high praise with Archaeology of Love (2023).

2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy received a record high apply rate of 21:1, with 503 applicants from 37 countries. There has been a 24% increase in female applicants and an increase in applicants from South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and India. The high level of interest in the program by new filmmakers is evidenced by the increase in applications from China, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mongolia, and Taiwan from last year.

Achievements of the Asian Film Academy alumni are receiving attention. 2018 fellow Zoljargal Purevdash’s first feature film, If Only I Could Hibernate, was invited to the Un Certain Regard section of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, of which directing mentor of the year Tan Chui Mui was associate producer. In Flames, which was screened at the 2023 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, was directed by 2019 alumni Zarrar Kahn, alongside 2018 alum Aigul Nurbulatova as cinematographer. The proactive use of the Asian Film Academy’s alumni to organize collaborations and make successful debuts draws attention to the program’s long-term benefits.

The final fellows selected for the 2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy will participate in the 20-day program from Sept 24 to Oct 13. During this time, the fellows will be provided with professional education and mentoring and produce short films. The two films completed during the program will be officially screened at the 28th Busan International Film Festival.

■ The 28th Busan International Film Festival : Oct 4 (Wed) – Oct 13 (Fri)
■ The 18th Asian Contents & Film Market : Oct 7 (Sat) – Oct 10 (Tues)

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