The 2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy has marked the end of its 20-day journey with the completion of its graduation ceremony and short film screening on Oct 12 (Thurs) at Cinema 2 of Busan Cinema Center.
[2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy Graduation Ceremony]
The 2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy has come to a close with the graduation ceremony and screening of the two short films produced by the fellows over the 20 days. This year’s edition presented a strengthened educational program by extending the program period from 18 to 20 days to secure additional time for pre-production and feedback, enhancing the quality of the projects, and introducing a ‘script doctor’, a screenplay specialist, to the line-up of instructors, in addition to the original faculty of dean, directing mentor, and cinematography mentor.
From hands-on training to get familiarized with filming equipment to a masterclass session by the dean, director Suwa Nobuhiro, which will provide insight into his experience and expertise, and workshops to better understand the film industry, such as MPA-BAFA Film Workshop: Bridge to Hollywood, the practical programs and mentoring by the faculty, who are deeply invested in the future of the film industry, were met with praise and enthusiastic participation by the fellows.
[2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy Dean, SUWA Nobuhiro]
[From Left: Busan International Film Festival Interim Festival Director NAM Dong-chul
and 2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy Cinematography Mentor Artur ŻURAWSKI]
The 2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy graduation ceremony, the final agenda of the 20-day long program, which took place on Oct 12 (Thurs), was attended by Busan International Film Festival’s interim festival director, Nam Dong-Chul, and this year’s CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy faculty, dean Suwa Nobuhiro, directing mentor Kim Hee-Jung, and cinematography mentor Artur Żurawski.
During the ceremony, the dean and mentors were given a certificate of appreciation, and the 24 fellows from 20 countries received the certificate of completion. Furthermore, fellows who demonstrated outstanding growth during the program were selected and awarded the CHANEL X BAFA Promising Filmmaker Award, ARRI Award, and MPA Award, meant to encourage and support their future endeavours. The CHANEL X BAFA Promising Filmmaker Award, which grants USD 5,000 to the recipients, was awarded to Samara Sagynbaeva (Kyrgyzstan) and Sadeq Es-haqi (Iran). The ARRI Award, which is presented to 2 cinematography fellows with an opportunity to visit either the ARRI Main Office in Munich, Germany or the Asia Pacific branch to participate in the Training Program at ARRI Academy, was received by Amar Maharjan (Nepal) and Yiyao Kelsey Zhu (China). Lastly, the MPA Award, which selected two winners through the project presentation at the pitching workshop co-hosted by Motion Picture Association (MPA), was received by Pascale Asmar (Lebanon) and Nguyen Phan Linh Dan (Vietnam). The award will provide the recipients with an opportunity to visit industry events in the United States and Australia, respectively. Furthermore, in consideration of the high completion of this year’s projects, MPA will provide a reward of USD 1,000 each to 5 additional fellows; Amar Maharjan (Nepal), Khozy Rizal (Indonesia), Lin Htet Aung (Myanmar), Saman Hosseinpuor (Iran), andSuraj Bhattarai (Bhutan).
[2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy CHANEL X BAFA Promising Filmmaker Award Recipients
From Left: Samara SAGYNBAEVA (Kyrgyzstan) and Sadeq ES-HAQI (Iran)]
[2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy ARRI Award Recipients
From Left: Yiyao Kelsey ZHU (China) and Amar MAHARJAN (Nepal)]
[Award Recipients at the 2023 CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy Graduation Ceremony]
The two short films, produced by fellows from diverse Asian countries, overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers, were also presented. The Last Night in Korea delicately shows the internal conflicts of an illegal immigrant from Kyrgyzstan who learns of his father’s passing in a foreign country. Meanwhile, Pink Tree portrays the strange landscape and emotions experienced by a woman who returns to Busan after being away during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Asian Film Academy (AFA), which welcomed its 17th year after its start in 2005, has accumulated an impressive line-up of alumni, including Korean cinematographer Um Hye-Jung, Indonesian directors Edwin and Yosep Anggi Noen, and Chinese director Song Fang, while the active participation of AFA alumni this year is once again garnering attention.
AFA 2018 fellow Purevdash Zoljargal’s feature debut, If Only I Could Hibernate, was invited to the Un Certain Regard at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and the 2023 Busan International Film Festival, while AFA 2019 fellow Zarrar Kahn’s In Flames was invited to the 2023 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. In addition, AFA 2005 fellow Chia Chee Sum’s Oasis of Now received high acclaim from the media and critics following its world premiere at the New Currents section of BIFF 2023.
CHANEL X BIFF Asian Film Academy, which has signalled a new beginning for emerging Asian filmmakers following the completion of the 20-day journey, will continue to provide a venue and environment in which promising Asian filmmakers can express their potential.
■ The 28th Busan International Film Festival: Oct 4 (Wed) – Oct 13 (Fri)
■ The 18th Asian Contents & Film Market: Oct 7 (Sat) – Oct 10 (Tues)