Wrapping up my Pusan Film Festival 2009 experience (part 1)

The post-production of THE WHITE FLOWER had seriously made me insomniac (or gave me messed up sleep patterns), so aside from being able to catch a nap from 1 to 3am, I've been widely awake since then.

So I decided to try to unload the remainder of photos from last month's trip at the Pusan Film Festival. I think I'll finish everything in two posts.

PIFF Center during evening

Outside the PIFF Center


After the screening of WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER, the rest of my days in Pusan were spent on attending functions, parties, meeting people, looking around the Asian Film Market, trying to see a film but missing it in the end (I ended up only seeing MUNDANE HISTORY at the festival, just one film in a festival! A personal low).



On the 11th of October. I think I sat through two interviews with the Korean press. it was during these interviews that I found out WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER is the first film in history that received both the SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT FUND and the POST-PRODUCTION FUND from the Asian Cinema Fund (established by the Pusan Film Festival to support Asian filmmakers, both financial support and also technical support, as in the case of WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER). And I think ACF's support throughout the production of WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER had been invaluable, especially for the post-production, whem they helped us with the digital intermediate, sound-mixing, and then the transfer to 35mm etc. (I described some of the process here).

That night we had the Asian Cinema Fund award ceremony, where a certificate (I think) was presented to Ming Jin.

Asian Cinema Fund Award Ceremony

Ming Jin receiving awards from the Asian Cinema Fund

Asian Cinema Fund supported WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER


These are all the recipients of the ACF. The Thai film MUNDANE HISTORY, which was competing at the New Currents, and was the only film I saw at the festival, is also supported by ACF.

This is the MUNDANE HISTORY lead actor Phakpoom Surapongsanuruk (he and I share the same birthday! Though we were born 3 years apart. He's young... but utterly daring in his performance in the film) and the somewhat super deformed-looking (it's really a compliment) WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER lead actress Foo Fei Ling

WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER actress Fei Ling with MUNDANE HISTORY actor Phakpoom Surapongsanuruk


After that we headed straight to Thien See's birthday party. (She's the actress of Ho Yuhang's SANCTUARY and RAIN DOGS, James Lee's CALL IF YOU NEED ME, Tan Chui Mui's short EVERYDAY EVERYDAY). She was also the main actress of Charlotte Lim's MY DAUGHTER, which was competing at NEW CURRENTS too.

This is her with the male stripper.

Seng Tat was the stripper at Thien See's birthday party


(Yes, most Malaysian award-winning independent filmmakers are still struggling so much that occasionally they have to take side jobs as male strippers in birthday parties. It's sort of a Diablo Cody in reverse.)

A group photo from the party.

Group photo at Thien See's birthday party


After that some of us headed straight to the Filmmakers' Night (or was it party?)

I met and spoke briefly to the director-actor of the much talked about Korean film, BREATHLESS (DDONGPARI) briefly (alas, I still haven't seen the film), Yang Ik-jun, and also the main actress Kim Kkot-bi.



We went to the roof and Ming Jin introduced us the buildings of Pusan which he had a hand in designing back in the 1920s.



The Filmmakers Party