PIFF2010 Recap: Receiving the Sonje Award (Best Asian Short Film) at the closing ceremony

15th of October, my last day in Pusan. A press conference was held in the morning to announce the award results.



As for me, I spent the day just relaxing. That's dad, outside the hotel.

Dad outside Centum Hotel


And in front of the Shinsengae and Lotte Shopping Malls, 5 minutes walking distance from the hotel, where many of the festival screenings were held.

Dad in front of Shinsengae and Lotte Malls


We went off to have lunch with Ming Jin, and some street food.

Dad and Ming Jin having some street food


At night we were at the awards/ closing ceremony.

Dad at Pusan Film Fest closing ceremony


There was a seat reserved for me, sitting in a row among the award winners, behind Abbas Kiarostami, Oliver Stone, and jury members Emi Wada and John Cooper.

A seat reserved for me


It was crowded. Occasionally there would be some celebrities and filmmakers walking down the red carpet. I didn't do that though. Darn.

Audiences at the Pusan film fest closing ceremony

In front of the red carpet at PIFF closing ceremony


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I'm in a blur


Abbas Kiarostami arrived.


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That's me with Liu Yang, director of MY SPECTACULAR THEATER, he won the KNN Audience Award.

Me with Lu Yang (KNN Audience Award winner for MY SPECTACULAR THEATER)


And that's Eva Yang, director of BROKEN NIGHT, she, like me, also won the Sonje Award, but for the Korean Short Film category. She was tweeting the ceremony.

me with Eva Yang (Sonje Award winner for Best Korean Short Film, 'Broken Night')


The ceremony started, and we award winners were then asked to onstage to receive our awards. That's me and Eva getting our Sonje Awards.


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Too bad my camera couldn't zoom in more. :(

The closing ceremony ended with fireworks.


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They then started screening the closing film CAMELLIA. It's an omnibus film directed by Korea's Jang Joon-hwan (Save The Green Planet!), Thailand's Wisit Sasanatieng (Tears Of The Black Tiger) and Japan's Isao Yukisada (Crying Out Love In The Center Of The World).

The video below was taken during Yukisada's segment. I would later meet and speak to him at the Narita Airport the following day when I returned to Tokyo.


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With Dad, after the Pusan International film Fest closing ceremony


We left the ceremony after that. Dad and I headed off for dinner at a nice BBQ restaurant.

Things came to a full circle with dad taking more photos beside the poster of directors.

dad in front of the PIFF 2010 poster of directors

dad in front of the PIFF 2010 poster of directors 2

My photo at the PIFF2010 poster


INHALATION was a very small film shot in two nights, a skeletal crew featuring mostly interns, a cast of two, and not much of a screenplay. Pre-production took only 2-3 days (I was merely figuring out the story outline and the characters during THE TIGER FACTORY shoot). So it was quite haphazardly put together, unlike my more polished and larger-scaled productions like KINGYO, or (upcoming... hopefully) EXHALATION. But I guess in the end everything worked together because of my team. Without them there wouldn't be INHALATION, so thanks.

I totally didn't expect to win an award in Pusan. You probably hear something like this very often, but in my case, there are times in some film festivals when I expected myself to win, and some when i didn't really expect at all. Based on my own track record, I usually win an award when it was least expected (LOVE SUICIDES's Best Director win in Shenzhen last December, or FLEETING IMAGES' Grand Prix win in CON-CAN, also last December). I guess it's better this way.

This time in Pusan, I decided just to relax, catch a lot of films (I managed to see 2-3 films a day), appear at parties, meeting people, hanging out with dad and friends. Anyway, here's a list of films I saw in Pusan, in chronological order:

- ETERNITY by Sivaroj Kongsakul (Thailand)
- YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER by Tan Chui Mui (Malaysia)
- STRAWBERRY CLIFF by Chris Chow (Hong Kong/ USA/ France)
- HIGH SOCIETY by Aditya Assarat (Thailand)
- THE RECIPE by Anna Lee (Korea)
- ASHAMED by Kim Soohyun (Korea)
- HAHAHA by Hong Sang Soo (Korea)
- LATE AUTUMN by Kim Tae Yong (Korea / Hong Kong, China / USA)
- The other four short films in the Asian Short Film competition category
- A USEFUL LIFE by by Federico Veiroj (Uruguay/ Spain)
- THE BUTCHER, THE CHEF AND THE SWORDSMAN by Wuershan (China / USA / Hong Kong)
- LOVERS' DISCOURSE by Derek Tsang and Jimmy Wan (Hong Kong, China)
- JOHNNIE GOT HIS GUN! by Yves Montmayeur (France, Hong Kong, China)
- FLOATING LIVES by Nguyen Phan Quong Binh (Vietnam / Singapore)
- 2 graduate short films from this year's Asian Film Academy students

So I came back two days ago, taking a brief rest. Lots of people adding me on Facebook, some are new friends I met in Pusan, some happened to be old friends from primary school and secondary school whom I've lost contact with, but they managed to find me, congratulating me for my win. There had been some nice news coverage of this back in Malaysia (in fact, my mom just called before I wrote this blog post to tell me that my interview was featured on the first page of the entertainment section in today's China Press).

Tomorrow, there will be a panel discussion about short films in Waseda University, along with a screening of INHALATION.

A week from now, INHALATION and THE TIGER FACTORY screen in Tokyo International Film Fest.

Early November, my earlier short film AFTERNOON RIVER, EVENING SKY will make its world premiere at the Bratislava International Film Festival (I'm not flying there though).

Late November, I'm flying off to Torino to conclude my screenwriting workshop.

Lots of things to do, but it's all right, I'm having fun.

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