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BIFF names directors for shorts project

The Busan International Film Festival and Youku, China’s biggest video-sharing website, start the Asia’s Masters and Newcomers Project based on a MOU signed last year to discover and support talented young Asian filmmakers. Four master directors Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL, IM Sang Soo, KAWASE Naomi, and Xiaoshuai WANG were confirmed to lead the project.

Leading the Way for Young Asian Directors
The Asian Collaboration Project will select four master and four newcomer directors to produce short films and will provide funding for one newcomer to make a feature length film. Three of the newcomers were selected by the Busan International Film Festival and one by Youku. Masters and newcomers will individually produce a short film, which will premiere at this year’s Busan International Film Festival. Youku will sponsor the production costs for both the short and feature films, while the Busan International Film Festival will select the directors and best film.
4 Master Directors Confirmed
IM Sang Soo, KAWASE Naomi, Xiaoshuai WANG, and Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL were confirmed as master directors who will be coupled with newcomers to advise and mentor on the short film production process. One of the newcomer’s films will be selected by the master directors and the chief programmer of the Busan International Film Festival, to be sponsored by Youku as a feature production.

The confirmed newcomers include Youku selected Cheng LIANG (China), 2009 Busan International Film Festival Asian Film Academy graduate Phuttiphong AROONPHENG (Thailand), 2014 graduate Asimta SHRISH (Nepal), and 2014 Busan International Film Festival Wide Angle Short Film competitive section nominee director LEE Han Jong.

Master Directors List (Alphabetical Order)
IM Sang Soo / Director, Korea

After a successful debut with Night Out (1998), Director IM Sang Soon established his reputation through the works that satirized problems found in Korean society. His remake of Director KIM Ki-young’s 1960 The Housemaid was invited to the competitive section of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. His new film will be released this summer.

KAWASE Naomi / Director, Japan
Director KAWASE Naomi caught the domestic and international spotlight with works in documentaries and feature films. In 1997, she became the youngest winner of the Camera d’Or Award in the history of Cannes Film Festival with her first feature (1997), followed by various recognitions in 2006 at Locarno International Film Festival, Taiwan, Copenhagen, and Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival with a documentary on her childbirth. Director KAWASE also received the Grand Prix at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for and was invited to the competitive section of the 2014 Cannes and 2014 Busan International Film Festival. More recently, she produced a Korean-Japanese film and her new film An was invited in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

Xiaoshuai WANG / Director, China
Born in 1966 in Shangai, WANG Xiaoshuai graduated from the Beijing Film Academy and is one of China’s leading Sixth Generation filmmakers. His low-budget directorial debut (1993) and his acclaimed works expose the realistic dark shadows of history and the social reality drawn over the daily life of today’s Chinese society.

Director WANG also received the Silver Bear Award at the 51st Berlin International Film Festival in 2001 with Beijing Bicycle, the Jury Award at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.

Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL / Director, Thailand
Born in Thailand, Director Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL studied cinema at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He began shooting short films in 1994 and by 2000, produced his first feature (2000), selected as one of the best films in 2000 by Village Voice and Filmcomment. He also won Un Certain Regard at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and made 3rd place in Cahier du Cinema’s best film list of 2002. In 2004 he received the Jury Prize at the 2004 Cannes and his 2010 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall Past Lives received the Palme d’Or in 2010. His most recent work Cemetery of Splendour was invited in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

Rookie Director List (Alphabetical Order)
Phuttiphong AROONPHENG / Thailand / 2009 Asian Film Academy Graduate
LEE Han Jong / Korea / 2014 Busan International Film Festival Korean Short Competitive Section Nominee
Asimita SHRISH / Nepal / 2014 Asian Film Academy Graduate
Cheng LIANG / China

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