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Pokarekare Ana off to Busan

Busan has named 30 selections for its Asian Project Market (APM), among them Pokarekare Ana: Yeon-Ga, produced by Catherine Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald, recently named an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit, presently has Paul Wolffram’s doco Voices of the Land: Nga Reo O Te Whenua doing the rounds in the NZIFF. She’s well-known internationally as the producer of Tusi Tamasese’s Venice winner The Orator.

With a nod to old saw about the way to do business in Asia being to build relationships first, Pokarekare Ana: Yeon-Ga springs from meeting people during a previous trip to Korea. Last year, Michael Bennett attended the AFCI’s Cineposium Asia in Korea, presenting potential NZ-Korea co-production The Cave to the event’s project market. The project was a “low budget supernatural horror”, with Fitzgerald on board as producer.

Bennett returned from Korea excited about working with a Korean partner to build “a project, culturally relevant to both countries, from the ground up”.

That project is Pokarekare Ana: Yeon-Ga, which Fitzgerald described as a NZ story set in Korea. It has, she said today, been developed as a creative co-production from the word go, rather than being what Bennett described as “the more common approach of getting to script and then grafting on an international partner”.

“We’re pretty excited and honoured to be selected for APM,” Fitzgerald said today.
The team on this end is Fitzgerald, Bennett and Jane Holland, who’s previously worked with Bennett on Matariki.

On the Korean end of the production are producer Sebastian Dong Hun LEE and director SONG Ilgon.
As well as working closely on the creative aspects of the project, Fitzgerald said they’d also kept an eye on the box-ticking aspects of becoming an official co-production.

LEE is making his first venture into features, having produced a number of shorts and popular 2011 TV drama show City Hunter.

SONG made the well-received and much-awarded 2001 feature debut Ggot seom. He followed up with a couple of more commercial features, Spider Forest and Feathers in the Wind before returning to his artsier roots with 2005 title Magicians, an obscure if technically impressive 96-minute single-take tale.

Bennett, Song and Lee will present Pokarekare Ana: Yeon-Ga at APM.

Pokarekare Ana has some high-octane regional company at APM, with projects also selected by the Filipino Cannes winner and festival favourite Brillante Mendoza; Bangladeshi director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, whose Television closed BIFF in 2012 and had a decent international festival run; Indian producer Guneet Monga, whose much-awarded The Lunchbox is currently screening in the NZIFF; Lars von Trier’s producer Marianne Slot (Antichrist, Melancholia, Nymphomaniac); and Hany Abu-Assad, a Cannes winner last year with Omar.

Among the Korean projects selected is The Family Ground, from YEON Sang-Ho, whose 2011 The King of Pigs was a Cannes nominee and had a solid international festival run.

screeNZ understands that another of the APM projects, identified as Korean on the list below, has NZ connections but hasn’t yet been able to confirm that. All up, 20 countries are represented across APM’s 30 selections.

Elsewhere in Korea, the industry has this week been celebrating the success of KIM Han-Min’s period epic The Admiral: Roaring Currents. It’s now the most-seen theatrical release in Korea, having passed the admission figures for both local champ The Thieves and international chart-topper Avatar. It’s now been watched by over 14.6 million Koreans and has become the first Korean film to take more than KRW100 billion and USD100 million.

The APM runs 6 – 8 October, alongside the Busan International Film Festival (2 – 11 October) and Asian Film Market (5 – 8 October).

The full list of APM projects is:

Project Title Director Producer County
1 Blue Sunset SHIN Suwon Francis LIM Korea, Australia
2 Clair-obscur Yesim USTAOGLU Marianne SLOT,


Turkey, France
3 A Copy of My Mind Joko ANWAR Tia HASIBUAN,


4 Diamond Island Davy CHOU Charlotte VINCENT Cambodia, France
5 Doggy and the Gastronauts Dusan MILIC Undine FILTER Serbia, Germany
6 Dora

(Working title)

July JUNG KIM Jiyeon Korea
7 Edge of the World SOHN Soopum Park Jooyoung Korea
8 The Family Ground (Working title) YEON Sang Ho LEE Dongha Korea
9 The Flag Firas KHOURY Hany ABU-ASSAD Palestine
10 Fowl Brillante Ma MENDOZA Larry CASTILLO Philippines , France, Germany
11 FULL-MOON PARTY Dang Di PHAN Thi Bich Ngoc TRAN Vietnam, France
12 Hair of the Dog that Bit You Vimukthi JAYASUNDARA Vimukthi JAYASUNDARA Sri Lanka
13 In the Beat of Night Mohamad AHMADI Shohreh GOLPARIAN Iran
14 The Killer Pema TSEDEN Sangye GYAMTSO China
15 Learning to Build a Fire Hannah ESPIA Giancarlo ABRAHAN Philippines
16 The Long Excuse (Working title) NISHIKAWA Miwa NISHIKAWA Asako Japan


Hong Kong(China)
18 Mantra – The Song of Scorpions Anup SINGH Saskia VISCHER Switzerland, India, France



20 My Happy Family Nana EKVTIMISHVILI, Simon GROSS Simon GROSS Georgia, Germany, France
21 No Land’s Man Mostofa Sarwar FAROOKI Mostofa Sarwar FAROOKI Bangladesh, India, USA, Australia
22 Pokarekare Ana: Yeon-Ga SONG Ilgon Sebastian Dong Hun LEE, Catherine FITZGERLAD Korea, New Zealand


24 The Science of Fictions Yosep Anggi NOEN Edwin NAZIR Indonesia
25 SIDE HERO Vasan BALA Guneet MONGA India
26 SIXTY NINE Chi ZHANG Guipu HU, Wei YANG, Angie HENLE China, China
27 To All Naked Men Bassam CHEKEHS Behrooz HASHEMIAN France, Turkey
28 The Two Kings Nonzee NIMIBUTR Henry KO, Sandra GAVIRIA Thailand, USA
29 UNEXCHANGEABLE ROH Gyeong-tae, LEE Woo ROH Gyeong-tae, LEE Woo Korea
30 Vapour of Smoke Lee Isaac CHUNG Eugene SUEN,

Samuel Gray ANDERSON

USA, Korea


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