June 21, 2024

“Madness and Honey Days,” to be directed by Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji, was Tuesday named the winner of the top-ranking Busan Award at the Asian Project Market, an offshoot of the Busan International Film Festival. But “Filipinana” was the numerical winner. To be directed by Rafael Manuel, the project won three prizes.

Other projects to claim multiple awards were: “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” to be directed by Japan’s Hirose Nanako; and “To Kill a Mongolian Horse” to be directed by mainland China’s Jiang Xiaoxuan.

Seeking a $1.1 million budget, “Madness and Honey Days” is a tragicomedy in which a man, after unintentionally cursing at President Saddam Hussein, must convince a Baathist court that he is insane if he hopes to escape the death penalty. During the last months before the fall of Saddam, he must live in a Baghdad psychiatric hospital and struggle to maintain his sanity, while outside his execution awaits should the doctors announce his recovery.

In “Filipinana,” a golf club’s newly appointed ‘tee-girl’ feels strangely drawn to Dr. Palanca, the president of the country club where she works. But as she starts to piece together a more violent picture of what lies behind the country club’s pristine facade, she comes to realize that what began as an innocent infatuation with Dr. Palanca is rooted in a more sinister, shared history. It is set as a three-way co-production and is to be produced on a $1.3 million budget.

2023 Asian Project Market Prize Winners

Busan Award
“Madness and Honey Days” Dir. Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji. Prod. Maytham Jbara (Iraq, Canada).

New Horse Award
“The Botanist in the White House” Dir. Jing Yi. Prods. Shan Zuolong, Qi Ai (China).

ONE COOL Award
“Watch It Burn” Dir. Makbul Mubarak. Prod. Yulia Evina Bjara (Indonesia).

CJ ENM Award
“What’s Love Got to Do with It?” Dir. Hirose Nanako. Prods. Kitahara Eiji, Koide Daiju (Japan).

TAICCA Award
“Filipinana” Dir. Rafael Manuel. Prod. Jeremy Chua. (Singapore, U.K., Philippines)

VIPO Award
“To Kill a Mongolian Horse” Dir. Jiang Xiaoxuan. Prods. Tan Chui Mui, Mo Zhulin (China).

ArteKino International Award
“Filipinana” Dir. Rafael Manuel. Prod. Jeremy Chua. (Singapore, U.K., Philippines)

KB Award
“First Step” Dir. Yoon Danbi. Prod. Kim Gi-hyeon (Korea).

ARRI Award
“What’s Love Got to Do with It?” Dir. Hirose Nanako Prods. Kitahara Eiji, Koide Daiju (Japan).

Kongchak Studio Award
“Filipinana” Dir. Rafael Manuel. Prod. Jeremy Chua. (Singapore, U.K., Philippines)

Sørfond Award
“To Kill a Mongolian Horse” Dir. Jiang Xiaoxuan. Prods. Tan Chui Mui, Mo Zhulin (China).

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