February 24, 2024

Iqbal H. Choudhury’s “The Wrestler” and Mori Tatsutya’s “September 1923” were announced joint winners of the New Currents competition at the Busan International Film Festival.

“The Wrester” “was like a single round match, magically depicting an exciting narrative,” the jury said. “We support the bravery to face the history that had been forgotten,” the jury said of “September 1923.”

In the separate Jiseok competition, open to more experienced Asian filmmakers, the joint winners were Prasanna Vithanage’s “Paradise” and Mirlan Abdykalykov’s “Bride Kidnapping.”

“Vithanage exposes how a corrupt regime ruins this beautiful country by obstructing peace, depriving its citizens of humanity as they corner them into oppression,” said the separate Jiseok jury. Calling “Bride Kidnapping” a “powerful film,” the Jiseok jury said, “This film vividly depicts the prevalent shocking customs in Kyrgyzstan with unforgettable characters and a straightforward narrative.”

The prizes were presented on Friday at a closing ceremony along with a smattering of other prizes for the festival’s prestige sections. and was followed by a screening of “The Movie Emperor,” a black comedy by China’s Ning Hao.

Park Soo-nam and Park Maeui’s “The Voices of the Silenced” and Jin Jang’s “Republic” shared the BIFF Mecenat Award, while Jeon Dohee and Kim Sohee’s “Mydear” and Nasrin Mohammadpour’s “21 Weeks Later” split the Sonje Award. “Everybody’s Gotta Love Sometimes,” by Sein Lyan Tun, a director from Myanmar, about a queer Asian immigrant in Paris, earned a special mention.

The KB New Currents Audience Award went to Lee Jong-su’s “Heritage” while “The Dreamer,” by Anais Tellenne picked up the Flash Forward Audience Award.

Actor of the year awards went to Jang Sung-bum in “Work to Do” and Oh Minae in “Concerning My Daughter.”

Friday’s closing ceremony awards followed on from the Vision Awards presented a day earlier.

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