19th Busan International Film Festival

South Korea, October 2 - October 11 2014

The jury

György Kárpáti (Hungary), Ru-Shou Robert Chen (Taiwan), Dennis Vetter (Germany), Ashok Rane (India), Taesik John Park (Korea)

Awarded films

Over the years the Busan International Film Festival has become one of the major highlights of the festival circuit and is definitely the most important cinematic events in the Far East. The 19th edition of gave once again an overview of the most recent international trends and also focused on the region’s film industry. Hundreds of films and events, queues and sold out screenings proved that the festival organizers are on the right track to keep Busan in the elite. Though the festival is financially stable it still had difficulties this year: one of those was around the screening of a documentary on the Korean ferry tragedy. The accident of the MV Sewol was in April, and too close to the festival for time to have allowed the wounds to heal. That’s why the decision was full of controversy as to whether or not to screen the rapidly made and somewhat one-sided The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol. The relatives of the victims asked the mayor – and the first-time festival director – Seo Byung-soo to cancel the screening. The mayor made some attempt to withdraw the film from the programme but it immediately became a question of censorship at that point. The screening was held at the end and without any problems. This year the president of the international jury was Asghar Farhadi and Joshua Oppenheimer presented in person his Venice-awarded The Look of Silence among other films. There was also a screening of Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait, a documentary edited by different mobile recordings and made in Syria about its armed conflict. There was also a significant Hungarian presence in Busan: this year the internationally acclaimed director Bela Tarr  was asked as the dean of the Asian Film Academy. The educational programme for young Asian filmmakers was created ten years ago and this was the second time the dean was a non-Asian director. Tarr also held a very popular masterclass during the festival.  (György Kárpáti)

Busan International Film Festival: www.biff.kr