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Ko - production in Busan
  • Korean Presence at Berlinale
  • by Nigel D’Sa (KOFIC) /  Feb 22, 2006
  • The Berlin International Film Festival wrapped February 18th with several prizes awarded to ethnic Koreans. Composer Peter KAM received the Silver Bear for Best Film Music for his score in the Hong Kong made Isabella. Korean-American director KIM So-young won the FIPRESCI prize for her feature debut In Between Days, in the Forum section of the program. The film had won a special jury prize for independent vision at Sundance earlier this year. The NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) prize was awarded to Korean-Japanese director Yang Yong-hi for her documentary feature Dear Pyongyang, after also winning a special jury prize at Sundance last month. A number of Korean filmmakers, stars, and industry reps were on hand at this year's Berlinale. Among them was actress LEE Young-ae, of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, who sat on the festival's international jury which awards the coveted Golden and Silver Bears. It was the first time a Korean actress had been invited to participate on the main jury of one of the top 3 international film festivals. LIM Sung-min, programmer of the Women's Film Festival in Seoul (WFFIS), was part of the 3-member NETPAC independent jury, which awarded the best Asian film screened in the Forum section. Award-winning Producer OH Jung-wan (Tale of Two Sisters, Bittersweet Life, You Are My Sunshine) presided on this year's Short Film Jury. Director PARK Chan-wook, renowned in Europe for his 2004 Cannes Grand Prize winner Old Boy, joined the Berlinale Talent Campus to deliver public lectures on filmmaking. Other guest speakers in the program included Wim Wenders and Christopher Doyle. PARK also acted as mentor for film teams during this year's Talent Movie of the Week, produced in collaboration with Berlin company Avanti Media. With protests ongoing in Seoul, PARK staged a one-man protest for an hour in front of the Berlinale Palaste, to publicize S. Korea's decision to halve the days ruled by the Screen Quota System. His placard read, 'No Screen Quota = No Old Boy.' Actor JANG Dong-gun also voiced his opposition at the festival while accompanying his film The Promise, screening out of competition, and Typhoon, screening at the film market. While no Korean features were in the main competition section this year, films showing in the Official Selection included director CHO Chang-ho's feature debut The Peter Pan Formula and SHIN Dong-il's Host and Guest. Director SHIN's new project, My Friend and His Wife was selected to participate in the Berlinale Co-Production Market, which helps films with a production budget of EU 1-12 million and 30% of it already in place, to find additional backers. Rounding out the selection, director JEONG Jae-eun's film about a group of young inline skaters, The Aggressives, screened in the Kinderfilmfest / 14 Plus section and student filmmaker KIM Young-su's Myself was part of the Panorama Short Film program. Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)
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