BIFAN2016 Award Winners - Jury Comments
Bucheon Choice: Features
• Best of Bucheon: < The Wailing > (Director: NA Hong-jin)
The Jury is proud to bestow the Best of Bucheon award to Director NA Hong-jin for THE WAILING, a film that weaves together elements of crime thriller, family drama and occult horror while making exquisite use of the fundamental tools of cinema – including evocative photography and sharp editing, highlighted in a centerpiece exorcism sequence that ranks among the most memorably harrowing sequences of pure horror in cinema history. The result: a masterful, complex film that builds to a shattering climax and which favorably echoes such genre-transcending classics as THE EXORCIST and SEVEN. Like FRIEDKIN and FINCHER, Director NAHong-jin has crafted a hugely entertaining cinematic experience that resonates with enough subtleties and layers to inspire repeat viewings.
• Jury’s Choice: < Under the Shadow > (Director: Babak ANVARI)
Haunting in a manner that owes as much to the tangible dangers of its setting (Tehran during the Iran-Iraq conflict, circa 1988) as its supernatural and psychological elements, UNDER THE SHADOW is both a terrific film and a terrifically scary one. Galvanized by Narges RASHIDI’s performance as Shideh, a sympathetic, strong-willed mother desperate to protect her daughter from dark forces spiritual and political in nature, the 2016 Bucheon Choice Jury awards its Jury’s Choice to writer-director Babak ANVARI for elevating the art of horror with this atmospheric, sharply realized debut.
• Best Actress Choice: Karin Viard of < 21 Nights with Pattie > (Director: Arnaud LARRIEU, Jean-Marie LARRIEU
Karin VIARD’s performance as the titular – and very happily and comfortably sex-positive – Pattie in 21 NIGHTS WITH PATTIE is a sheer delight. The film’s central conceit of letting go in order to find one’s self is memorably embodied by Pattie, a funny and sexy role that Miss VIARD makes her own in a way that perfectly captures the film’s consistent balance of effervescent comedy and spiritual profundity.
• Best Actor Choice: Deepak Sampat of < Autohead > (Director: Rohit MITTAL)
A thought-provoking debut that transcends use of the familiar “mockumentary” format, AUTOHEAD concerns a film crew as it follows auto rickshaw driver Narayan on an increasingly dark and disturbing journey through the streets of Mumbai. As the troubled, Travis BICKLE-like Narayan, actor Deepak SAMPAT’s thoroughly convincing, charismatic and ultimately unsettling performance proves essential to director Rohit MITTAL’s seamless melding of genre thriller and social critique.
• NH Audience Award: < The Wailing > (Director: NA Hong-jin)
Bucheon Choice: Shorts
• Best Short Film: < Manoman > (Director: Simon CARTWRIGHT)
_Upon hearing the film’s title, a word which seems like a play on the word ‘macho-man’ - just as the films ending feels like a play on words – we are given a sense of awkward enjoyment. By choosing to film a plain character in plain, ordinary angles, the main character Glen’s personality, and his individuality are perfectly, and paradoxically, expressed.(AHN Jae-hun, jury member of Bucheon Choice: Shorts)
_The creative design and a storytelling that doesn’t waste a moment combine in this beautiful and crisp short film. The film feigns praising primitiveness, yet in the process points out in a refined manner the dangers of the social conditions which have resulted from the social helplessness of modern man and the repression of aggressive masculinity. (Haery KIM, jury member of Bucheon Choice: Shorts)
_This film possesses incredible vision, a stunning display of creativity, and a propulsive, visceral energy that embodies the true spirit of fantastic cinema. We're incredibly excited to see what this filmmaker does next. (Landon ZAKHEIM, jury member of Bucheon Choice: Shorts)
• Jury’s Choice for Short Film: < The Bathtub > (Director: Tim ELLRICH)
_In one simple, ordinary layout lie diverse tropics ranging from “family,” to “progress“ to “development.” This space develops from one childhood photograph and the different photograph left by the ending, and through the process of these people becoming adults and then becoming kids again made me dig out my own photo album.(AHN Jae-hun, jury member of Bucheon Choice: Shorts)
_This film, which begins with a single photograph and the different photograph in the end which comesout of trying to reproduce that photograph, has all of the classic prerequisites for a great short film. The way in which space and the off-screen sound were used, and the way in which the film did not strive to explain too many things, were especially appealing. (Haery KIM, jury member of Bucheon Choice: Shorts)
_This short film utilizes a rare economy of storytelling and an uncanny ability to create an effective sense of character, place and authenticity from limited resources, all building to a single moment. (Landon ZAKHEIM, jury member of Bucheon Choice: Shorts)
• Audience Award for Short Film: < The Bathtub > (Director: Tim ELLRICH)
Korean Fantastic: Features
As BIFAN celebrates its 20th year, it is clear that the newly established “Korean Fantastic” section proves to be an important gateway to BIFAN’s continuing future development. Through all the invited films and prize winners in the Korean Fantastic section, BIFAN reaffirms its vision of encouraging and supporting Korean cinema with its new and youthful energy. With the most fidelity to genre and the most energy, today’s Korean films will continue to grow, beginning with audiences at BIFAN and moving on to the worldwide film industry, through their presentation in these important awards categories.
• LG HiEntech Best Korean Fantastic Film: < Karaoke Crazies > (Director: KIM Sang-chan)
There was unanimous agreement that director KIM Sang-chan’s film Karaoke Crazies is a great achievement which best fits a ‘fantastic film festival.’ Finding fantasy in the most realistic and mundane everyday life, director KIM Sang-chan’s directing ability, characters, and the perfect harmony achieved by the actors’ talents is nothing less than captivating.Leaving behind the typical, clichédapproaches, this is a splendid film which is moving and gives audiences a feeling of sympathy. This film is well worthy of being bestowed with the very first “Best Picture” award in the BIFAN Korean Fantastic section.
※ Special Mention: < Who Killed Kim Kwang-seok? > (Director: LEE Sangho)
The only documentary among the films invited to this year’s Korean Fantastic section, Who Killed Kim Kwang-seok could not receive an award in its competition with fictional features, but all of the members of the jury panel agree that this film brings up a new issue for the world of Korean documentary filmmaking. Neverlooking away at the fact buries within, passionate director LEE Sangho’s tracks down the incident over 20 years, posing questions to audiences in our own time, for which we send our applause.
• Korean Fantastic Best Actress:
Bae So-eun of < Karaoke Crazies > (Director: KIM Sang-chan)
In Karaoke Crazies, actress BAE So-eun sculpted an amazingly charming character through her perfect balance of moderation and sensibility. Natural on the one hand, her talented acting combined a diverse range of faces and emotions into one dynamic character, so much so that we are sorry not to have found this actress with so much talent earlier. We welcoming the birth of this astonishing actress who we anticipate will become a leading figure in the Korean film industry.
※ Special Mention:
Kim Hana of < The Phantom Detective > (Director: JO Sung-hee)
The youngest actress in theKorean Fantastic section is also the actress with the most impressive acting.Phantom Detective’s KIM Hana should be seen not as a ‘child actress’ but as a ‘female lead.’ Her understanding of the entirety of the film and her precise acting at exactly the right moment breathe life into the film. The jury panel has decided to bestow a special mention on KIM Hana for her deep and true acting, and eagerly awaits her growth into a ‘fantastic’ actress.
• Korean Fantastic Best Actor: Park Keun-hyung of < Grand Father > (Director: LEE Seo)
The diverse performances of the actors truly stole the hearts of the jury panelists. However, without the actor PARK Keun-hyung, the film Grand Father could simply not be made. It would not be an understatement to say that he is the beginning and the end of this film. In this young and new film, he never ceases to challenge himself, his passion will become a source of inspiration for young actors.We hope to see PARK Keun-hyungagain in new films to come.
• Korean Fantastic Audience Award: < The Phantom Detective > (Director: JO Sung-hee)
Korean Fantastic: Shorts
• Best Korean Short Film: < How to Pick a Lock > (Director: KIM Kwangbin)
_Even for those of us who have lived through that age, how much can we claim to know about children that age? Adults look at children through the situations they have each faced. They have long forgotten the experiences they had themselves had. When the padlock finally opens, we are all reminded of a time when we too were children. (AHN Jae-hun, jury member of Bucheon Choice: Shorts)
_The atmosphere of the neighborhood, the ability to naturally introduce a sense of space, and the directing ability which unhurriedly approaches a subject which would be difficult to guess from its opening premise, are all quite appealing. Transcending the worries of adults, the boy character growing up on his own gives a delightful sense of relief. (Haery KIM, jury member of Bucheon Choice: Shorts)
_This film showcases a filmmaker who displays a skillful understanding of the nuance of short-form narrative storytelling, demonstrates a command of film language, and blends both to create a film of emotional resonance for the audience. (Landon ZAKHEIM, jury member of Bucheon Choice: Shorts)
• Audience Award for Korean Short Film: < Cliché Resistance > (Director: LEE Won-geun)
Europe Fantastic Film Festivals Federation(EFFFF) Asian Award
< Psycho Raman > (Director: Anurag KASHYAP)
_A good genre film always has a bad boy and this one is really unhealthy. But a good genre film, also, ends badly and this one really bad ends for the police officer.(Guy DELMOTE, EFFFF jury)
_Thanks to the pulsating energy of the mise en scène, this excellent thriller propels the audience on a trip through hell, in the form of a killer incarnating ultimate evil, in the fascinating streets of Mumbai.(Daniel COHEN, EFFFF jury)
< The Forest > (Director: Paul SPURRIER)
_Our best nomination is THE FOREST movie. From the beginning to end it has been toggled and at the end I found out the boy was a ghost. This film is very unique of making the feature fiction film and during the fantastic film. After the decision has been made among the jury later found out that it was from the NAFF film. It shows how the innocents and poor confront the difficulty fight over the cruel. Until the end of the movie you can't figure out it is between fantasy or real world. You come in this world nude as well as you go by us nude. So you don't have to be so jealous to be unfair to this world. This film show yet fantasy and Buddhist philosophy of purity. Mr. Paul SPURRIER is searcher of meaningful life. I was so inspired to meet him as person and as well as his film. Wish you all the best for their next film. One day come and visit again in Mongolia. (TSENGEL Davaasambuu, jury president of NETPAC Award)
_Through a metaphorical expression which goes beyond reality and fantasy, this film portrays the world in which good and evil are confused and intertwined.Moreover, the film successfully conveys how hard reality can be due the pain and disorder of the contradictions inherent to human society. (PYEON Jang-wan, jury member of NETPAC Award)
_THE FOREST is beautifully shot drama with mixture of fantasy and horror, and where the worlds of fantasy and reality clash with tragic consequences. Exploring the lives of villagers in remote Thailand it tells how humans must face the challenges and cruelties of the real world.(Jouni HOKKANEN, jury member of NETPAC Award)
Save Energy, Save Earth Film Award
< Captain Fantastic > (Director: Matt ROSS)
BIFAN Children’s Jury Award
< Hang in There, Kids! > (Director: Laha MEBOW)