25th BIFAN B.I.G Closing Ceremony and Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) Award Winners

DATE2021.07.19Hit 1976

25th BIFAN B.I.G Closing Ceremony and
Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) Award Winners


Screenshot of awards ceremony at Bucheon Fantastic Castle
The 25th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN, Festival Director SHIN Chul) held the B.I.G (BIFAN Industry Gathering) awards ceremony at 10 a.m. on July 15. This year’s ceremony was held at the Bucheon Fantastic Castle (BFC) via the online platform, (virtual meeting platform). There were more than 100 guests in attendance, including: BIFAN festival director SHIN Chul, CHOI Minyeong (C-47 Studio CEO), LEE Jihyeon (DHL Korea marketing team leader), SHIOMAKI Yuko (Pictures Dept, Co., Ltd. CEO), NOBUSAWA Yusue (VIPO head producer), and TAKEYAMA Aya (VIPO producer). 
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, B.I.G was held online this year. Fantastic Film School and the NAFF project market were run on BFC via and b.square. Despite the fact that the film production environment has become tough for filmmakers, a total of 1,072 meetings were requested, and 655 meetings took place, setting a record for the largest number of meetings in program history. The passion of filmmakers and film professionals from around the world was on display.
This year marks the 14th year for the NAFF project market. A total of 40 projects from 28 countries were presented, including 19 selections for the It Project, and 11 selections for Project Spotlight: Korea. The three-person jury consisting of film experts decided on the award winners, following a strict evaluation process.
The NAFF 2021 awards are divided into cash awards and post-production support awards. KRW 100 million in cash and KRW 245 million in post-production support are awarded to the winners.  Among the 16 winners in the 10 award categories, 9 winners from 8 categories were announced on this day (the Fantastic 7 Award winner and the 6 Work in Progress selections were announced previously). Seven winners are selected for the 6 cash award categories - Bucheon Award (grand prize), NAFF Award (excellence award), Discovery of Asia Award (award for Asian newcomer), Discovery of Korea Award (award for Korean newcomer), NAFF Korean Award, DHL Award – and 2 winners are chosen for the 2 post-production support awards. 
▲ (clockwise from left) director Jenny SUEN (Peaches / Bucheon Award),
director We Jun CHO (Hungry Ghost Diner / NAFF Award), producer Thanh TRAN (The Land of Healing / Discovery of Asia Award),
director JUNG Jaehoon (E.S.P. / Discovery of Korea Award), director SHIM Yohan (Lana4 / NAFF Korean Award),
director KANEKO Masakazu (The Water Sprite / Mocha Chai Award)
The Bucheon Award, which awards KRW 20 million to the winner, went to Peaches (Director: Jenny SUEN / Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, France, Germany, Czech Republic). The delightful and timely Peaches is a bold interpretation of Věra CHYTILOVÁ’s powerful satire, Daisies, from the perspective of the situation in modern-day Hong Kong.
The NAFF Award, Discovery of Asia Award, and Discovery of Korea Award went to Hungry Ghost Diner (Malaysia), The Land of Healing (Vietnam), and E.S.P. (Korea), respectively. Hungry Ghost Diner (Director: We Jun CHO) is a film about family and acceptance, and it allows the viewer to get a taste of Chinese folk culture through the Hungry Ghost Festival, which is referred to as the Halloween of the East. The Land of Healing (Director: Hoang LE) depicts the process of fear turning into terror in a place where terminal illnesses are treated, as it tells a story about the “prison of love.” E.S.P. (Director: JUNG Jaehoon) focuses on Generation Z and illustrates their reality, mindset, and angst.
The NAFF Korean Award, which awards KRW 10 million to two winners, went to Peacock (Director: BYUN Sungbin) and Lana4 (Director: SHIM Yohan). Peacock combines Vouge from the West and Korea’s nongak (traditional Korean music performed by farmers) to emphasize the conflict and harmony between generations regarding transgender men and women. Lana4 tells the story of a single mother who dreams of climbing the social ladder, through its subject matter of guns, which symbolizes power in spite of gender and age. 
The DHL Award, which is sponsored by DHL Korea and awards KRW 5 million to the winner, went to The Portal (Director: Chadi ABO / Syria, France). The sci-fi fantasy depicts the horror of the war in Syria without using direct visual aids. 
The two post-production support awards consist of the C-47 Award and the Mocha Chai Award.  The C-47 Award, which awards DI support, was given to The White King (Laos, Spain). The Mocha Award, which awards DI and sound-mixing support, went to The Water Sprite (Japan). The White King (Director: Mattie DO) is a horror film that tells a story about disgusting and truly horrendous predators that undermine society, from a personal perspective. The Water Sprite (Director: KANEKO Masakazu) evokes the universal values of life through the “Water Sprite,” which symbolizes nonhuman beings that transcend nature.
On hand to serve as members of the jury this year were KIM Young (Miru Pictures CEO), SHIOIMAKI Yuko (Pictures Dept, Co., Ltd. CEO) and Peter KUPLOWSKY (producer and Toronto Intl. Film Festival programmer). “As I was evaluating the projects, I was deeply moved by the passion and great vision of the participants,” said Peter KUPLOWSKY. He added, “We tried to select projects that reflected the spirit of the times, had vision, and offered timely social criticism. I applaud the BIFAN team for introducing us to such talented directors and producers.”  
The winners of the 14th NAFF Awards are listed below.

Award Category Award Details Project Title Director/Producer Country
Cash Awards Bucheon Award
(KRW 20 million)
Jenny SUEN
Coco FRANCINI, Juliette SCHRAMECK,   Justine O, Roger HUANG
Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, France, Germany,   Czech Republic
NAFF Award
(KRW 15 million)
Hungry Ghost Diner We Jun CHO
Benji LIM, Yve Vonn LEE
Discovery of Asia Award
(KRW 15 million)
The Land of Healing Hoang LE
Thanh TRAN


Discovery of Korea Award
(KRW 15 million)
E.S.P. JUNG Jaehoon
KO Yoohee
NAFF Korean Award
(KRW 10 million)
Peacock BYUN Sungbin
NAFF Korean Award
(KRW 10 million)
Lana4 SHIM Yohan Korea
Fantastic 7 Award
(KRW 10 million)
Lay the Ghost YU Eunjung
PARK Doohee
DHL Award
(KRW 5 million)
The Portal Chadi ABO Syria, France
Post-production Support C-47 Award
Post-production Support
- DI
The White King
Mattie Do,
Annick MAHNERT, Douangmany SOLIPHANH
Laos, Spain
Mocha Chai Award
Post-production Support
The Water Sprite KANEKO Masakazu

SBA Award

Post-production Support
*Support varies depending on the project

- Sound   Mixing
Route1 KANG Kyungtae
LEE Jiyoung
Run Run Run! KIM Wonjin Korea
Mind Universe KIM Jinmoo
KIM Kyungsun
Exist Within KIM Jungwook
JUNG Minah
Earth Vagabond YOO CHOI Neulsaem Korea
Be Young SHIN Jaemyoung
KIM Joohan