27th BIFAN Industry Program B.I.G wrapped

DATE2023.07.04Hit 682

27th BIFAN Industry Program B.I.G wrapped
Bucheon Award for The Passport, Korean Discovery Award for he Grotesque Train
A total of 190 mill KRW (approx. 145,000US$) in prize money handed out in 11 categories
60% more business meetings than last year

▲ Cho Yong-eek, Chairman of Organizing Committee (first raw on the right) and Shin Chul, Executive Director (first row on the left) taking a commemorative photo with all NAFF award winners.
On Monday, July 3rd, BIFAN’s industry program B.IG (Bucheon Industry Gathering) wrapped and the winners of the NAFF (Network of Asian Fantastic Films) Project Market were announced during the closing ceremony at the Koryo Hotel Bucheon.

29 projects from 18 countries were selected for this year’s NAFF edition. 122 companies participating in B.I.G conducted a total of 605 business meetings, 585 meetings offline at the Koryo Hotel, and 20 meetings online on the platform b.square. That’s 228 more meetings compared to the previous year, an increase of over 60% showing the strong interest of the industry in the NAFF projects.

A total of 190 million KRW (approx. 145,000US$) in prize money were handed out, divided into eight cash, one post production cost support and two in-kind support awards. The cash awards are Bucheon Award with 15 million KRW (approx. 11.500US$), the Asian Discovery Award, with 10 mill KRW, the Korean Discovery Award with 10 mill KRW (approx. 7,600US$), the NAFF Korean Award with 10 mill US$, new since this the year the TAICCA Award with 10,000US$, the DHL Award with 5 mill KRW (approx. 3,800US$), and the VIPO Award with 500,000JPY (approx. 3,400US$).
▲ (from left to right) Director Ananth Subramaniam and producer Bel Choo Mun of The Passport, the winner of the Bucheon Award, director Tak Sewoong, producer Kwon Jiyong and writer Jo Bareun from The Grotesque Train, winner of the Korean Discovery Award
The Bucheon Award with 15 mill KRW went to The Passport (director Anand Subramaniam), a black comedy satirizing reality through the story of a young female Indian rock musician being detained at Heathrow Airport in the 1970s. Director Anand Subramaniam expressed his thoughts, saying: "When I attended BIFAN last year with my short film The House of Brick and Stone, I had a great time, so I'm even happier to receive an award this year." Bel Choo Mun, the producer, stated: "We are grateful to everyone who provided feedback on the project, and we promise to return to BIFAN with another fantastic project."
The Korean Discovery Award (award for Korean newcomer) with 15 mill KRW went to The Grotesque Train (director Tak Sewoong) that revolves around Dakyung, a horror channel YouTuber who tells true-life horror stories on the internet. Director Tak Sewoong commented: "I'm very nervous to receive an award at my favorite film festival" and expressed his determination to complete the project as a well made film.
▲ (from left to right) Director Nakagawa Natsuki, producer Ogawa Shinji and translator Watanabe Kazutaka from A Woman in Flames and director Gabriela Serrano and producer Gale Osorio from Please Bear with Me, both winners of the Asian Discovery Award
The Asian Discovery Award (award for Asian newcomer) was given to two projects this year: A Woman in Flames (director Nakagawa Natsuki) and Please Bear with Me (director Gabriela Serrano). A Woman in Flames is a crime genre film that portrays a woman who gets caught up unexpectedly in an incident with a gay police officer. Please Bear with Me is a unique science fiction film set in a dystopian future, exploring the theme of "dream time."
The NAFF Award was scored by two projects Parasomnia (director Rafki Hidayat) and PLANET (director Frederic S. Hana). The NAFF Korean Award went to Idiot Girls and School Ghost: School Anniversary (director Kim Minha) and Show Me the Liver (director Kim Jeongho).
The VIPO Award honored the project Maiden Home (director Sinn Kirin). As part of the collaboration with the Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO) of Japan, the award includes a cash prize of 500,000 JPY. The newly established TAICCA Award with 10,000 U$D, sponsored by the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) as part of the partnership agreement with BIFAN concluded in March this year, was handed over to Sesame Has Its Soul (director Oscar Duong). The DHL Award, sponsored by DHL Korea was awarded to Lake of Stars (director Jake Wachtel).

Mocha Chai Award, supporting post production again went to Please Bear with Me. The Blood Window Award that includes an invitation to Ventana Sur Blood Window (air ticket, accommodation, badge) went to PLANET. The Sitges FanPitch Award that comes with an air ticket, accommodation and a badge to participate in the Sitges Film Festival’s FanPitch went once more to Please Bear with Me who scored a total of three the awards at this NAFF Project Market.

Previously announced was the Cannes Fantastic 7 Award winner The Fin (director Syeyoung Park), who was already invited to the Cannes Film Festival Film Market in May this year for pitching and business meetings. The project also received the SBA Award for post-production (sound mixing, DCP).

This year's jury members included Alexandre O. Phillipe, director at Exhibit A Pictures, Bianca
Balbuena, managing director at Kroma Entertainment's Anima Studios; and Samuel Yeunju Ha, CEO of Bound Entertainment. Through meetings with the directors and producers of all participating projects and in-depth evaluation the three-member jury selected a total of 9 winners in 7 categories.

Speaking on behalf of the jury Samuel Yeunju Ha congratulated and encouraged all the winners and participants saying: “It was not easy to judge all the projects because they all showed great potential. We got a lot of inspiration and stimulation from the passionate efforts of the directors. And we believe that also all other projects will be successful.”

While BIFAN’s industry program B.I.G has wrapped the 27th edition of the audience festival will continue till Sunday, July 9, at Bucheon City Hall, CGV Sopung, the Korea Manhwa Museum and the Megabox Bucheon Starfield City. Films can be also watched through the online platform wavve. Beyond Reality, BIFAN’s XR runs at the Bucheon Art Bunker B39 and the special exhibition Master CHOI MIN SIK can be enjoyed at the Hyundai Department Store Jungdong.
The festival’s closing ceremony will take place on Friday, July 7, with the world premiere of Sana by Japanese horror master Shimizu Takashi as the closing film.

<NAFF Project Market 2023 Winners>