Members of the 7th Asian Film Academy pose together during the opening ceremony for the program in Busan, Thursday. / Courtesy of BIFF
By Lee Hyo-won
A film academy inviting young aspiring filmmakers from across Asia began last week ahead of the opening Thursday of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).
The Asian Film Academy (AFA) opened for the seventh time Thursday as part of the country’s largest cinema event. This year’s installment has invited 24 men and women from 17 countries to take part in workshops, master classes, mentoring sessions and other educational initiatives.
Renowned Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi, who has some 80 feature films and documentaries to his credit, is overseeing the group alongside Oh Seok-geun, director of the Busan Film Commission. Indian director Murali Nair, known for his 1999 Cannes-winning film “Throne of Death,” is mentoring students on directing, while Danish cinematographer Johnnie E. Jenson is sharing his know-how of the camera.
During the course of the event, Korea’s esteemed director Lee Chang-dong and others will give master classes.
The 17-day program culminates in producing two short films with support from the team of professional producer-educators. The projects will be screened on Oct. 13 in an official section of the festival at the Busan Cinema Center.
Lee Yong-kwan, commissioner general of BIFF, welcomed the class members and said the AFA’s initiatives continue after the program comes to an end. “I will try my best to provide AFA graduates more access to film production opportunities and networking channels,” Lee said.
Veteran director Im Kwon-taek, who led the 2006 AFA group, took part in the opening ceremony, offering words of encouragement. Also present were Kim Dong-ho, honorary director of BIFF, and Chang Jekuk, president of Dongseo University.
Co-hosted by Dongseo University, the Busan Film Commission and BIFF, the academy also provides many funding programs to encourage young Asian filmmakers to pursue projects and network.
BIFF raises its curtain on Thursday and runs until Oct. 14. Visit www.biff.kr for more information.