A Wild Roomer

FESTIVALS: ‘A Wild Roomer’, ‘Shivamma’ Take New Currents Awards In Busan

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Korean filmmaker Lee Jeong-hong’s A Wild Roomer and Shivamma, from India’s Jaishankar Aryar, were the winners of the New Currents Awards at this year’s Busan International Film Festival (BIFF, October 5-14).

A Wild Roomer, about a 30-something drifter, picked up multiple honours at the festival, also taking the NETPAC Award, Critic b Award and KBS Independent Film Award. Set in an Indian village, Shivamma is about an illiterate woman who falls for a pyramid selling scheme. 

The Kim Jiseok Awards went to Scent Of Wind, from Iranian filmmaker Hadi Mohaghegh, which also played as BIFF’s opening film, and Alteration from Uzbekistan’s Yalkin Tuychiev.

Other winners included Aamir Bashir’s The Winter Within, which took the KB New Currents Audience Award, and Vinay Shukla’s documentary While We Watched, which was presented with the Busan Cinephile Award.

Held for the first time since 2019 with the full participation of international guests, the festival and accompanying industry platform, Asian Contents & Film Market (ACFM), drew a total of 7,542 guests from Korea and overseas. While screenings felt less busy than pre-pandemic days, the festival still managed to record attendance of 161,145 with seat occupancy at 74%.

ACFM, as the first in-person market in Asia since 2019, felt like a return to pre-pandemic levels of foot traffic with meetings taking place around the sales booths, Asian Project Market, Busan Story Market, where rights in webtoons and online novels were being traded, and Platform Busan, a filmmakers’ networking event. The market signed up 72 sales booths and 2,465 badge holders from 49 countries. 

A total of 13 projects won awards in the Asian Project Market (APM), including Future Laobans, from Myanmar’s Maung Sun, which picked up the Busan Award, and Indonesian filmmaker Yosep Anggi Noen’s Gaspar, which took the CJ ENM Award. The TAICCA Award went to Roya Sadat’s Sima’s Song and the VIPO Award to In The Land Of Brothers from Raha Amirfazli. 


New Currents Award:
Winner 1: A Wild Roomer, dir: LEE Jeong-hong (Korea)
Winner 2: Shivamma, dir: Jaishankar ARYAR (India)
KIM Jiseok Award:
Winner 1: Scent Of Wind, dir: Hadi MOHAGHEGH (Iran)
Winner 2: Alteration, dir: Yalkin TUYCHIEV (Uzbekistan)
BIFF Mecenat Award:
Winner 1: A Table For Two, dir: KIM Boram (Korea)
Winner 2: The Football Aficionado, dirs: Sharmin MOJTAHEDZADEH, Paliz KHOSHDEL (Iran)
Special Mention: Dear Mother, I Meant To Write About Death, dir: CHEN Siyi (US, China)
Sonje Award:
Winner 1: Southern Afternoon, dir: LAN Tian (China)
Winner 2: I’m Here, dir: JEONG Eunuk (Korea)
Special Mention: Other Life, dir: ROH Dohyeon (Korea)
Actors of the Year:
Actors of the Year Male: KIM Youngsung, Big Sleep (Korea)
Actors of the Year Female: KIM Geumsoon, Star Of Ulsan (Korea)
KB New Currents Audience Award: The Winter Within, Aamir BASHIR (India, France, Qatar)
Flash Forward Audience Award: Riceboy Sleeps, Anthony SHIM (Canada)
FIPRESCI Award: Thousand And One Nights, KUBOTA Nao (Japan)
NETPAC Award: A Wild Roomer, LEE Jeong hong (Korea)
Winner 1: Big Sleep, KIM Taehoon (Korea)
Winner 2: Star Of Ulsan, JUNG Kihyuk (Korea)
CGV Award: Greenhouse, LEE Sol hui (Korea)
KBS Independent Film Award: A Wild Roomer, LEE Jeong hong (Korea)
CGK Award: Hail To Hell, JUNG Grim, Cinematographer (Korea)
Critic b Award: A Wild Roomer, LEE Jeong hong (Korea)
Watcha Award:
Winner 1: Peafowl, BYUN Sung bin (Korea)
Winner 2: Greenhouse, LEE Sol hui (Korea)
Watcha Short Award: Other Life, ROH Dohyeon (Korea)
Aurora Media Award:
Winner 1: Greenhouse, LEE Sol hui (Korea)
Winner 2: Big Sleep, KIM Taehoon (Korea)
Citizen Critics’ Award: Birth, YOO Ji young (Korea)
Busan Cinephile Award: While We Watched, Vinay SHUKLA (UK)
The Choon yun Award: BAEK Jaeho, Producer (Korea)