FESTIVALS: After My Death, Blockage win top awards at BIFF

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Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Gharaei’s Blockage (pictured) and After My Death, from Korean director Kim Uiseok, shared the New Currents Award at this year’s Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).

The jury, headed by US director Oliver Stone, said: “In After My Death, we saw a cross-section of Korean society wherein teenage schoolgirls are gripped with despair and a suicide mentality. In its details of everyday life, Blockage shocked us with its presentation of hardship in the working class of Tehran. Both films are tightly scripted and display vivid detail and excellent craftsmanship.”

The inaugural Kim Ji-seok Awards, introduced in honour of BIFF’s former deputy director who died earlier this year, were presented to Malila: The Farewell Flower from Thai filmmaker Anucha Boonyawatana and The Scythian Lamb from Japan’s Daihachi Yoshida.

Malila: The Farewell Flower revolves around a man who rekindles an earlier romance with another man, but his lover is terminally ill and decides to become a monk. The Scythian Lamb follows six ex-cons who are released to live in a sleepy coastal town as part of a secret government programme.

Among other awards, the BIFF Mecenat Award went to Soseongri from Korea’s Park Baeil and Sennan Asbestos Disaster from Japan’s Hara Kazuo, while the Sonje Award was presented to Korean filmmaker Kwak Eunmi’s A Hand-written Poster and Indonesian director Sinung Winahyoko’s Madonna (see full list of winners below).

BIFF also announced, that despite the festival’s recent political problems, attendance were up 17% from last year to a record 192,991 admissions. Meanwhile, the Asian Film Market welcomed 1,583 participants and 658 companies from 45 countries.



New Currents Award:

After My Death – KIM Uiseok (Korea)

Blockage – Mohsen GHARAEI (Iran)


Kim Jiseok Award:

Malila: The Farewell Flower – Anucha BOONYAWATANA (Thailand)

The Scythian Lamb – YOSHIDA Daihachi (Japan)


BIFF Mecenat Award:

Soseongri – PARK Baeil (Korea)

Sennan Asbestos Disaster – HARA Kazuo (Japan)


Sonje Award:

A Hand-written Poster – KWAK Eunmi (Korea)

Madonna – Sinung WINAHYOKO (Indonesia)


Actor & Actress of the Year Awards:

Actor of the Year: PARK Jonghwan – Hit The Night (Korea)

Actress of the Year: JEON Yeobeen – After My Death (Korea)


KNN Award:

End Of Summer – ZHOU Quan (China)


Busan Bank Award:

Pulse – Stevie CRUZ-MARTIN (Australia)


Citizen Critics’ Award:

Possible Faces – LEE Kanghyun (Korea)


Vision – Director’s Award:

February – KIM Joonghyun (Korea)

Hit The Night – JEONG Gayoung (Korea)


CGV Art House Award:

Microhabitat – JEON Gowoon (Korea)


Busan Cinephile Award:

A Free Man – Andreas HARTMANN (Germany)



February – KIM Joonghyun (Korea)



Last Child – SHIN Dongseok (Korea)


Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award: SUZUKI Seijun (Director / Japan)


Korean Cinema Award: Winner: Christoph TERHECHTE

(Head of Berlin International Film Festival Forum / Germany)