FESTIVALS: Rom, Haifa Street win Busan’s New Currents Award

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Vietnamese drama Rom, directed by Tran Thanh Huy, and Iraqi filmmaker Mohanad Hayal’s Haifa Street were both presented with New Currents Awards at this year’s Busan International Film Festival. 

Set in Baghdad in 2006, Haifa Street follows a man who returns to the Al Qaeda-occupied district he left behind 20 years ago with the US military. Rom (pictured) follows a teenage boy struggling to survive on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). 

The New Currents Award is presented to two first or second-time features from up-and-coming Asian filmmakers. Each director receives a cash reward of $30,000. Indian director Kislay’s Just Like That, about a rebellious widow, received a Special Mention from the New Currents jury, headed by UK filmmaker Mike Figgis. 

The Kim Jiseok Award went to Indian filmmaker Pradip Kurbah’s Market, revolving around a poor community in Northeast India, and Circus Of Life, from Pakistan’s Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, about a religious man with a secret passion for old Punjabi movies. 

Established in memory of late BIFF co-founder and Asian programmer, Kim Jiseok, the award is for third features having a world or international premiere in the festival’s ‘A Window on Asian Cinema’ section. Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf headed this year’s jury.

This year’s BIFF ran October 3-12. See full list of BIFF winners below: 


New Currents Award:

Rom, dir: TRAN THANH Huy (Vietnam)

Haifa Street, dir: Mohanad HAYAL (Iraq)

Special Mention: Just Like That, dir: Kislay (India)

Kim Jiseok Award:    

Circus Of Life, dir: Sarmad Sultan KHOOSAT (Pakistan)

Market, dir: Pradip KURBAH (India)

BIFF Mecenat Award:

Underground, dir: KIM Jeong-keun (Korea)

Noodle Kid, HUO Ning (China)

Sonje Award:

Hello, dir: JIN Seong-moon (Korea)

Dragon′s Tail, dir: Saeed KESHAVARZ (Iran)

Actor & Actress of the Year:

The Education, KIM Junhyung (Korea)

The Education, MUN Hye-in (Korea)

KNN Award:

An Old Lady, dir: LIM Sun-ae (Korea)

Busan Bank Award:

Fabulous, Melanie CHARBONNEAU (Canada)


Running To The Sky, dir: Mirlan ABDYKALYKOV (Kyrgyzstan)


Moving On, dir: YOON Danbi (Korea)

KTH Award:

Lucky Monster, dir: BONG Joon-young (Korea)

Moving On, dir: YOON Danbi (Korea)

KBS Independent Film Award:

Lucky Chan-sil, dir: KIM Cho-hee (Korea)

CGV Arthouse Award:

Lucky Chan-sil, dir: KIM Cho-hee (Korea)

Directors Guild of Korea Award:

Moving On, dir: YOON Danbi (Korea)

Lucky Chan-sil, dir: KIM Cho-hee (Korea)

CGK & Samyang XEEN Award:

Kyungmi’s World, cinematographer KIM Gilja (Korea)

Citizen Critics’ Award:

Moving On, dir: YOON Danbi (Korea)

Busan Cinephile Award:

Que Sea Ley (Let It Be Law), dir: Juan SOLANAS (Argentina/Uruguay)