FESTIVALS: ‘You Won’t Be Alone’ wins best film at BiFan

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Goran Stolevski’s horror drama You Won’t Be Alone won best film at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BiFan), Korea’s biggest genre festival, which is running July 7-17. 

An Australia-UK-Serbia co-production, the film premiered at this year’s Sundance film festival and also played at Palm Springs and Sydney film festivals. Set in 19th Century Macedonia, it stars Noomi Rapace as a young woman who becomes a witch. 

In a statement, the BiFan jury described the film as: “a phenomenal attempt to interpret the fundamentals of humanity through the means of genre cinema by using alienated and isolated human creatures borrowed from folk tales, added up with mystery. This masterpiece stands out through excellent directing and a clever approach evoking empathy from the abyss of human psychology.”

Meanwhile, Korean anthology film Body Parts won best film in the Korean Fantastic Features section. Park Syeyoong’s The Fifth Thoracic Vertebrae scooped three awards in this section – best director, the Korean Fantastic Audience Award and the Nonghyup Distribution Award, which it shared with Yeom Ji-ho’s Next Door

Other multiple award winners included The Woman In The White Car and Thunderbird, which shared the Korean Fantastic Actors and Watcha’s Pick for Features awards (see full list of award winners below).

BiFan opened on July 7 with a screening of Alex Garland’s Men and will close on Sunday with the world premiere of Jung Bum-shik’s noir crime drama New Normal


Bucheon Choice Features

Best of Bucheon (cash prize KRW20m): You Won’t Be Alone, dir: Goran Stolevski

Best Director Choice (KRW5m): Christian Tafdrup, Speak No Evil

Special Mention: Michelle Garza Cervera, Huesera

Jury’s Choice (KRW5m): Vesper, dirs: Kristina Buozyte & Bruno Samper

Audience Award: Sissy, dirs: Hannah Barlow & Kane Senes.

Méliès International Festivals Federation Award for Best Asian Film: Midnight Maiden War, dir: Ninomiya Ken

NETPAC Award: Office Royale, dir: Seki Kazuaki

Korean Fantastic Features

Korean Fantastic Film (KRW20m): Body Parts, dirs: Choe Wonkyung, Jeon Byeong Deok, Lee Gwang Jin, G’sam Kim Jang Mi, Seo Wally

Korean Fantastic Best Director (KRW5m): Park Syeyoung, The Fifth Thoracic Vertebrae

Korean Fantastic Actors:
Jung Ryeo-won, The Woman In The White Car
Seo Hyeon-woo, Thunderbird
Special Mention: Oh Dong-min, Next Door

Nonghyup Distribution Award (KRW10m each):
The Fifth Thoracic Vertebrae, dir: Park Syeyoung
Next Door, dir: Yeom Ji-ho

Korean Fantastic Audience Award: The Fifth Thoracic Vertebrae, dir: Park Syeyoung

Watcha’s Pick for Features (KRW5m each):
The Woman In The White Car, dir: Christine Ko
Thunderbird, dir: Lee Jaewon

Odd Family Award: Pororo Movie: Dragon Castle Adventure, from Kang Seunghun and Yun Jea Wan