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Celebrate Philippine Cinema at the2009 Pusan International Film FestivalMabuhayPinoyIndieCinemaKriminal ngBaryo ConcepcionOliverOfficialSelectionThe Philippines makes great films& makes your great films happen“ThePhilippinesisthenewlyemergedMeccaforindependentfilms.” AWindowonAsianCinema,13thPIFFGuidebook,2008VisitusatRm602attheAsianFilmMarketandatourBIFFCOMLocationTradeshowboothwww.filmdevcouncilph.orglfdcphil@yahoo.com


Q&AChinese director LuChuan has felt thefull range ofreaction to his film“City of Life andDeath. PAGE 4dailythePusanMonday,dayOctober 12, 2009THR.com/pusan51No more disastersYUN PHOTO: SON, HONG JOO/CINE21“Tears”‘Tears’By Maggie Leeis a quietly shattering character study of a bad copwith a good conscience, whose punishment becomes“Tears”redemption for his past crimes. It calmly traces hownegative actions, like small tremors imperceptibly building up toa quake, can have devastating consequences on self and others.The screenplay is the most consistent of veteran Taiwanesedirector Cheng Wen-tang’s works, equipped with a bleak socialbackground in which to understand the protagonist’s behavior.Evincing a pensive mood and drawn out with the minute quotidiandetails that hark back to the Taiwan New Wave, “Tears” isa strictly non-commercial affair destined for small arthouserelease and festivals.continued on page 12By Patrick FraterSingapore’s Media DevelopmentAuthority, Hyde ParkEntertainment and ImagenationAbu Dhabi haveextended their existing partnershipinto a five-year productionREVIEWBy Park Soo-meeYoon Je-Kyun, thewriter and directorfor a megahitdisaster flick“Haeundae,” willshoot an English-speakingfamily adventure using anAmerican cast and KoreanCG, the director told the YunHollywood Reporter onSunday.The story will based on thejourney of American kids whoencounter spirits from the statuesof Buddha coming to lifeand other ancient Korean ghostsduring their stay at a local temple.The director, who is currentlyworking on the script,compared the style of his newBy Patrick FraterThai aces, Prachya Pinkaewand Panna Rittikrai — thebehind-the-camera duoresponsible for “Ong Bak” — willmake their English-languagedebut with “City of Angels,” aMDA, Hyde Park, Imagenation stay putagreement.The trio aim to fund three tofour films per year with a combinedproduction value of $75million over the five year period.The new operation will be basedin Singapore.“This deal serves severalfilm to “Night at the Museum”and “Jumanji.”“We’re looking at theU.S. market as the maintarget,” Yoon said. “Itwill be an opportunity toexpand the market forKorean films.”The film will be producedby JK Film, thesame company that produced“Haeundae” runby Yoon, and the budget isexpected be around $10 million.As a new experiment, the film’sspecial effects will be fully handledin Korea. The postproductionfor “Haeundae” was doneby California-based PolygonEntertainment, Mofac Studioand CJ Power Cast in Korea.continued on page11XYZ has ‘Angels’ on slatestrategic objectives for Imagenation.One is that it increasesour ability to finance movies,”said Edward Borgerding, thechief executive of both ImagenationAbu Dhabi and AbuDhabi Media Co. “It gives us acontinued on page 11action thriller that is one of thehighlights of Asian-friendly U.S.mini-studio XYZ Films.Pinkaew will direct and Rittikraihandle the action choreographyon the pic that is writtenand will co-star Hong Kongbased Robin Shou and Dwayne‘The Rock’ Johnson. Productionis by Shawn Wallace.XYZ is also handling worldrights on Filipino film “PatientX,” the recently completed hor-continued on page 12WHAT’S INSIDE>Reviews PAGE 6, 9-10>Philippines Feature PAGE 7-8


The Hollywood Reporter | Monday, October 12, 2009| newsProds encourage content as kingBy Park Soo-meeIn spite of tight financialtimes, producers warned thatbudget is not the only measurefor a film.Korean producers tend tostress “low budget” as the film’sstrength, as the pressures forfunding due to the slow industryand the monopoly of localinvestors and distributors hasgotten severe, said Sin Chul, theveteran producer and the head ofNiners Ent.has ‘Seoul’By Patrick Fraterthe jury for Korean Producers inFocus.“The primary concern for projectdevelopment should be content,not the budget,” he said.“But I think many Korean producersare too worried aboutfunding. It’s an indication that theindustry is closed for diverse content.Basically, young producershave nowhere to turn to if they’vebeen turned down by one or twocompanies, and the Korean producershave so much talent.”“The primary concern for project development should be content, notthe budget,” he said. “But I think many Korean producers are tooworried about funding. It’s an indication that the industry is closedfor diverse content.”— Sin Chul,producer and head of the jury for Korean Producers in FocusLast year, Shin said mostprojects pitched to the jury didn’texceed 1 billion won ($8.6million). This year, the situationhas gotten slightly better,though, he added.Korean Producers in Focus, orKPIF, is an open-pitching programthat was jointly started twoyears ago by the Producers Guildof Korea and Asian Film Market ascontinued on page 11PHOTO: CHUNG SUNG-JUN/GETTY IMAGESNiners Entertainment, anew Korean sales and productionfinance company,is braving the tricky economicclimate and using the Pusanmarket as its coming out party.With international sales runby Choi Eun-young, formerhead of sales at Studio 2.0, thecompany’s six picture slate istopped by “Café Seoul,” a dramaset in the world of traditionalKorean bakeries. Directed byMasaharu Take, the film is aJapanese production with a predominantlyKorean cast.The rest of Niners’ currentslate is sourced from the ashesof Studio 2.0 and rights fromthe companies that it previouslyrepresented. These include“Once Upon A Time In Seoul”and “Girl Scouts” from MK Pictures,“Viva Love” from ID Picturesand “Heartbreak Library”from Sung Won Ni Com.It is also handling 2008 PusanNew Currents winner “Land ofScarecrows,” directed by RohGyeong-tae whose “BlackStones” is attending the PPP .“Our films are very much targetedat the Asian market, so weare looking at attending TIFF-COM next week, but will probablygive the AFM a miss,” Choisaid. ∂Young directors get their time in the spotlight at the Shinsegae Centumcity on Sunday in the Flash Foward event. The entourageincludes, from left, directors Ferran Audi, Zaida Bergroth, Julian Giulianelli, Hakon Liu, Titus Muntean, Daniel Nearing, SusannaNicchiarelli, Renen Schorr, Pierre Vinour and festival director Kim Dong-Ho presided at the Flash Forward-Directors Presentation. Anew Flash Forward Award will be given to the best feature film selected from the Flash Forward sidebar.Flash Forward unveils new awardBy Karen ChuYoung non-Asian directorshave a new friend at thePusan International FilmFestival.A new Flash Forward awardand a cash price of US$20,000will be given to one of the 11 featuresby emerging directorsfrom Europe, South America,North America and the MiddleEast at the PIFF Closing Ceremonyon Oct. 16.Aimed to showcase the first orsecond features of non-Asiandirectors since 2007 as the “NewCurrents” has had for Asiandirectors, the “Flash Forward”section this year includes selectionsfrom Argentina, Italy, Norway,Romania, Israel, Poland,Luxembourg and Canada.“It’s important for festivals tohave sections and awards forfirst and second movies, as itlets new filmmakers compete onthe same level,” said Italiandirector Susanna Nicchiarelli,continued on page 11Los Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 52


q&aMonday,THR.com/pusanOctober 12, 2009Considered one of the most talented directors of China’spost-sixth generation, Lu Chuan is renown for hisstark, masculine film language and elemental vision ofnature and humanity, demonstrated in “Missing Gun” andpoaching drama “Kekexili.” Now, his “Nanjing Nanjing” (aka“City of Life and Death”) uses extraordinary black and whiteimages to tell a nuanced and humane tale, while still depictingthe brutal atrocities committed during the 1938 Japanesesiege of China’s former capital, Nanjing, events often referredto as the “Nanking Massacre.” Reactions to the film haveLU CHUANbeen little short of extreme. In China it unleashed a wave ofpatriotic fury and public outcry – though it proved a boxofficesuccess. Lu received death threats and has been disownedby sectors of the film industry. That did not make itsinternational career any easier. The film recently receivedthree awards at the San Sebastian International Film Festival,including Golden Shell for best picture, best cinematographyfor Cao Yu, and the SIGNIS Award. THR’s Asia EditorPatrick Frater talks to Lu about his bruising year, the limits oftolerance in China and the Chinese film industry.vital statsNationality: ChineseDate of birth: Feb. 8, 1971Film in Pusan: The City of Lifeand DeathSelected filmography:“Nanjing! Nanjing!” (2009),“Kekexili” (2004), “The MissingGun” (2002)Notable awards: Berlinale DonQuixote Award special mentionand Tokyo International FilmFestival special jury prize for“Kekexili”In a previous interview with thispaper before it was released, yousaid you made this film in order toopen a window for more discourseon either side. In China the discussionhas bordered on the hysterical.You received death threatsand calls for your dismemberment.Were you surprised by thereactions?Lu Chuan: I was surprised. Reallysurprised. Before the Chineserelease (in lateApril) Iexpected itto be wellaccepted.In fact,peopleweredividedinto twocamps.There werethose whosupportedit and thosewho hatedthe movie andhated me.There werecalls forthefilmto bedeletedfrom the history ofChinese cinema. Thisis still going on. We werenot allowed to be nominatedat (the) Huabiaoawards (organized bythe State Administrationfor Radio, Film and Television.)Initially, we were nominatedin many categories, then,a week before the event, wewere told that our nominationshad been canceled. I'm nolonger surprised and am completelyat peace with the results(of the awards). In fact I'mgrateful that we were allowed torelease the film at all.Were you in real physical dangerfrom these threats?Lu: I avoided some bigpublic places, certainbars. In the last fewmonths I’ve spentmore time at home,with my family andwith my team.How do you interpretthe extreme reactions?Are movie audiencesin China unableto accept films thathave anything good to sayabout Japanese people?Are Chinesepeople simplyracist?Lu: Manyaudiencesreceived a verytext-book educationand may not beas open as me. I dida lot of researchand the truth is notas simple as in the (Chinese)text books. Manywere written by scholarswith narrow minds. The truth infact is very simple; Japanesepeople are also human beings. Ihad taken it for granted thatthese days we all see ourselvesas equals, that we all see eachother as humans. Apparentlynot.Did the controversy help thefilm's boxoffice?Lu: I think the majority of thosewho went to see it supported it.But nationalistic feelings inChina run very deep.You were also helped by LiChangchun, head of the CommunistParty’s propaganda department,who battled within theFilm Bureau for its release. Thefilm was scheduled to be shownnext month as one of 10 celebratingChina’s 60th anniversary. Howcome?Lu: The leaders couldn’t give mepublic support, but did sobehind the scenes. From that Iconclude that China is openingup, but is not yet open.How has reaction within the filmindustry been?Lu: Most actors and actresseslove the film. Over 90%. Producerstoo have supported it.Many said they love the movieand sent me many messages.Directors have been completelydifferent. Most say they hate themovie. Only Hong Kong’s PeterChan Ho-sun has really stood upand said he loves the film andthat it is an important movie.Unfortunately, he has ended upquarreling with some mainlanddirectors.Was the film made more for internationalaudiences perhaps? Tohelp educate international audiencesof the atrocities that Chinasuffered in the Sino-Japanese Warand yet which are largely ignoredby Western public – and filmmakers– alike?Lu: I don’t know how the festivaljuries will vote. But I certainlyhope that international audienceswill approach it withoutprejudice. As to education, I’mnot sure. We need to find theperfect distributor for the U.S.We need a company that attractsand engages the public with thismovie.What’s next? Apart from aneight-minute documentary forthe Shanghai 2010 World Expo?Lu: I have not decided. I’m lookingat several scripts whichinclude a love story, a thriller, awar movie and a musical – Iwant to do something completelydifferent. Last month, Iwas invited by my agent to travelto the U.S. to do some privatescreenings and some meetingsin Hollywood. But I’m sure that99% did not see my movie. If Iwere ever to work in Hollywood,I’d want to make a really goodEnglish-language movie. I’dwant to take my time and get itright. ∂ILLUSTRATION: CHRIS MORRISLos Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 54


THR | Monday, October 12, 2009| about townDario ArgentoPIFF HighlightsFestival director KimDong-ho, above, is flankedby France’s minister forforeign trade Anne-MarieIdrac and actress JeonDo-Yeon, who receivedthe Chevalier medal onFrance Night. Actors,from left, Josh Harnett,Lee Byung-Hun andTakuya Kimura makethe Haeundae Beachscene for an open talkabout “I Come With theRain.” Below, The HiteDynamite Festival lit upthe night at the HaeundaeYachtingCenter.Ahn Sung-KiLee Ha-NaALL PHOTOS EXCEPT HITE: CHUNG SUNG-JUN/GETTY IMAGESLos Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 55


eviewsTHR.com/pusanMonday, October 12, 2009“A Little Pond”‘A Little Pond’By Maggie LeeIn “A Little Pond,” LeeSaang-woo recounts in aconventional narrativewith unswerving powerthe South Korean equivalentof the My Lai Massacre.This suppressed story of howthe evacuation of a village duringthe 1950s civil war turnedinto a massacre by Americansoldiers compels by its genuinetragic nature.With global attention fixatedon the Gulf, this untold chapterof a war crime occurring nearly60 years ago may strike overseasdistributors as too little (inscale), too late. Nevertheless,this somber yet accessible workis a possible acquisition forknowledge channels.The film is set in July 1950,one month after outbreak of theKorean War, in Nogunri, a littleSouth Korean hamlet that bordersthe North. The cinematography,so lush it verges on artificial,transports us to anarcadia of pristine mountains,lakes and fields captured inresplendent green and emerald.With a few light strokes, Leeevokes the lull before a storm ina close knit community. A nightraid on an ex-Communist’shome casts a cloud over idyllicimages of elders playing chesswhile cute children whirlaround them in ignorance ofimpending doom.Without lingering on anycharacter or relationship, theturning point arrives withunexpected swiftness. U.S.forces come to clear the area forbattle but speaking throughJapanese interpreters, theirorders confuses everyone. Thevillagers evacuate to the woodsbut are driven out into the open,to be exposed to air attacks andAmerican soldiers ordered toshoot indiscriminately.The carnage has a sense ofimmediacy by being shotbrusquely without music,sound effects or excessive cameramovements. Even with currentproliferation of warthemedfilms, the scenesmanage to be quite disturbing.The unsentimental realism isthen deliberately violated by twoCGI images of giant fish swishingin the sky, momentarily liftingeverything into the realm ofdream and poetry. This visualreference to the title also symbolizesthe victims’ insignificance— like fish in a pond.The film’s one problem is it iscomprised almost entirely ofcrowd scenes. The anonymityof the roles helps sharpen focuson the action, but also causesemotional detachment.> GALA PRESENTATIONBOTTOM LINEA direct and shattering account ofAmerican atrocity in the Korean War.PRODUCED & PRESENTED BY: NogunriProduction, co-produced by MofacStudio & Trans-dimensional StageshipTheater Company. SALES: M-LineDistribution CAST: Moon Seung Geun,Kim Rae Ha, Jeon Hye Jin, Park GwangJung. DIRECTOR-SCREENWRITER: LeeSaang Woo.No rating, 86 minutes.Los Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 56


worldSPECIALPHILIPPINES THR.com/pusanREPORT:Monday, October 12, 2009“Kinatay”Manilla init’s MomentPusan could hardly have picked abetter moment to take a look atFilipino cinemaBy Patrick FraterManila newspaper headlinesover-enthusiasticallyscreamed that a Filipino directorhad won the Cannes film festivalthis year, beating Quentin Tarantinoin the process. Actually thePalme d’Or went elsewhere, butCannes jury president IsabelleHuppert is understood to havefought a massive, though ultimatelyunsuccessful, campaignto give the top prize to “Kinatay”(Butchered). Instead, its filmmaker,Brillante “Dante” Mendoza,took home the prize forbest director and, in the process,stirred up a publicity frenzy forFilipino cinema that refuses todie down.The thriller, which was shot innear real time on hand-heldcameras, was too much to stomachfor many commentators. Butother critics who ignored hisprevious Cannes competitionfilm “Serbis” heralded the film apiece of stylish, gritty cinemaverite and hailed Mendoza as amajor new talent in world cinema.Mendoza, a youthful 48, wasquickly feted as a juror atLocarno and had his next movie“Lola” pulled out of the hat as asurprise film at Venice. Fast,furious and in your face seems tobe the way for Mendoza, but hisis far from being a lone voice.The Philippines is currently ahotbed of talent.Presented in the Orrizonti section,22-year old Pepe Dioknolast month picked up the Luigi diLaurentiis award for best firstfilm in Venice for his “Engkwentro”(Clash), about two brotherswho find themselves on oppositesides of a gang war. Elsewhere,the veteran Filipino helmer LavDiaz won awards in the same sectionfor the past two years with“Melancholia” in 2008 and“Death in the Land of Encantos”in 2007.“While Filipino films hadLos Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 57


The Hollywood Reporter | Monday, October 12, 2009world report | germany“Himpapawid”“Digital cameras and Final CutPro are enabling a lot ofdirectors who are capable ofworking outside studios to telltheir own stories. Theseinclude a load of wannabes whopretend to be making art films,but are little better than softporn or violence. But there areothers with real stories makingfilms on a budget now.”— Yam Laranas,directoralmost disappeared from thefestival scene for 20 years andnow have made a strong comeback with prolific directors likeMendoza or Raya Martin, thereis a danger of only focusingattention on a few names,” saysJeremy Segay, selector forCannes’ Directors’ Fortnightsection. “But thanks to differentinitiatives, the low cost ofdigital filmmaking and a strongalternative distribution network,such as screenings inuniversities and communitycenters, new and young talentsare being given opportunitiesto make (digital) films.”Other directors, includingRaya Martin, Adolfo Alix Jr.,Auraeus Solito, Yam Laranas,Joyce Bernal and Eric Matti arenow getting the kind of attentionthat is putting The Philippinesback on the international moviemap after a gap of some 20 years.Indeed, Pusan has picked an aptmoment to turn the spotlight onFilipino cinema.For several years the Filipinoindustry has been simmering ina strange isolation born ofpoverty and a post-colonialhangover. Once a colony of theU.S. and before that Spain, thePhilippines is the world’s 13thmost populous nation, but oneof its poorest. It is also Asia’smost Catholic country and iswide open to escapist Hollywoodfare.Boxoffice has been largelyflat, with Hollywood actiontent-poles — “Spider Man”and “Iron Man” enjoyed tophonors in the past two yearsand “Transformers Revenge ofthe Fallen” is on top in 2009 —taking a dominant share. Lastyear ticket sales dropped by 7%to 42.8 million admissions (fora lowly 0.5 cinema visits perperson per year), but risingticket prices more than offsetthe decline and lifted overallgross by 3% to PHP4.78 trillion($101 million).Local movies have generallysplit between sappy romancesand melodramas produced bythe big studios, notably that ofTV giant ABS-CBN and its StarCinema studio, and an impoverishedindependent sector,which for a long time was characterizedby shanty-townpoverty pictures. But changesare now being felt.“Digital cameras and FinalCut Pro are enabling a lot ofdirectors who are capable ofworking outside studios to telltheir own stories,” says YamLaranas, who previously directed“Sigaw,” its U.S. remake“The Echo,” and is now gettingheat for his upcoming horrorouting “Patient X.” “Theseinclude a load of wannabes whopretend to be making art films,but are little better than softporn or violence. But there areothers with real stories makingfilms on a budget now.”Independent cinema is takingon more ‘middle class’themes, settings and characters.In Chris Martinez’s “100,”a young woman dying of cancersets out to complete her ‘bucketlist’ of 100 things to dobefore she dies. Mike Sandejas’srecent Toronto entry“Dinig Sana Kita” (If I KnewWhat You Said) features arebellious teenager from acomfortable family who learnsabout the other side of lifewhen she is put in rehab with adeaf mute boy.Technology aside, much ofthe credit for the current boomis due to the Cinemalaya festival,which is now five years old.Uniquely, the festival each yearprovides seed money of some$10,000 to ten feature projectsfrom both the commercial andart-house sides of the spectrumand helps introduce newcomersto potential producers.It screens the finished resultsin its annual competition inJuly and has given rise to severalpictures that have laterbecome hits on the internationalfestival circuit. Theseinclude “The Blossoming ofMaximo Oliveros,” (Sundanceand Berlin), “Tribu” (Pusancompetition and Berlin), “Jay”(Venice Orrizonte 2008), aswell as Diokno’s “Engkwentro.”Another major influence hasbeen ABS-CBN’s Cinema Onemovie cable channel whichshows Filipino classics andother commercial works fromthe past (an important resourcein a country with no real filmarchive). Under executive producerRonald Arguelles, CinemaOne also operates a 10 filmcommissioning system whichhas helped emerging filmmakers,including Sherad AnthonySanchez (“Woven Stories of theOther” and “Imburnal”) withregional themes, and assistedRichard Somes’ hit horror film“Yanggaw.”Fascinating too, is the awakeningof a cluster of film-makerswho were born in the 1960swho previously found foreignfinancing and internationalfestival success for their earlyexperimental films and,according to San Franciscobasedproducer and Filipinofilm expert Roger Garcia, are“now reaching creative andcommercial maturity.”These include Mendoza,Martin, Diaz, Bernal, Solito andRaymond Red, who had a majorimpact on independent Filipinocinema through his pioneeringshorts in the 1980s and his historicalfeatures “Bayani” and“Sakay” in the 1990s. He hasfinally delivered his next feature“Himpapawid” (ManilaSkies) which will play later thismonth in competition inTokyo.“Filipino indie cinema is reemergingfrom a long darktunnel,” says Garcia. “Theengine that pulled that trainthrough that tunnel was thememory of (local filmmakinglegend) Lino Brocka, and thefilmmaking of Raymond Red.‘Manila Skies’ is a reflection onthat tunnel — the filmmaker’sleap of faith when he embarkson an examination of his soul.Film fads come and go – Filipinoindies are trendy at themoment – but ‘Manila Skies’like Raymond, will stand bestanding long after theparade’s gone by.” ∂Los Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 58


The Hollywood Reporter | Monday, October 12, 2009| reviews‘I Am in Trouble!’“I Am in Trouble!”By Maggie LeeThe characters of thecharmingly wry comedy “Iam in Trouble!” could passfor the younger selves of HongSangsoo’s narcissistic and libidinousintellectuals. Yet to newdirector So Sang-min’s credit, heis not a mere Hong-wannabe.His chronicle of a poet-slacker’sblundering attempts to adjust tothe real world is underscored bypert observations on insecuritiesof Korea’s post-college crowd.As So artfully draws out moreand more facets of his protagonistthrough prosaic but tellingvignettes, one cannot help but> NEW CURRENTSBOTTOM LINEAn amusing portrait of a misfitpoet’s sexual and social gaffes.PRODUCTION: Korean Academy ofFilm Arts CAST: Min Sung-wuk, LeeSeung-joon, Jung Jiyeon, Kim Jooryung.DIRECTOR-SCREENWRITER: So Sangmin.PRODUCER: KAFA Films.SALES: CJ Entertainment Inc.No rating, 98 minutes.warm to this beguiling characterstudy.Although this is probably toomodest a film to be picked up bythe mainstream or festivalsscouting for innovative stylists,interest may grow after nichedomestic release.Deadbeat poet Sun-woo (MinSun-wuk) sponges off his collegebuddy, Seung-kyu (Lee Seungjoon),and is forever evadingcommitment to his devoted girlfriendYuna. His love life getsworse as he repeatedly offendsYuna and she ditches him overand over.His other social interactionsare a succession of boorish andjuvenile behavior — from exposinghimself in a public spa andhitting a taxi-driver in a drunkenfit to boozy bouts with his collegealumni when taunted for hislayabout life. In time, he infuriatesSeung-kyu by sleeping witha girl he fancies.The dry humor is mostlyderived from the paradox ofSun-woo’s defensive pridetowards any criticism, and hisreadiness to humiliate himself toget out of trouble, whether it’skneeling for Yuna’s forgiveness,or dodging her blows afterpromising to take them like aman. Dialogue, even in translation,sounds glibly witty.One senses that So eyes hisprotagonist’s foibles withbemused affection instead of theimplicit superiority in Hong’sdetached perspective. Heaccords Sun-woo the capacityfor self-reflection. At one point,he says: “I want my life to bepoetry, not poetry to be my life,”revealing some motivation tomake more of his life.Shot around typical Koreanwatering holes, cafes and bedrooms,So employs a deliberatelybland style to match Sunwoo’sbanal existence. The onlyhint of formalism is fixedframes of the couple sitting onpark benches, which works as acomic refrain. ∂‘Squalor’By Maggie LeeManila’s slums have madetheir mark on Philippineindependent cinema theway “City of God” put Brazil’sfavelas on the cinephile map. Ifthe names of Brillante Mendozaor Auraeus Solito ring a bell,“Squalor” will provoke a reactionof ‘been there, done that.’ It iscomposed of four 20-30 minutesegments, all set in the sameurban grassroots neighborhood.Characters are linked by sixdegrees of separation, but eachone stands at a crossroads, ultimatelygetting defeated by socialcircumstances.Director Giuseppe BedeSampedro’s proficient narrativetechnique, light pacing and a“Squalor”roaring hip-hop score make theessentially TV soap material aneasy watch. However, most festivalsmay still pass over it for thestale premise. Having partialhomosexual content may catchthe eye of gay fests. However,some may object to its image ofgay men as predatory andexploitive.All four protagonists face acrisis of masculinity. They areobserved in their roles asboyfriend, husband-father, sonand big brother, respectively.Poverty makes them unable tofulfill their responsibilities inthose roles. So they end up sellingtheir flesh to survive. Thetheme of swindling runs throughevery episode.In the first story, Ariel (DennisTrillo) works for a shop sellingfake documents while moonlightingas a gigolo-hustler. He startsdating Elgine, a student. Just as hegets serious, he is exposed by herbrother Basto (Sid Lucerno).Next, Boy (Edgar Guzman), apeddler of skin care products,loses all his savings to bail out hisshoplifting mother. To covermedical bills for his wife’s delivery,he offers sex services to ahomosexual.In a new scene, Ronald arrivesfrom the provinces to inherit hisunfaithful father’s house in Chinatown.He manages to sell itdespite its dilapidation, onlybecause the horny buyer thinkshe’s hot property.We return full circle to Elgine’sbrother Basto, whose academicstudies suffer because he is thefamily breadwinner. He resorts toselling blood in the hospital.Obviously, the “squalor”Sampredo wants to evoke ismoral as well as territorial.Despite that, he lacks the eye forstriking mise-en-scenes whosephysical appearance also symbolizesmoral decay.> NEW CURRENTSBOTTOM LINEAnother ‘slum’ film leaves thePhilippine Indie cinema assembly line.PRODUCTION: Presented byCinemalaya Film Foundation Inc.,Five2Seven Entertainment Production.CAST: Dennis Trillo, Sid Lucerno, EdgarAllan Guzman, Arnold Reyes, Glaiza deCastro. DIRECTOR: Giuseppe BedeSampedro.. No rating, 98 minutes.Los Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 59


The Hollywood Reporter | Monday, October 12, 2009| reviews“Moscow”‘Moscow’By Elizabeth KerrIn what appears to be anotherexample of a trend in currentKorean cinema, directorWhang Cheol-mean taps intothe lingering unease surroundingthe global financial meltdown.Economic unrest and the wideninggap between the middle classand everyone else is clearly onthe collective national mind, as“Moscow” is one of several filmsat PIFF 2009 that uses thenever-ending worry over monetaryinstability and job securityas a driving plot point.The relevancy of the materialmay stir interest in urban marketsand on Asian and indie festivalcircuits, but otherwise thismodest character study is destinedfor Korean retrospectivesand academic libraries.Former middle school classmatesJin-hee (Sung Su-jung)and Ye-won (Lee Hye-jin) meetup seemingly by chance afterJin-hee-a labor activist on ahunger strike-abandons hercalling in a fit of disillusionment.The tightly wound Yewonis killing herself as an executiveassistant in an anonymouscorporate job, and when shegets the opportunity to reminisceabout the good old dayswith Jin-hee she jumps at thechance. She invites Jin-hee tostay with her for a stretch eventhough the two young womennow have little in common withthe exception of a love for actingand unrealized dreams ofstardom. Soon the runaway agitatoris wearing out her welcomeby stealing Ye-won’smodest thunder at work, wearingher clothes and irritatingher other friends.The film’s title refers toChekhov’s “Three Sisters” andthose characters’ desires to headback to that city and its illusoryperfection. Chekhov’s classicdrama is used as the dominantrunning motif, and that play’sthemes of the erosion of affluenceand the personal malaiseand aimlessness the sisters sufferdovetails nicely with theaction in “Moscow.” Ye-won’supper middle class backgroundis a source of constant aggravationfor Jin-hee, whose familywas bankrupted and forcedleave Seoul. She didn’t get theuniversity education that Yewondid, and the bitternessstemming from that informstheir turbulent friendship. Inaddition, she’s experiencingsomething of an existential crisisvis-à-vis her role in thelabor union.“Moscow” is the kind of filmthat only works if the performancesring true, and on thatfront Lee is the standout. Shereigns in the histrionics (withthe exception of the juvenilereunion sequence) and lets Yewon’sstate of mind and fearsreveal themselves in the smallestof details — the way shewalks, blank stares that actuallymean something. Sung has theflashier role in the moredemonstrative character whose“issues” sit on the surface, butthe understated finale whereJin-hee finally drops her façadeallows her to show off somemuch needed nuance.> KOREAN CINEMA TODAYBOTTOM LINETimely drama flirts with crazyroommate thriller status beforerefocusingSALES: Doo EntertainmentPRODUCTION COMPANIES: CinegutFilms CAST: Sung Su-jung, Lee Hye-jin.DIRECTOR: Whang Cheol-mean.SCREENWRITER: Kim Hyun-kyung,Whang Cheol-mean. PRODUCER: ChoiDoo-young. No rating, 103 minutesLos Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 510


The Hollywood Reporter | Monday, October 12, 2009| newsPHOTO: KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGESImagenationcontinued from page 1Yuncontinued from page 1“The technology for KoreanCG has caught up to about 90%of Hollywood,” he said. “Thequality shouldn’t be much different.”“Haeundae” was released inJuly, and took the fourth place inKorean boxoffice of all time. Thefilm was later released in Chinaand the U.S. Yoon made hisdebut as a comedy director andshot hit films including “Sex isZero” (2003) and “My Boss, MyHero” (2001). ∂Flash forwardcontinued from page2who is at PIFF with her debutfeature “Cosmonaut,” a Cold Warera coming-of-age story aboutan Italian girl’s obsession withthe Soviet space program. Thefilm, which was set in the periodbetween 1957-1963, won twoprizes at the Venice InternationalFilm Festival in September.French director Pierre Vinour,in Busan for the world premiere ofhis first feature “Magma,” said thelocal Korean audience might see“Connecting partners from three different continents toproduce international films through an Asianheadquarters in Singapore, the Hyde Park-Imagenation-MDA alliance is the latest transnational industrycollaboration that fulfils Singapore’s promise as a trustedglobal capital for media business.”— Dr Christopher Chia, chief executive of MDAfocus East – Singapore, China,India – which is something thatwe want to do.”“It could be fun to make aKorean movie, or Hong Kong,Cantonese kind of movie, butthe big game that we are playingfor would mostly be China andIndia,” Borgerding said. An Englishlanguage cross-culturalproduction to be named in thecoming weeks is expected to bethe venture’s first picture.Imagenation Abu Dhabi andHyde Park Entertainment previouslypartnered in Novemberlast year on a $250 million dealto develop, produce and distributeup to 20 films over sevenyears. Hyde Park Entertainment,which is headed by HollywoodbasedIndian businessmanAshok Amritraj, also has a previousdeal to establish a filmfund with the MDA.“My continued vision is tobridge Asia with Hollywood,”Amritraj said in a statement.“Connecting partners fromthree different continents toproduce international filmsthrough an Asian headquartersin Singapore, the Hyde Park-Imagenation-MDA alliance isthe latest transnational industrycollaboration that fulfils Singapore’spromise as a trusted globalcapital for media business,"said Dr Christopher Chia, thechief executive of MDA.Last week Imagenation AbuDhabi unveiled a deal with topHollywood Producers WalterParkes and Laurie MacDonaldthat provides a $10 millionrevolving financing fund todevelop film projects from theirParkes/MacDonald Prods company.The cash pool potentiallycovers projects developed undertheir first-look deal withDreamWorks Studios or directlywith Imagenation. ∂STAR GAZERS: A crush of South Korean movie fans jockey for the best position tosnap shots of their favorite stars as they arrive at the Grand Hotel.the common root between hisintense drama and Korean cinema.“The film is not typicallyFrench, and it showed my affinityfor Asian cinema,” Vinour said.“The Flash Forward award is greatbecause it presents new filmmakersto an Asian audience.”“It’s a chance for new directorsto establish themselves,” saidJulian Giulianelli, an Argentineanfirst time director presenting inBusan “Bridges”, the tragic misadventureof three trouble-makingkids in the outskirts of BuenoAires.The Flash Forward award contendersalso include “The Loners”by Israelite Renen Schorr,“Chicago Heights” by CanadianDaniel Nearing, “Dust” by Luxembourghelmer Max Jacoby,“Kino Caravan” by RomanianTitus Muntean, “Last CowboyStanding” by CzechoslovakianZaida Bergroth, “Miss Kicki” byNorwegian Håkon Liu, “TheFrost” by Spaniard Ferran Audí,and “Zero” by Polish directorPawel Borowski. ∂Korean Producerscontinued from page 2a breakthrough for emergingKorean producers to find financiersand production partnersduring Pusan.This year, five works were chosenout of 39 submissions. Theproducers of the selected workswent through a rigorous mentoringprogram for the last threemonths, complete with trainingto prepare for successful presentationby professional speechinstructors, which was new tomost Korean producers who areused to pitching one on onemostly for companies theyalready know.The main consideration of thejury was production feasibility,producer’s ability to materializethe project and the originality ofthe work. The selections were“Blue Moon” a mystery thrillerabout the abduction by a UFO;“Nothing to Lose,” a film noireabout a corrupt detective; “TheGood Friends” a psychologicalthriller about old friends in a loveand hate relationship; “Tears ofFather” a thriller about a fatherwho learns of his daughter’smysterious death, and “GoodbyeAgain,” a romance between afemale South Korean tour guideand a North Korean military officerwho meets in a joint North-South factory compound.“It’s a useful way to invite partnersgiven that you get to presentan idea of your script for wideaudiences,” said Kim Young-jin,the producer of “Goodbye Again”whose submission of the samescript was dismissed last year. “Ithink it went well today. We gotgood requests for business meetingsafter the presentation.”The story was also invited tothis year’s co-production forumof the Moscow International FilmFestival as it involves a scene ofthe couple parting and reunitingin St. Petersburg.KPIF has developed a numberof notable projects out of theselected works from last year. Ananimation pilot of “Fly June” bythe producer Seon Kyoung-heewas just recently completed.“Youth Groove” by Lee Jin-eunand “Hyehwa-dong” by ShimHyun-woo will soon startshooting. ∂Los Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 511


The Hollywood Reporter | Monday, October 12, 2009| newsXYZcontinued from page 1ror pic by Yam Laranas, whorecently directed “The Echo”for Vertigo Entertainment as aremake of his own “Sigaw.”The company was formed 18months ago by a trio of executivesfrom different backgrounds— Nate Bolotin, NickSpicer and Aram Tertzakian –and started out with a one yeardeal with Time Inc that allowedits production operations todevelop several projects basedon magazine and literary propertiesand real life stories. Theseinclude one on infamous carmakerJohn DeLorean and astage musical of “AmericanPsycho.”It recently brought on board‘Twitch’ executive Todd Brownas a fourth partner.Tertzakian is in Pusan thisweek in both a sales and productioncapacity.XYZ sees itself as a well-capitalizedoutfit able to help indieplayers raise their game to thenext level through development,production and distribution.The company also has a“significant” fund under itscontrol.“Almost everything we have isinternational. The way we workis that we are very film-makerdriven, then we go find thewriter,” said Bolotin. “There is areally cool crop of film-makerscoming out of South East Asiaright now. We are already workingwith several of them and twoof the biggest Korean companiesaround. This spans from film toTV projects, with top tier partnersand talent.”“RAIN”-Y DAY: ”I Come With the Rain” actress Tran Nu Yen and director Tran AnhHung discuss their film at the Meet the Guest forum at Haeundae Beach.XYZ's current sales slateincludes handling North Americanrights on Indonesianactioner “Merantau,” which wasthe opening film at the recentChungmuro festival in Seoul,and “Faasuto Sukuwaddo”(First Squad) a Japanese animationthat is sold in other territoriesby Hong Kong’s GoldenNetwork.“Pusan is our first market andvery much a meet and greet forus,” said Spicer.∂Pusan Daily EditionOffice 115, Seacloud HotelHaeundae-Gu,Busan, Korea 612-020Eric MikaPublisherElizabeth GuiderEditorDavid MorganDeputy EditorEDITORIALKevin Cassidy (International Features Editor),Patrick Frater (Hong Kong),Karen Chu (Hong Kong),Park Soomee (Korea),Nigel D’sa (Korea),PHOTO: KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES‘Tears’continued from page 1“Tears” begins innocently asa glum portrayal of a reclusiveman. Guo (Tsai Chen-Nan), adivorced middle-aged detective,boards alone at a seedyrooming house rather than livewith his son. He eats by himselfat the police canteen, anddevotes his free time to his dogand to volunteer work at a hospital.He often skips his beat to> A WINDOW ON ASIANCINEMABOTTOM LINEA dark and brooding portrayal of aman with a tortured past.SALES: Joint EntertainmentInternational Inc. PRODUCTION:Dreamosa Film Ltd. CAST: Guo, Enno,Serena Fang, Huang Jiang-wen.DIRECTOR-SCREENWRITER-PRODUCER: Cheng Wen-Tang.SCREENWRITERS: Cheng Jin-Fen,Chang I-Feng. No rating, 111 minutes.chat to Wen (Enno) and XuanXuan — teenage girls who sellbetelnuts in skimpy clothes.Guo would be an amicable,avuncular type if not for twothings — he’s never shed a tearfor 10 years, and he’s an oldhand at torture. In the troublingprologue, he reluctantly showshis juniors methods to extractconfessions and make fall guysof suspects. It is an unflinchingscene that also deftly reveals hisviolent streak, anger and selfloathing.Cheng develops ambiguousrapport between Guo and Wen,keeping the viewer unsurewhether his feelings for her arepaternal or sordid. Therefore,when Wen discovers why he isso protective of her and why hevolunteers at the hospital,there’s greater psychologicalcomplexity in her response.The character of Guo confirmsCheng’s abiding interestin people on the fringe (likeAboriginals, or an ex-convict.)It is a bigger challenge to elicitaudience sympathy for Guobecause what he did was in coldblood, for expediency. Cheng’sviewpoint remains nonjudgmentalwithout condoning hiscrimes. The meticulous effortsin depicting his squalid existenceis intended to reinforcehow guilt zaps the life and joyout of anyone.The film reopens a darkchapter in Taiwan’s past andpoints a finger at police abuseof power. Guo only got awaywith what he did because thesystem tolerated, maybeencouraged, it.Camera is always removedand restrained except for a stylisticflourish at the end. Itcasts a disillusioned eye on acity that is devoid of compassionor morality, as seen in ahomicide case that brings hisdownfall or karma. Those wholike Hou Hsiao Hsien willappreciate Hou regular Tsai’smeasured performance. ∂REVIEWSMaggie Lee (Film Critic),Elizabeth Kerr (Film Critic)ADVERTISINGAlison Smith (London), Ivy Lam (Hong Kong)CORRESPONDENTSPip Bulbeck (Australia),Rebecca Leffler (France), Scott Roxborough(Germany), Nyay Bhushan (India),Gavin Blair (Japan), John Hecht (Mexico),Pamela Rolfe (Spain)ARTEmily Johnson (Senior Designer)OPERATIONS + ITGregg Edwards (Senior Production Manager),Armen Sarkisian (Network Administrator)THR.COMKaren Nicoletti (Senior News Editor),Ralf Ludemann (Copy Editor, London),Steven Schwankert (Copy Editor, Beijing)Gerry ByrneSenior Vice President,The Entertainment GroupCopyright ©2008 Nielsen Business Media, Inc.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may bereproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted,in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise — withoutthe prior written permission of the publisher.Los Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 512


eaking news> latest reviews> special reports> downloadable PDFsdailiestheTHE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER — the global leader with the most comprehensivefilm festivals and market coverage of any entertainment news daily.For the complete picture, go to THR.com/festivalsPusanInternationalFilm FestivalOct. 8-16, 2009Pusan,South Korea> The Hollywood Reporter isthe Festival’s official dailyAmericanFilm MarketNov. 4-11, 2009Santa Monica,USAHong KongInternational Film& TV Market(FILMART)March 21-April 6, 2010Hong Kong,China> The Hollywood Reporter isthe Festival’s official dailyFestivalde CannesMay 12-23, 2010Cannes,FranceBerlinInternationalFilm FestivalFeb. 11-21, 2010Berlin,GermanyTorontoInternationalFilm FestivalSept. 9-18, 2010Toronto, ONCanadaFOR ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES PLEASE CONTACT:Los Angeles: Lauren Marani New York: Paul Mauriello+1 323 525 2022 +1 646 654 5629Europe: Alison Smith Asia: Ivy Lam+44 20 7420 6143 +852 2880 3405

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