2023 Busan International Short Film Festival Awards Announced
Short films are creatively and commercially free, so they can experiment and challenge themselves. Therefore, I think they play the most important role in the development of cinema. With this in mind, we were able to experience a lot of emotions and learn from watching a total of 40 films at the 40th Busan International Short Film Festival. We stand here as judges, but before that, as directors who also make films, and we are incredibly honored to be able to view and appreciate the various stories of our fellow film directors. So, we thank all the directors for sharing their work.
It turns blue by Shadi Karamroudi
This work doesn’t simply deal with domestic violence itself, but also examines the story of the overall system that hides it, and has to adapt to the flawed society without ultimately solving the essential problem. On top of the depiction of a very realistic and concrete situation, the final scene poetically sublimates the inside of a character who has no choice but to accept an absurd situation, creating a deep resonance with the audience. It is a wonderful work that deals with a story that we must be aware of in a very delicate and honest way.
[Excellence Award (KEYUP Award)]
Jill, Uncredited by Anthony Ing
A poetic, sharp, yet generous exploration of the world of an actor who moves in the invisible margins of the film industry. Jill, Uncredited weaves the fragmentary moments in background actor Jill Goldston’s long filmography into a compelling and mysterious cinematic universe, one in which grandiose plots and movie stars become bit players in the epic drama found in the subtle gestures which make up the important work of such actors in this field of unnoticed labor.
Runaway by Salome Kintsurashvili
The Jury Award goes to RUNAWAY, an evocative, tense and mysterious drama which unfolds its narrative in a subtle way, mirroring the clandestine nature of its fugitive subject's path. This work is about a fugitive who infiltrates the domestic life of a Georgian family living in the Moscow suburbs. The stranger's sudden presence threatens the family's foundations and these issues are conveyed through actions which are cinematically presented using emotional fluctuations and the tremors of ambiguous and fragmentary story lines. This allows the viewer (as well as the characters) an open and crucially uncertain space through which they must navigate.
[Special Mention of the Jury]
Dear Passengers by Madli Lääne
If a feature film is a novel, a short film is a poem. This work can be said to be the work that best utilized the poetic characteristics of short films. Touching each other, pushing each other away, desiring and denying each other, eventually becoming entangled like an organic life form. The look is so beautiful and so strange. It is a wonderful work that expresses our essential nature of wanting to be in a relationship and in love.
Ice Merchants by João Gonzalez
It was a true pleasure for Caroline, Donghyun, and Jessica to participate as jurors for the Korean Competition at this year's Busan International Short Film Festival. Congratulations on 40 years!
The twenty films included in the Korean Competition showcased an impressive range of creativity, technical skill, and emotional depth. We were truly impressed by the talent on display and look forward to the bright futures and exciting careers of each and every one of these filmmakers.
The task of selecting this year's winners was not an easy one. Each film was so unique and compelling in its own way, making it difficult to choose between them. However, we had to choose, and we did so carefully and with much consideration.
Although there can only be a few winners, we'd like to express our sincere appreciation and admiration for all of the films we watched.
Additionally, we'd like to express our gratitude to the team that puts on the Busan International Short Film Festival for bringing us together in this beautiful space, welcoming us with open arms, and for trusting us with this great honor.
[Grand Prix (BRS Award)]
Another Town by Dongki Yoon
Another Town follows the story of a couple who are suffering because their son has gone missing. Simultaneously, the story of a city in which memories and relationships are dismantled throughout a difficult period of development. The actor’s performance in the film is notably refined, and the camera follows the characters from a distance without trying to control the story. Through the protagonists' limitations of movement and circumstances, Another Town suggests that everyone can become lost in a city full of greed. The film stands out amongst films dealing with personal and social issues due to its delicate and sophisticated directing style.
[Excellence Award (DMSTUDIO Award)]
Mint Condition by Solbeen Yoon
Mint condition portrays in a very subtle and sensitive way the brief reunion of a young couple, a few years after they broke up. The film maliciously combines bittersweet comedy with a real emotional depth. It avoids clichés thanks to its discreet but yet precise and mastered direction, and its two excellent actors.
Cut and Paste by Hyojun Kim
The winner of the jury award stood out to each of us not only for the truly incredible performances from the cast, but also for the confident direction that allowed us as the audience to fully immerse ourselves in the world that had been created. This moving story of a family and the complicated dynamics between them touched all of us. We are honored to present the jury award to Cut and Paste, directed by Hyojun Kim.
[Best Acting Award]
The jury decided Esther Kim as the winner of the Best Acting Award for her performance in One's Mind. In duet with her talented and complementary partner Haekum Jang in the role of her friend, Esther created an extremely endearing, funny and moving character. We have been very impressed by the mix of boundless energy and vulnerability she gave to her character who desperately seeks love. A fantastic performance.
[Special Mention of the Jury]
Youthful Days by Nakyung Lee
Youthful Days is a film that contemplates the existential angst that the younger generation goes through in a loving way. The main character wants to follow her dream to be a poet, but the society she lives in dictates that she should lead a conventional, mundane life. The young woman experiences an event while walking home after work that shifts between dreams and reality. Through the woman’s experience, the audience will once again get comfort and inspiration from the possibilities of art.
The Good Samaritan Girl by Johee Oh
Among the 29 films for me NETPAC Competition, 20 films from the Republic of Korea, and 9 other films from other Asian countries, it was quite a difficult task to select the best one. We wish all the filmmakers a very bright & prospective future.
Graveyard of Horses by Xiaoxuan Jiang
Graveyard of Horses tells its story like a poetic fable with a dreamy, slow pace. It is a charming film composed in the traditional Eastern European film style, which objectifies the emotions and actions of the characters through symbolically dramatic scenery. Without any special equipment, this film displays the cinematographic fact that an image can contain the power of emotion and, for this reason, all members of the jury agreed to select this film as the winner of the NETPAC section.
[Special Mention of the Jury]
Why by Yoonji Kim
We, the jury members liked the film Why because it is approached a global issue 'Bullying'. The problem not only exists in Korean society but also exists in any schools or offices in the whole world. The film depicts the global issue in a very sensitive and positive manner to end it, but the film raised the question, of the society to act against this global issue right now.
Through the six films in the Operation Kino section, the jury members were able to get a glimpse of various aspects of Busan. It was refreshing to see the city and its inhabitants through the eyes of the young creators working in Busan, yet there was room for improvement with regard to the technical aspects such as cinematography and recording. However, this can act as a learning experience and these technical issues can be resolved in their future film projects. We hope the creators keep trying to capture local issues and the stories of the people in the city with their camera lenses.
Against the Tides by Junseo Choi
This movie tells the story of an issue of the young generation, in a personal approach. In a week's journey, the film group hopes to find an answer to their questions by talking with locals and trying something new. Even though the movie didn’t follow what it promised, it stands out for us as the director used a simple storytelling structure and sound design and animation made more power to it.
The Exit by Hajin Noh
This Busan-set film tells the story of a group of fans of the singer Young-woong Lim. One of the fans says she will live for herself from now on and this statement leads the audience to consider what she was like in her youth. We learn that the middle-aged fans relive their younger days through their love of Young-woong Lim. The film makes us feel that the exit of our life is always open.
[Agora Jury Award]
The Exit by Hajin Noh