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BIFAN2017 Award Winners - Jury Comments


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BIFAN2017 Award Winners - Jury Comments

Bucheon Choice: Features
  • Best of Bucheon: The Endless (Directed by Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson)
A perfect combination of science fiction ideas translate to the screen with a strange naturalism and  sometimes scary minimalism. Benson and Moorhead Return to the ground of his first feature, Resolution, but this time the equilibrium between art house and genre objectives is perfect.
  • Jury’s Choice: Black Hollow Cage (Directed by Sadrac González-Perellón)
A stunning use of the science fiction topics to explain the angst of a broken family. With a superb sound design and a haunted use of the space, Black Hollow Cage is original for its clever use of the references from Tarkovsky to the minimalist time travel tales of the last genre movies like Primer.
  • NH Audience Award: Mon Mon Mon Monsters (Directed by Giddens Ko)
※ Special Mention: Hentaida (I Am a Pervert) (Directed by Anzai Hajime)
We would also like to give a special mention to Hentaida(I Am a Pervert) for its youthfulness and energy by a first time filmmaker in his sixties. It is definitely one of the surprises from this year's selection.

Bucheon Choice: Shorts
  • Best Short Film: Green (Directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios)
Green is an intense and suspenseful film, one that captured a brief but life-changing decision in a slow-burn thriller that escalates to incredible power. It juxtaposes confining and open spaces, displays of richness and poverty, and conveys a wealth of knowledge about its’ character’s life with just a few small shots. As a commentary on masculinity, working class anxiety and the lure of easy money, the film is unforgettable, and director Alonso RUIZPALACIOS shows great promise.
  • Jury’s Choice for Short Film: 16.03 (Directed by Natalia Siwicka)
This might be NataliaSIWICKA’s first short film, but we hope it isn’t her last. The use of a single take to tell the story is a complicated one, and the work that went into planning its execution shows the intelligence of its director. Her meticulous calculations and timing give us a story of tension and terror that feels much shorter than its running time, as she carries the main character, and the audience, on this fearful drive.
  • Audience Award for Short Film: Crash (Directed by Hong Hengfai)

Korean Fantastic: Features

Now in its second year, we believe that BIFAN's Korean Fantastic section will become like unshakeable coordinates that shows BIFAN's identity, as the program has become even richer and more provocative than before. The films from the competitive and non-competitive categories of the Korean Fantastic section this year once again show the youthful and energy filled present state of Korean films. The films in this section, which show how true genre films can be the most cinematic, will help to continuously develop Korean genre films. We'd like to offer up a round of applause for all the films in this section, whether they be the award winning films or the ones that weren't able to take home an award this year.
  • LG HiEntech Best Korean Fantastic Film: Behind the Dark Night (Directed by Shim Chanyang)
Director SHIM Chanyang's Behind the Dark Night was the 'youngest' film in this year's Korean Fantastic: Features section. It also happened to be the most humorous. In the format of a fake documentary, the film shows a surprising harmony of conventional and original elements as it follows a group of passionate university students who idolize Christopher Nolan and his film The Dark Knight, as they go on a rocky journey to produce a film. Through the film's precise and creative vision, it was able to transcend what could have been a somewhat stale narrative of young people with a dynamic sense of spirit and passion. The most touching part of the film was the pure and genuine expression on the faces of the young people as they relentlessly went after their dreams. This film about the chaotic filmmaking journey of the young students is more than deserving of an award, and we believe it will encourage other filmmakers to remember their beginnings and original intentions.
  • Korean Fantastic Best Actress: Park Ji-soo of The End of April (Directed by Kim Kwang-bok)
The End of April is a film that completely relies on one actress. Actress PARK Ji-soo arduously builds layer upon layer of emotions as she plays the role of Hyunjin, who lives a rundown apartment where strange things happen everyday and strange people come and go. The shock that ensues when everything is revealed in the latter half of the movie is completely dependent upon what can be described as PARK Ji-soo's 'calm passion', as she shows an acting style that is both subtle and secretive. We would like to congratulate PARK Ji-soo on the growth she has shown as an actress since she first became known through the film Mai Ratima from a few years ago. We also welcome the discovery of a new side to the actress.
  • Korean Fantastic Best Actor: Oh Ryoong of The Gravity of Acting (Directed by Chung Geunwoong), Ryu Seong Hyun of The Gravity of Acting (Directed by Chung Geunwoong)
In The Gravity of Acting, actors RYU Seong Hyun and OH Ryoong play the roles of two actors from the same threater company.  With a movie casting providing the backdrop for the main conflict in the film, the two characters find themselves trapped in a maze with no way out, and compete with each other using their different styles and energies. The performances given by the two actors were so powerful - whether it be RYOO Seong Hyun who has been perfecting his craft for years through both independent and commercial films, or OH Ryoong who is just now spreading his actor's wings - that it was difficult to choose one actor over the other for this award. Watching the film, I felt like I was on an emotional rollar coaster ride and could physically feel the untouched agony of the actors. Audiences watching the film will also get to explore the abyss within the characters. The jury members decided to present the best actor award to both of these actors, and did so without any hesitation.
  • Korean Fantastic Audience Award: Ryeohaeng (Directed by Im Heung-soon)

Korean Fantastic: Shorts
  • Best Korean Short Film: Vibration (Directed by Jo Bareun)
This is a short film that has everything: melodrama, humour, pathos, and heartache, all in a perfect package. Director JO Bareun made ingenious use of an unusual prop as a gateway to one man’s complex struggle with grief, jealousy, feelings of inadequacy, and love. To be able to garner both laughter and tears from an audience in a film without dialogue is no small feat, but to also do so while creating a complex character and conveying his wave of emotions so flawlessly, won our minds and hearts.
  • Audience Award for Korean Short Film: Weight of the Hand (Directed by Lee Sooah)

European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation(EFFFF) Asian Award

Godspeed (Directed by Chugn Mong-hong)
There were many impressive films in the Asian competition this year, but one film stood out among the group. CHUNG Mong-Hong’s Godspeed provides a fresh and unusual approach to relationships in an environment where relations are not a priority. With great use of the beautiful landscape of South Taiwan, the director slowly unfolds a story of forgiveness and unexpected friendships.


The Village of No Return (Directed by Chen Yu-Hsun)
Among the candidates for the NETPAC Award this year, it was remarkable to see the great leaps taken by films from Chinese-speaking regions such as China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Among such films, the one that stood out the most was The Village of No Return. The film starts off with the line, "Once upon a time, many years ago, a magician that could erase memories came to a faraway rural village." Through the aesthetics of irony and humor, the lives within the rural village are captured vividly, and at the same time, the film offers up scathing commentary about the widespread manipulation of the public and the dynamics of control. Satire, humor, and a fantastic imagination all mingle with each other exquisitely to make a statement about polictics and history in this remarkable dark comedy. This year's jury members for the NETPAC Award were able to once again see the potential of Asian films through The Village of No Return, as it continuously delivered allegorial references about history while doing so using humor and imagination with respect to genre.

Save Energy, Save Earth Film Award

Roby and Toby’s Fantastic Voyager (Directed by Wolfgang Groos)

BIFAN Children’s Jury Award

The children's jury, which consisted of a total of 20 members, watched the films from the Family Zone section and wrote 113 film reviews that were both sincere and diverse. A portion of the touching reviews for the winning film, The Legend of Timm Tyler or The Boy Who Sold His Laughter, have been cited in place of a general review.

The Legend of Timm Tyler or The Boy Who Sold His Laughter (Directed by Andreas Dresen)
Through this film, I discovered how precious it is to be able to laugh. I think that I can now be grateful for the ability to laugh at even the small things. (KIM Chanwoo)Up until now, I went about my daily life without much thought, but now I know how precious my two eyes, two arms, and my two legs are. I've also realized how laughter - something I never really gave a second thought to - is precious for its ability to bring happiness and joy to others.  (KIM Seoa)