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Industry Program B.I.G Closing! NAFF Winners Announced!


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Industry Program B.I.G Closing!
Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) Winners Announced!

The 23rd Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN, Festival Director SHIN Chul) held the Closing Ceremony of B.I.G (BIFAN Industry Gathering), its industry program, on July 3rd.  Various Korean and international participants of the film industry gathered at the Closing  Ceremony to present awards to the projects of NAFF (Network of Asian Fantastic Films, or NAFF).

The 4th B.I.G. Closing Ceremony was held at Art Bunker B39 on the 4th July.  It included the NAFF Project Award Ceremony with SHIN Chul Festival Director of BIFAN, PARK Gun Seop Vice Chairperson of Organizing Committee of BIFAN, and CHO Hyo Jun Director General of the  Culture and Economy Bureau of Bucheon City. Jongsuk Thomas NAM, Managing Director of B.I.G. and host for the ceremony, stated that "92 organizations attended the 12th NAFF and 526 meetings were held" and that he was "happy to see even better results than last year".

The 12th NAFF Genre Film Project Market featured a total of 30 projects including 19 It Project candidates, 5 Project Spotlight projects, 4 Nordic Genre Invasion projects, 1 Blood Window project, and 1 Sitges Pitchbox project. A jury consisting of 4 professionals from Korea and abroad selected the winners from 9 sections through a strict selection process and individual meetings. 

This year's jury members were Ivy HO, Film Producer for Irresistable Films, Kilian KERWIN, EVP of Ivanhoe Pictures, Jonathan H. KIM, CEO of Hanmac Culture Group, and Director Jacob WONG of Hong Kong Film Festival's Asia Film Financing Forum. Jacob WONG spoke on behalf of the jury to say that he hoped to see projects completed and return to BIFAN and that jury selection was based on the concept and artistic quality of the project, the potential to be well-made and presentation skills.

The Bucheon Award, the Bound Entertainment Award, the NAFF Award, the NAFF Korean Award, and the DHL Award are accompanied by cash awards with a total of KRW 55 million in production expenses.  The Bucheon Award which comes with KRW 15 million in production costs was awarded to Hugo KEIJZER for The Occupant. This project is about a protagonist and a pilot who gain supernatural powers after surviving a helicopter crash. The storyline of the mystery thriller by Hugo KEIJZER, who has already directed 4 short films, was one of the projects the jury members look forward to seeing.
The Bound Entertainment Award with a cash prize of KRW 15 million went to Director PHAN Linh for Dogcow.  It is set in future Saigon suffering from severe environmental pollution and deals with the confusion experienced by the protagonist who watches their dog transform into a completely different life form caused by polluted air. This project by PHAN Linh from Vietnam is expected to utilize the topic of environmental pollution, considered the greatest problem the human race faces today.   

The NAFF Award with a KRW 10 million cash prize was awarded to Boaz ARMONI for Fingernail.  This tells the story of a father and son who live in a house deep in the forest and explores the essence of a father-son relationship; the relationship between authority and dependence, love and hate, and faith and crisis. Boaz ARMONI, winner of America-Israel Culture Foundation, and Yoav ROEH, a producer for Gum Films, worked together on the project.

The NAFF Korean Award which presents KRW 5 million to a Korean film in the It Project Selection was awarded to Lay the Ghost and HANAHANA, the story of a high school girl who takes care of a special girl called Hana, is by NAKANISHI Mai who already made it into a short film which was invited to various film festivals including Bucheon, Sitges, and Mumbai.  Lay the Ghost, by YU Eunjeong, who won the Bucheon Choice Director's Award at BIFAN last year, starts with the question 'Is growth always positive?' and puts the spotlight on the contrary period of puberty. Producer KIM Shinjae shed tears as she said "I'm happy to be able to keep working with an old friend" after winning the award.

The DHL Award went to David CHANG for The Medium: The Flaming Exorcist Sinner. This project is a screen adaptation of a bestselling novel in Taiwan and is expected to resonate with audiences with its tale of a character who fights evil to atone for their sins and another character who tries to avoid taking on responsibility. 

A Transfer Student by NO Zinsoo which won the Moneff Award and Vurdalak Blood by Santiago Fernandez CALVETE which won the Mocha Chai Award will receive post-production support.  RECURSE by Lucas VOSSOUGHI won the Blood Window Award while Tiger Stripes by Amanda EU won the Sitges Pitchbox Award and the projects are invite to pitch at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain and the Blood Window in Argentina respectively.
12th NAFF Winners
Division Awards Title Director / Producer Counrty
Cash Awards
Bucheon Award
(KRW 15 million cash prize)
The Occupant Hugo KEIJZER /
aurice SCHUTTE
Bound Entertainment Award
(KRW 15 million cash prize)
Dogcow PHAN Linh /
NAFF Award
(KRW 10 million cash prize)
Fingernail Boaz ARMONI /
NAFF Korean Award
(KRW 5 million cash prize)
Eric KHOO, HUANG Jun Xiang, LEE Junsang
Singapore, Korea, Japan
Lay the Ghost YU Eunjeong /
KIM Shinjae
DHL Award
(KRW 5 million cash prize)
The Medium:The Flaming Exorcist Sinner David CHANG /
Jade LEE, Webber CHENG, Philo WU
Support in Kind
Sitges Pitchbox Award
(Invitation to the Sitges Pichbox Program at the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, includes flight, accommodation, and the Festival ID)
Tiger Stripes Amanda EU /
Fei Ling FOO
Blood Window Award
(Invitation to Blood Window at Ventana Sur, includes flight, accommodation, and the Festival ID)
Germany, Austria
Post-production Support Moneff Award
A Transfer Student NO Zinsoo
/ NO Zinsoo
Mocha Chai Award
(Final Media Mixing)
Vurdalak Blood Santiago Fernandez CALVETE /
Roxana RAMOS