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  • Shamser Khalid

Busan Film Festival Selects Three Bangladeshi Films

Busan Film Festival Selects Three Bangladeshi Films

On October 4th, the 28th edition of the renowned Busan International Film Festival will kick off in South Korea. This year, the spotlight is on three films from Bangladesh, which have earned recognition and earned their spot at this esteemed event.

The Busan International Film Festival in Korea has revealed the list of ten films that will compete in this year's New Currents competition, along with another ten films selected for its Jiseok Section. Both of these competition sections include movies from Bangladesh's dynamic emerging film industry, as well as films from Japan.

The "New Currents" section, dedicated to showcasing the debut and sophomore films by emerging Asian filmmakers, includes two films from Bangladesh: "The Stranger" (Agontuk) directed by Biplob Sarkar and "The Wrestler" directed by Iqbal H. Chowdhury. The festival has recognized that these films highlight the advancing momentum of Bangladeshi cinema within the industry.

"The Stranger" is characterized as a coming-of-age narrative that follows a family's journey, with a focus on the young son as he navigates questions surrounding his own gender identity. On the other hand, "The Wrestler," a collaborative effort between Bangladesh and Canada, depicts the tale of an elderly man hailing from a fishing village. This man decides to challenge a wrestling champion to a confrontational match.

Additionally, two Japanese films have been chosen for the New Currents section. "September 1923" focuses on the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923 and marks the debut narrative feature of documentary filmmaker Tatsuya Mori. Another Japanese film is "After The Fever," directed by Akira Yamamoto.

Korea also has its representation with two films in this section: "Heritage" by Lee Jong-su, which revolves around two social workers, and the teenage melodrama "That Summer's Lie," directed by Sohn Hyun-Lok.

Southeast Asia is also represented in the lineup. "Oasis Of Now," a collaborative project involving Malaysia, Singapore, and France, directed by Chia Chee Sim, and Thailand's "Solids By The Seashore," which marks the directorial debut of Patiparn Boontarig, assistant director of "Manta Ray," are both part of the selection.

Completing the New Currents selection are two more films. "The Spark," directed by Rajesh S. Jala from India, who previously attended Busan in 2008 with his feature documentary "Children Of The Pyre," is one of them. The other is "Borrowed Time," directed by Chinese filmmaker Choy Ji, which takes the audience on a journey through Hong Kong with its protagonist.

In Busan's Jiseok section, which features works from more established filmmakers, there are several notable entries. These include "Something Like An Autobiography" by Bangladeshi director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, "Ichiko" by Toda Akihiro and "The Moon" by Yuya Ishii, both from Japan. The lineup also features "24 Hours With Gaspar" by Indonesian director Yosep Anggi Noen, "Paradise" by Sri Lankan director Prasanna Vithanage, and "Moro" by Philippine filmmaker Brillante Mendoza.

The section, named after the late Busan program director Kim Jiseok, focuses on films by Asian directors who have directed more than three feature films. Out of the ten films in this lineup, two will be recognized with Jiseok awards.

The upcoming Busan International Film Festival is scheduled to take place over a period of ten days, starting from October 4 and concluding on October 13.


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