Busan Announces New Currents, Jiseok Line-ups With Strong Showing From Bangladesh, Japan

Korea’s Busan International Film Festival has announced the ten films in this year’s New Currents competition line-up, along with ten films selected for its Jiseok Section. Both competition sections feature titles from Bangladesh’s vibrant young industry as well as from Japan. 

New Currents, a section for first and second features by up-and-coming Asian filmmakers, features two films from Bangladesh – Biplob Sarkar’s The Stranger and Iqbal H. Chowdhury’s The Wrestler – which the festival noted showcase “the momentum of Bangladeshi cinema”.  

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The Stranger is described as a coming-of-age story navigating the journey of a family in which the young son grapples with questions about his gender identity. The Wrestler, a co-production between Bangladesh and Canada, tells the story of an elderly man from a fishing village who challenges a wrestling champion to combat. 

Two Japanese titles have also been selected for New Currents – September 1923, about the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923, which marks the first narrative feature of documentary filmmaker Tatsuya Mori, and Akira Yamamoto’s After The Fever. Korea is also represented with two titles – Lee Jong-su’s Heritage, revolving around two social workers, and teenage melodrama That Summer’s Lie, directed by Sohn Hyun-Lok.

Southeast Asia is represented by Chia Chee Sim’s Oasis Of Now – a co-production between Malaysia, Singapore and France – and Thailand’s Solids By The Seashore, the directorial debut of Manta Ray assistant director Patiparn Boontarig.

Rounding out New Currents are The Spark, from India’s Rajesh S. Jala, who visited Busan in 2008 with his feature documentary Children Of The Pyre, and Borrowed Time from Chinese director Choy Ji, which follows its protagonist on a journey through Hong Kong. 

Busan’s Jiseok section for more established filmmakers also includes a Bangladeshi title – Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s Something Like An Autobiography; and two titles from Japan – Toda Akihiro’s Ichiko and Yuya Ishii’s The Moon; as well as Indonesian director Yosep Anggi Noen’s 24 Hours With Gaspar; Paradise from Sri Lanka’s Prasanna Vithanage; and Moro from the Philippines’ Brillante Mendoza (see full line-up below). 

Named after late Busan program director Kim Jiseok, this section selects films from Asian directors with a portfolio of more than three feature films, and from the line-up of ten films, two will be honored with Jiseok awards. 

This year’s Busan International Film Festival will be held for ten days from October 4 to October 13. 

Busan New Currents 2023 Line-up:
After The Fever, dir: Yamamoto Akira (Japan)
Borrowed Time, dir: Choy Ji (China)
Heritage, dir: Lee Jong-Su (Korea)
Oasis Of Now, dir: Chia Chee Sum (Malaysia, Singapore, France)
September 1923, dir: Mori Tatsuya (Japan)
Solids By The Seashore, dir: Patiparn Boontarig (Thailand)
That Summer′s Lie, dir: Sohn Hyun-Lok (Korea)
The Spark, dir: Rajesh S. Jala (India)
The Stranger, dir: Biplob Sarkar (Bangladesh)
The Wrestler, dir: Iqbal H. Chowdhury (Bangladesh, Canada)

Busan Jiseok Section 2023 Line-Up:
24 Hours With Gaspar, dir: Yosep Anggi Noen (Indonesia)
At The End Of The Film, dir: Ahn Sunkyoung (Korea)
Blesser, dir: Lee Sangcheol (Korea)
Bride Kidnapping, dir: Mirlan Abdykalykov (Kyrgyzstan)
Doi Boy, dir: Nontawat Numbenchapol (Thailand, Cambodia)
Ichiko, dir: Toda Akihiro (Japan)
Moro, dir: Brillante Mendoza (Philippines)
Paradise, dir: Prasanna Vithanage (Sri Lanka, India)
Something Like An Autobiography, dir: Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (Bangladesh)
The Moon, dir: Ishii Yuya (Japan)

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