Jurors for the New Asian Currents
The Ogawa Shinsuke Prize will be awarded to the most promising filmmaker, chosen from amongst the 30 entrants whose work will be screened in the New Asian Currents program. This year’s jurors are both frequent participants in this film festival: documentary filmmaker Kim Dong-won, who is also known as the “Don” of South Korean independendent cinema; and Kawase Naomi, whose diverse and splendid works span the worlds of dramatic and documentary film.
Kim Dong-won (Korea, director)
Began making documentary films after working as an assistant director on commercial productions in the 1980s. Founded documentary film collective P.U.R.N. Production in 1991, and has since produced and directed around thirty documentaries. Many of his works deal with people forced out of cities by redevelopment and other factors, the pro-democracy movement, and the schism between North and South Korea. His Sangye-dong Olympics was screened at YIDFF ’91. Also a participant in YIDFF ’99’s New Asian Currents Special Program “Filming, Screening, Changing: Video Activism in Japan and Korea.” In this year’s New Asian Currents Special Program “KOFIC and KIFV Public Policies to Ensure a Diverse Cinema,” he will report on government programs supporting Korean film as the former president of the Association of Korean Independent Film and Video.
- Korea / 2003 / Korean / Video / 149 min
In 1992, the filmmaker became acquainted with two North Korean political prisoners. Sent to South Korea as spies, they were arrested and spent thirty years in prison, serving out their sentences without renouncing their communist beliefs. At that time, with no place to call home, they moved to an area near the filmmaker who, drawn to their utterly un-spy-like demeanor, subsequently filmed them for more than a decade.
Kim Dae-jung’s presidency saw a growing movement to repatriate North Korean political prisoners, especially those from the Korean War. In the year 2000, sixty-three former political prisoners who did not ‘convert’ were repatriated to Pyongyang, in the midst of protests from groups including right-wing organizations and the families of South Koreans abducted by the North.
Kawase Naomi (Japan, director)
Embracing (1992) won the FIPRESCI Prize Special Mention and Katatsumori (1994) was awarded the Award of Excellence in YIDFF ’95’s New Asian Currents. Became the youngest ever recipient of the Camera d’ Or (for best feature film by a new director) at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival for Suzaku. The Weald featured in the International Competition at YIDFF ’97. Hotaru (2000), Kya Ka Ra BaA (2001), Shara and most of her other films have been shown at international film festivals and have received many prizes. One of Japan’s most recognized filmmakers.
Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom
- JAPAN / 2002 / Japanese / Video / 65 min
The final days of Nishii Kazuo, a photography critic who was a driving force behind Japan’s photography world. Nishii, who only has a few days to live, asks the director to film him. Despite her feelings of uncertainty, she begins to visit him from the following day. Kawase questions Nishii with her video camera rolling, and he desperately attempts to respond. Nishi himself has a still camera in hand, and the shutter clicks away as the director films her subject. The exchange between them weaves a “memory of time shared” that continues to draw breath.
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