Started in 1996, Busan International Film Festival (Earlier known as Pusan International Film Festival) has sprung to being among the most prominent film festivals globally, finding itself a spot among the top ten film festivals globally.
With a hard focus on Asian cinema, Busan has become the launch pad for numerous filmmakers and films, offering a discovery platform on a grand scale. Much like the other major festivals, it’s supported by a strong project and film market, which in 2015 recorded a large number of deals, with over 3000 attendees each day. The festival itself reported a record 227,000 audience members.
Over the last few years Busan has increased their focus on Indian language films, with a greater official selection of titles for the festival and projects for the Asian Project Market, both mainstream and independent. Some of the past titles have included the likes of Mozez Singh’s Zubaan, SS Rajamoulis’ Makkhi, Vikas Bhals’ Queen, Nitin Kakkars’ Filmistaan, Suman Ghosh’s Shyamal Uncle Turns off the Lights, Anurag Kashyaps’ Gangs Of Wasseypur among a host of others. Additionally the festival has had the likes of Anurag Kashyap, Suhasini Mani Ratnam as jury members.
While the last year Busan has been marred in a major controversy, with its continuance questioned, the festival saw a great deal of support from other leading festivals, filmmakers and supporters, emerging victorious with yet another edition.
The last four years the festival has seen an increase in attendance from both European and Asian players, keen on acquiring Asian titles for distribution. Additionally the press coverage has added to the festival’s prominence and has further fuelled the mounting of certain films. The festival has proven time and again to be a discovery platform for Asian titles as well as a sales and networking ground to both Asian and European markets.
Submitting To Busan
While the Asian programmer for Busan has been visiting India each year selecting films, the festival is also helped by the film festival veteran Uma Da’Cunha, identifying relevant Indian films. Additionally with a strong network of recommenders, based in India, Busan’s whetting and pre-selection process is highly regulated. Submissions can be made on the festival website and unlike other major festivals has no submission fees.
With a record number of 16 Indian films officially selected at the 2016 edition of the festival, additionally noted producer Guneet Monga and film critic Manoj Barpujari have been selected as part of the esteemed jury for this year’s edition of the festival.
Additionally Suman Ghosh’s The India Story, Sharofat Arabova’s Parvona and Starring Ranbir & Hrithik by Sanjoy Nag have been shortlisted for the Asia Project Market and Goodbye Mr.Kanay by Sri Hari Sathe and Hotel Salvation by Shubhashish Bhutiani have been selected as the the Asia Cinema Fund recipients.