In October, Pusan is hot with a fever of the festival. The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF), which has established itself as Asia’s best showcase, celebrated the 9th birthday in 2004. As it has earned reputation as a ‘film market’, it seemed more crowded than ever with more foreign guests and a wider public visiting the PIFF in 2004.
Moreover, the PIFF in now recognized as the film festival where one can meet the Asian movies at the soonest date and in the largest quantity. And ShunJi Iwai paid his tribute of praise, saying “This is the post Cannes Film Festival.”
These growths reflect the PIFF’s advanced stand in comparison to others. But you should not regard it just as a wasting event comprised of only watching and enjoying films. There are reasonable factors for the PIFF’s placing itself as such a powerful film festival within a period of less than 10 years. The PIFF relatives are the geniuses of bench marking.
They paid attention to the Tokyo Film Festival’s failure. The movies invited to a competition part of the big three film festivals cannot be invited to other competitive film festivals. So, the PIFF started itself as a non-competitive film festival from the beginning, and emphasized its quality as an ‘Asian film festival’.
This served as a main factor for success. Another factor, actually the strongest factor of all, is the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP). The PPP, the Asia’s biggest free market, is the market place that buying and selling have completed movies or on-going movies are in progress.
It plays an important role in connecting with bright films and investors. Oasis directed by Lee, Chang-dong is a representative case of the PPP. They achieved 550 meetings with 30 countries and thousand people this year.
However, the most important secret to the success is the vitality of the audiences. Even Cannes Film Festival is popular for the power of prestige, but lack of audiences’ energy is the league for the film noble. Takeshi Kitano said, “I always become strained when having discussion with the Korean audiences who have a sense of discussion and passion.”
In 2005, it’ll be the 10th anniversary. Rather than being puffed up with simply heated atmosphere and laudatory remarks, we should firmly situate it as the most prominent film festival in Asia and even one of the five most prestigious festivals in the world.
Of course, to do so, we should be in serious agony about its identity. The Tokyo Film Festival which was pushed by the PIFF is on the way to chase with increasing budget to million dollars and hundred thousand for the Grand prix prize.
And other Asian countries are preparing for international film festivals corresponding to the PIFF. It would be more important to maintain ‘vitality’-its most advantage and expand its structure.