‘Transit’ earns Special Mention in Busan

Agence France-Presse

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Film festival, Asia's largest cinema event, in concluding ceremonies October 12

CITATION. Hannah Espia, director of 'Transit.' Photos: Ted Aljibe/AFP

BUSAN, South Korea – The New Currents jurors of the Busan International Film Festival awarded a Special Mention to Hannah Espia’s “Transit,” the Philippine entry in Asia’s largest film event which concludes Saturday, October 12.

“Transit,” a moving account of Filipino migrant life in Israel, was cited by the jurors for its focus  on an “unknown dimension” of life.

The film won the top prize in the New Breed Category of the 2013 Cinemalaya Film Festival, the annual film event of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. “Transit” marks Espia’s directorial debut, after a prolific and still thriving career as film editor, screenwriter, and assistant director.

“Transit” has also been put forward as the Philippine selection for consideration in the 2014 Oscars’ Foreign-Language Film category.

Top prize

The top prize in the New Currents award went to Korean director Ahn Song-Kyoung’s “Pascha” and to “Remote Control,” by Mongolia’s Byamba Sakhya.

Both filmmakers receive $30,000 for the award, which offers two prizes and is open to first and second-time Asian directors. 

The two winners are wildly diverse takes on modern love and obsession. Ahn’s film tells the heartbreaking tale of a 40-year-old woman trying to hold on to her 17-year-old boyfriend. The second-time director said she wanted to focus on the turning points in people’s lives.

Sakhya’s look at romantic obsession was intended to highlight a Mongolian society in “transition,” the Mongolian director said.

GLITTER. Korean actors Song Sun-mi and Yoon Kye-sung greet welcomers at the Busan filmfest

Oscar-winning Irish director Neil Jordan (“The Crying Game”) delighted festival audiences by saying that the film world was looking to Korea for inspiration – after a record-breaking year at the local box office.

The Busan festival closes Saturday night with the world premiere of the Korean family drama “The Dinner,” directed by Kim Dong-Hyun.

The festival sold just over 217,000 admission tickets for the 299 films screened over its 10-day run, and has played host to a number of international and Asian stars – among them, two-time Oscar winner Quentin Tarantino and Oscar-nominated Japanese actor Ken Watanabe. – Rappler.com

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