These are the winners of the 25th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (Korea) which took place in cinemas and online from July 8th – 18th, 2021.
About the festival:
The Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) aims to consolidate its identity as a ‘Fantastic Film Festival’ through Fantastic-Genre films and to provide a new and diverse aspects toward Genre film. BIFAN also encourages the understanding of different cultures through the art of fantastic films and facilitates exchange of ideas among film industry professionals from all around the world and those from Korea. Furthermore, the Festival promotes including but not limited to the production and distribution of fantastic films.
Bucheon Choice: Features
Best of Bucheon
A documentary team follows Nim, a shaman based in Northern Thai, the Isan area, and encounters her niece Mink showing strange symptoms that seem to be of inheritance of shamanism. The team decides to follow Mink, hoping to capture the shaman lineage passing on to the next generation, but her bizarre behavior becomes more extreme. (BIFAN 2021)
Best Director Choice
Member of the British Parliament, Gwyn, his wife Glenda and their two sons arrive for dinner at a luxurious house in Wales. A village girl named Cadi is hired to help with the dinner party. While preparing for dinner, a strange exchange of looks occurs between Gwyn’s family and Cadi. The guests arrive and inexplicable tension leads to unexpected incidents. (BIFAN 2021)
Feng, a corrupted police officer, ordered to retrieve the diamonds within 48hrs, arrives at a remote village, following the mobile signal of his partner Chiang who stole the diamonds from the gang. While Feng and his men try to find Chiang in the village, they encounter the locals who seem naive but suspicious, and a ghost full of stories. Remake of a renowned Korean film To Catch A Virgin Ghost(2004). (BIFAN 2021)
Mervi travels to her hometown in Finland, with her German-Iranian girlfriend Kata, to confront her parents and come out of the closet. Kata’s mother, a Muslim politician, comes to Mervi’s hometown in search of Kata, who left without saying anything. A warm gathering of a couple’s families quickly turns into the calm before the storm as political and religious differences clash. A Neo-Nazi group in the town threatens them leading to an explosive situation. (BIFAN 2021)
Bucheon Choice: Shorts
Best Short Film
A woman taxidermist dreams of stuffing people, while a man is afraid of getting older and wants to freeze his time. These two meet each other by destiny and fall in love at first sight. This amazing musical film with the grotesque romance of the main characters won this year’s SXSW Film Festival for its outstanding musical performance and artistic perfection. (BIFAN 2021)
Jury’s Choice for Short Film
Animation based on Taiwan’s promising young director Joe HSIEH’s worldview of the virtuous and punitive. An old lady’s expensive necklace disappears on a desolate late-night bus carrying tired passengers, and the driver and passengers accuse a man on the bus. However, the situation takes a new turn as an unexpected passenger gets on the bus. This gruesome fable depicts the inner darkness and psychology of a varied group of people on a late-night bus. (BIFAN 2021)
Jury’s Special Mention
When a seasoned parish priest is bitten on the arse by a mysterious animal, he begins transforming into a werewolf every full moon. He starts to attack and kill people without even realizing it and this ensuing bloodshed leads to a resurgence in mass attendances from fearful locals, much to the delight of his senior colleagues. (BIFAN 2021)
Audience Award for Short Film
Korean Fantastic: Features
Korean Fantastic Film
Joo Sung wants to be a fabulous action movie star like Jakie Chan, even though he is just an ordinary college student. One day Joosung meets a nerd, Chanyeol in the filmmaking class and they decide to making a film as a project. They found a threatening letter to prof Cha by chance during their project. “I know you are involved in the admission fraud. To keep this fact out of the press, put a bag of 30 million won in cash in the trash bin at the university waste disposal until tomorrow…” After reading this letter, Joosung decide to use this letter story to making his film. And all things getting massed up because of his plan. (BIFAN 2021)
Korean Fantastic Best Director
The great adventures of life and human connections in contemporary Korean society, following a formal baseball player, a sleepless student, a new hangman, an imprisoned gangster, and a mysterious father and daughter. (BIFAN 2021)
Best friends ‘Hodu’ and ‘Yeji’ are job seekers whose dreams and hopes have been ruined. One day, ‘Hodu’ luckily gets a decent cheap fully loaded rent house. ‘Yeji’, who has been kicked out of her parents’ house, also stays there with him. They gradually feel a strange energy in the house that seemed perfect. They encounter ominous ghost and freaked out. With no place to go and no money, they try to defeat the ghost to protect their house…
Fantastic Actor Jury’s Special Mention
Sora dreams of being an idol star, Kyung Ho dreams of becoming a boxing champion. Sora & Kyung Ho went to a gym for different reasons. Sora needed to be in shape to be an idol star but Kyung Ho needed a place to make money and train himself. They become closer through sharing their different dreams and stories. (BIFAN 2021)
Korean Fantastic Audience Award
Watcha New Talent Award
Korean Fantastic: Shorts
Best Korean Short Film
Weary from his wife’s repeated suicide attempts, the husband seeks help from a secretive agent who an old doctor introduced to him. In the middle of the night, “they” come to his house. (BIFAN 2021)
Audience Award for Korean Short Film
In the near future, telecare service has become prevalent. Bohyung, who is suffering from chronic rhinitis infection, receives a very special treatment.
Watcha New Talent Award
School police officer Jae-Yeon gets on the phone from an anonymous girl. And the girl on the phone is just screaming out and gets off the phone. The day after day, she realized that the girl had disappeared. She goes to the girl’s school to find out what happened to the girl. (BIFAN 2021)
Yong, a TV producer, is ordered by his boss to blur the nipples of a celebrity who wasn’t wearing a bra.
Haeon approaches everyone who passes through the park. Something’s strange. Junbeom sits blankly by the lake. When Haeon approaches, he’s alarmed – to a fault. Something’s suspicious. Haeon suggests they grab a drink. An unexpected conversation between a strange woman and a suspicious man unfolds.
After obtaining superhuman powers from an accident, movie star Eugene meets a drawback as he starts out a heroic move. But, his costume is too cold for winter! Panic drives him towards online communities where he’d been ignoring. A band of nerds set out to change the world.
Méliès International Festivals Federation (MIFF) Award for Best Asian Film
Moving from a small town to Tehran, Amen is planning to do gender reassignment surgery. He meets Naser, a rich man who promises to pay for his surgery. It appears that Amen has a very similar voice to Naser’s daughter, Annie who is about to inherit her grandmother’s house and Amen is supposedly asked to play Annie’s role in front of the grandmother. However, this is not the real reason.
Kato, the owner of Cafe Phalam in front of Kyoto’s Nijo Station, goes back to his apartment above the cafe after finishing up work for the day. When he is about to play his guitar, Kato himself from the future suddenly appears on his TV screen and begins speaking. The TV in Kato’s room and the TV in the cafe below are somehow connected with a time difference of two minutes. (BIFAN 2021)