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2024 Asian Cinema Fund (ACF)Announces 13 Recipients!

Asian Contents & Film Market (ACFM)’s Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) has announced the 13 official selections for 2024.

Asian Contents & Film Market (ACFM)'s (ACF) has announced the 13 official selections for 2024.

ACF is a representative support program of the that discovers projects by talented Asian filmmakers and provides systematic support from script development to post-production.

This year's ACF recorded 689 submissions, of which 13 projects, consisting of 3 Script Development Fund projects, 4 Post-Production Fund projects, and 6 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund projects, were selected. This year's selections are garnering expectations as they deal with acute topics, such as women and the underprivileged, race, and war, from a unique perspective.

The Script Development Fund, which funds projects from Asia in the planning and development stages, received 306 submissions.

The story of Making a Sea unfolds in the unique setting of a small village in Myanmar, where the townspeople have never seen the ocean before. The Sickness of Yerevan, showed remarkable detail as it tells the story of a woman suffering from an incurable genetic disease and a country grappling with heritage and identity; and 7 to 7, which tells the story of two shift workers who share the same bed at an embroidery factory in India. These 3 projects will receive a cash grant of 10 million KRW for script development and an invite to the 2024 Asian Project Market (APM) as an official selection, with the opportunity to arrange business meetings with industry officials.

This year's Post-Production Fund selected 2 Korean and 2 Asian projects each from the submission pool of 89 projects. The significant increase in the number of Asian project submissions, from 41 projects last year to 61 this year, showed the high interest in ACF by Asian directors. The 4 projects, which will receive post-production funding, will make their world premieres at this year's Busan International Film Festival.

Amongst the Korean submissions, director Kang Mija's Spring Night, which received high praise for its remarkable directing with a poetic touch, and director Baek Seungbin's I AM LOVE, which showcased the director's sophisticated yet trendy style, were selected. From the Asian projects, while there was a large number of submissions from India, Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, China's As River Goes By, which received a favorable review from the jury, and Sad Letters of an Imaginary Woman, the debut film of a female Indian director, were selected. 

For the AND Fund, 6 projects that prove the sustainability of the documentary genre were selected. First, directors Kim Taeil and Ju Romi's Dew is Coming received high acclaim for awakening the essence of the documentary as it dug into the depth of labor and garnered interest as the recipient of 20 million KRW in production subsidy. Director Yi Seungjun's Can I Talk to You?, set in a youth protection facility, showcases the seriousness with which it delves into the intimate lives of contemporary female adolescents. The director's seasoned expertise stands out throughout the film. Director Kim Sungeun's Waterfull Paradise, exploring the present and future of Korean society through the space of Jeju, has been praised for its impressive continuation and expansion of the themes from her previous work, Map without Island.

In addition, 3 Asian documentary projects that stood out for their unique approach to the theme and solid composition were selected. Director Hamed Zolfaghari's Qashqai Tribe: Once Upon a Time in Shiraz, which boldly applied elements of fiction in the story of nomads that face the threat of urbanization; director Pallavi Paul's How Love Moves, set in a Muslim cemetery, reflects on the deaths caused by the pandemic and the changed world afterward; director Miko Revereza's Lovers' Discourse, which maximized the potential of personal documentaries with its captivating mise-en-scène. The 6 fund recipient projects will be presented with a maximum cash grant of 20 million KRW and an official invitation to the Asian Contents & Film Market, which will provide networking opportunities with industry professionals.

The 29th Busan International Film Festival, which is raising expectations with the announcement of the 13 ACF 2024 selections, will be held for 10 days from Oct 2 (Wed) to Oct 11 (Fri) around Busan Cinema Center, and the 19th Asian Contents & Film Market will be held for 4 days from Oct 5 (Sat) to Oct 8 (Tues) at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO). 

About the author

Rouven Linnarz

Ever since I watched Takeshi Kitano's "Hana-Bi" for the first time (and many times after that) I have been a cinephile. While much can be said about the technical aspects of film, coming from a small town in Germany, I cherish the notion of art showing its audience something which one does normally avoid, neglect or is unable to see for many different reasons. Often the stories told in films have helped me understand, discover and connect to something new which is a concept I would like to convey in the way I talk and write about films. Thus, I try to include some info on the background of each film as well as a short analysis (without spoilers, of course), an approach which should reflect the context of a work of art no matter what genre, director or cast. In the end, I hope to pass on my joy of watching film and talking about it.

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