“The Endless” Takes Top Honors at BIFAN 2017
Directing duo Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson continue their hot streak.
The 21st edition of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) came to a close Friday night with American sci-fi horror The Endless taking the top prize. The film, directed by Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, follows two brothers that return to visit the death cult they had escaped ten years prior. The film has been earning praise and positive reviews since its premier at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. The directing duo had already left Korea before the closing ceremony and accepted the award via a pre-recorded statement.
The jury commented on The Endless saying “A perfect combination of science fiction ideas translate to the screen with a strange naturalism and sometimes scary minimalism. Benson and Moorhead return to the ground of his first feature, Resolution, but this time the equilibrium between art house and genre objectives is perfect.”
The jury for this year’s Bucheon Choice consisted of producer SHIN Chul (Korea), Sitges International Film Festival director Angel SALA (Spain), producer KIM Eui Sung (Korea), producer and Hong Kong Arts Centre director Teresa KWONG (Hong Kong), and actress and producer SUGINO Kiki (Japan).
Teresa Kwong, speaking on behalf of the jury while presenting the final award noted that this year’s choice was not difficult and that the decision was unanimous. She also went on to give an honorable mention to Japanese director ANZAI Hajime stating “We would also like to give a special mention to Hentaida (I Am a Pervert) for its youthfulness and energy by a first time filmmaker in his sixties. It is definitely one of the surprises from this year’s selection.”
Other Bucheon Choice winners included Jury’s Choice winner, Spanish horror sci-fi Black Hollow Cage, directed by Sadrac González-Perellónan and NH Audience Award Winner, fantasy thriller Mon Mon Mon Monsters, which was directed by Giddens KO of Taiwan.
Big local winners included LG HiEntech Best Korean Fantastic Film winner, Korean director SHIM Chanyag’s comedy Behind the Dark Night and director IM Heung-soon’s documentary Ryeohaeng, which won the Korean Fantastic Audience Award.
PARK Ji-soo took home the award for Korean Fantastic Best Actress for her role in KIM Kwang-Bok’s The End of April while actors OH Ryoong and RYU Seong-hyun, during one of the most emotional moments of the night, jointly accepted the Korean Fantastic Best Actor for The Gravity of Acting, directed by CHUNG Geun-woong.
The closing festivities took place inside of the main theater of Bucheon City Hall and began after a red carpet ceremony. Announcers OH Seung Won and LEE Ji Yeon served as hosts for the ceremony.
Following the conclusion of the closing ceremony was the festival’s closing film, Gintama. Directed by FUKUDA Yuichi and based on the popular Japanese manga and anime series of the same name, the screening served as the film’s Korean premiere. Before the film began, the stars of film greeted the audience with a short, pre-recorded video.
Here is a full list of winners:
Bucheon Choice: Features
Best of Bucheon
The Endless, directed by: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson (USA)
Black Hollow Cage, directed by: Sadrac González-Perellón (Spain)
NH Audience Award
Mon Mon Mon Monsters, directed by: Giddens KO (Taiwan)
Bucheon Choice: Shorts
Best Short Film
Green, directed by: Alonso Ruizpalacios (Mexico)
Jury’s Choice for Short Film
16.03, directed by: Natalia Siwicka (Poland)
Audience Award for Short Film
Crash, directed by: Hong Hengfai (Macau)
Korean Fantastic: Features
LG HiEntech Best Korean Fantastic Film
Behind the Dark Night, directed by: Shim Chanyang (Korea)
Korean Fantastic Best Actress
Park Ji-soo of The End of April, directed by: Kim Kwang-bok (Korea)
Korean Fantastic Best Actor
Oh Ryoong & Ryu Seong Hyun of The Gravity of Acting, directed by: Chung Geunwoong (Korea)
Korean Fantastic Audience Award
Ryeohaeng, directed by: Im Heung-soon (Korea)
Korean Fantastic: Shorts
Best Korean Short Film
Vibration, directed by: Jo Bareun (Korea)
Audience Award for Korean Short Film
Weight of the Hand, directed by: Lee Sooah (Korea)
European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation (EFFFF) Asian Award
Godspeed, directed by: Chung Mong-hong (Taiwan)
The Village of No Return, directed by: Chen Yu-Hsun (Taiwan – China)
Save Energy, Save Earth Film Award
Roby and Toby’s Fantastic Voyager, directed by: Wolfgang Groos (Germany)
BIFAN Children’s Jury Award
The Legend of Timm Tyler or The Boy Who Sold His Laughter, directed by: Andreas Dresen (Germany)