For his 15e edition, the Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) project market is set to once again welcome guests and filmmakers at its first in-person event in three years following two online editions during the pandemic.
At least one filmmaker from 21 projects will attend the on-site event, which will be held July 9-12 at the Bucheon (Bifan) International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea. The 24-person competition is completed by three titles – co-production Colombia-Argentina deliver us from hellfrom Brazil Carrion and Taiwanese drama series smart bloody – who will join online only due to long travel time and Covid restrictions.
Scroll down for profiles of three previous NAFF titles that will premiere in Bifan’s Bucheon Choice contest
“We’re keeping it hybrid from now on, not just this year,” says NAFF Managing Director Thomas Nam. “NAFF is extremely popular among the international genre community. The pandemic isn’t over yet, but that’s also for the ease of industry guests from Europe and North America. This will allow filmmakers to take both physical meetings with guests who are in Bucheon and offline meetings with those who are not there.
The competition titles include 13 It Project market titles, 10 Korean country flagship projects and one Spanish project, Upiro, selected from Ventana Sur’s Blood Window genre platform. They are eligible for eight cash prizes, three post-production support prizes and two in-kind prizes, including a new cash prize presented by the Japan Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO). The prizes are worth a total of $300,000.
Rounding out the NAFF list, eight shortlisted winners – seven ongoing projects (all from Korea except oversteer by Derrick Lui from Singapore, former student of NAFF Fantastic Film School) and one from Fantastic 7 (Korean project Seoul Horror Story), bringing the total of this year’s NAFF projects to 32.
NAFF was launched in 2008 as the first projects market exclusively dedicated to genre films, with only the It Project market and the country spotlight section at the time. Other strands have been added over the years, including works in progress and collaborations with Nordic Genre Invasion from Finland, Blood Window from Ventana Sur from Argentina, Sitges Pitchbox from Spain and Fantastic 7 from the Marche du Film de Cannes. .
“Our goal is to train new genre filmmakers, providing them with a cycle to learn the craft thoroughly,” explains Nam. “We are not sitting in the past due to Covid, but continuing to improve our program through past experience and adapting to the changing environment of the film industry, such as promoting female gender filmmakers and the introduction of drama series projects.”
NAFF has selected 399 projects over the past 15 years, of which 78 have been completed. This year, the NAFF selections to be screened at Bifan include three previous ongoing projects – Son Kyoung-won A good boy and that of Kim Jin-moo mental universeboth in the Korean Fantastic section, and Kim Lok-kyoung by Jinju pearl in the Carousel section. Three more, which are described below, will premiere in the Bucheon Choice contest section.
Real. Michelle Garza Cervera
2019 BIFAN Award Winner at Blood Window, Argentina
Winner of Best New Story and Nora Ephron Awards at the Tribeca Film Festival in June, this supernatural body horror follows a pregnant woman as she delves into a world of urban witches and confronts a sinister entity. Mexico’s Edher Campos of Machete Producitons and Paulina Villavicencio of Disruptiva Films are the producers. Mexican director Cervera received a Chevening scholarship to study in the UK where she completed an MFA at Goldsmiths, University of London. His short films have been selected in more than 100 festivals.
Contact: XYZ Films, Tatyana Joffe [email protected]
say. Lertsiri Boonmee, Vutichai Wongnophadol
NAFF Official Project 2014 – Spotlight on Thailand
This feature debut is a horror-thriller about a photography student who must choose between good and evil when he discovers that a haunted camera can take away people’s souls. Cherprang Areekul, the captain of Thai girl group BNK48, who made her film debut in Host familystars alongside Korapat ‘Nanon’ Kirdpan whose drama series credits include the giftedwhich earned him a Best Actor nomination at the Asian Television Awards in 2019. Thai directors Lertsiri and Vutichai previously co-directed a television feature Lhong for TrueVisions in 2012.
Contact: M Pictures, Alissa Apaitan [email protected]
say. Kristina Buozyte, Bruno Samper
2019 NAFF Award Winner at Sitges Pitchbox, Spain
Starring Raffiella Chapman, Eddie Marsan and Rosy McEwen, this dystopian English-language sci-fi focuses on Vesper, a 13-year-old girl who uses her bio-hacking skills to fight for an alternate future. Produced by Natrix Natrix from Lithuania and Rumble Fish Fish Productions from France, the film had its world premiere in Karlovy Vary. Lithuanian co-director Buozyte has already received several awards for his feature films The collector and leakage waves, both of which were co-written by Samper of France. The duo co-directed an American Horror Anthology segment ABC of death 2.
Contact: Anton, Louis Balsan [email protected]