New Currents Award
director / Head of the JuryBorn in Tehran in 1939, Dariush Mehrjui moved to California to study film but graduated with a philosophy degree from UCLA. His second feature The Cow (1970) is considered one of two films that signaled the emergence of Iranian New Cinema. It was banned by the Shah's censors and was smuggled to Venice Film Festival where it won Critics' Award in 1971. Since then his filmic spectrum further broadened to comedies, to docu-fictions, to personal reflections, and to political commentaries such as women's rights. MEHRJUI, to Iranian critics, is the representative of the generation of pioneering filmmakers of Iranian cinema. Dariush Mehrjui's films have already received 49 national and international awards.
actressNan Yu was born in 1978 in Dalian, China. In 1999, having graduated from Beijing Film Academy, Yu debuted in WANG Quan An's Lunar Eclipse and her acting immediately grabbed French producers' attention. Soon in 2002, she was casted in a French film, Fury , and became famous outside China even before China knew about her. She won the Best Actress Award in China's Oscars, Golden Roosters Awards in 2004 for her role in The Story of Er Mei . She also starred in Tuya's Marriage , winner of the Golden Bear Award in Berlin International Film Festival.
directorOne of the forerunners of Romanian cinema today, Cristian Mungiu was born in Iasi, Romania and was a student of English literature at the University of Iasi before studying film directing at the University of Film in Bucharest. He has worked as a teacher, journalist, and assistant director on international films that shot in Romania. His filmography includes Occident (2002) and the Turkey Girl segment of Lost and Found (2005). His Palme d'Or winning film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days illustrates the absurdity of the communist-era Securitate in Bucharest.
directorGoran Paskaljevic was born in 1947 in Belgrade, Serbia. He studied at the well-known Prague School of Cinema (FAMU). He has made 30 documentaries and 14 feature films, shown at the most prestigious international film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, and Venice. Even though the rise of nationalism in Yugoslavia forced him to leave his country in 1992 he went back in 1998 to make The Powder Keg (a.k.a. Cabaret Balkan in the USA) which won international critics' prizes at the Venice Film Festival and the European Film Awards. In 2001, the Variety International Film Guide named him as one of the top five directors of the year. The Museum of Modern Art in New-York (MoMA) will present a full retrospective of his work in January 2008.
Korea / directorBorn in 1954 in Daegu, Korea, Lee Chang-dong graduated from Kyungbuk University where he majored in Korean Language and Literature Education. He began a career as a novelist and a high school teacher, but in 1993 he joined acclaimed social filmmaker PARK Kwang-su's production of the film To the Starry Island as scriptwriter and assistant director. His script of A Single Spark (1995) won him the Best Screenplay at the Paeksang Art Awards. In 1996, his directorial debut, Green Fish won major awards such as Best Picture and Best Director from Korea's big-3 film awards - Paeksang Art Awards, Daejong Awards, and the Blue Dragon Awards. Green Fish was also invited to more than twenty international film festivals abroad. Peppermint Candy , the opening film of the 4th PIFF, won Critics' Award at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and was invited to Cannes's "Directors' Fortnight." In 2002 Oasis earned Lee and lead actress MOON So-ri awards for best director and best actress at the Venice Film Festival. He served as Minister of Culture and Tourism for one year between 2003 and 2004. Lee's fourth film, Secret Sunshine won its actress, JEON Do-yeon, the Best Actress Award at Cannes this year.
Sonje Award / Woonpa Award
Korea / Independent Film ProducerBeginning with The Story about Her (1999, LEE Ji-sang, Director) which was the closing film of the Indieforum 2000, his career as an independent film producer blossomed with various films like a short, Good Romance (2000, LEESONG Hee-il, Director), an omnibus film, Four-Letter Words (2002, LEE Ji-sang, YOO Sang-gon, KIM Jung-gu, LEESONG Hee-il, Directors), a documentary, Taxi Blues (2005, CHOIHA Dong-ha, Director), and a feature Annyoung Sayonara (2005, KIM Tae-il, KATO Kumiko). As the head of producers' division in the Association of Korea Independent Film and Video, he continues to nurture the independent film industry by holding special showcases on independent feature films.
Korea / Independent FilmmakerHe debuted with his short, Everyday Like a Sunday in 1998 and in 2000 his Sugar Hill was invited to the 20th Vancouver International Film Festival to compete for the prestigious Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema. Sugar Hill was also screened at the 13th Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. His filmography includes short films like Good Romance (2001) and Say That You Wanna Fuck With Me (2003), and omnibus films like Macho Hunter segment in Four-Letter Words (2002), and Camellia Project (Co-directed with CHOI Jin-sung and So Joon-moon.) No Regret , which premiered at the 11th Pusan International Film Festival, earned critical acclaim from Berlin International Film Festival in 2007.
Korea / Documentary DirectorCHOIHA earned the Excellence Award at the 1996 Seoul Documentary Film & Video Festival for his film, A Short Film about Lovelornness . He joined the Red Snowman, an independent film production company, where he co-produced with LEE Kyoung Soon Mindullae (1999) and Patriot Game (2001). Mindullae won Woonpa Award at the 4th Pusan International Film Festival and his The High Hill was again invited to PIFF's Wide Angle section in 2003. The same year, his Taxi Blues received the first Youngsan fund and was later screened at the 10th edition of PIFF in 2005. Taxi Blues also won the Best Asian Film Award at the Syracuse International Film Festival, USA.
Pakistan / Film Film Critic
Korea / Professor
Taiwan / Producer
UK / Film Critic
Argentina / Film Critic
Finland / Film Critic
India / Film Critic
Korea / Film Critic