New Currents Award is given to the two best feature films selected from the first or second feature of new Asian directors introduced in the New Currents section (a competitive section of BIFF for Asian films). A grand prize of USD 30,000 is awarded to each film. The jury consists of world-renowned film experts who will choose winners to discover and encourage the hidden jewels of Asian cinema.
ⓒ Lookout Point / Aparna Jayakumar
Mira Nair has worked across genres, directing both on stage and on screen. Her debut film Salaam Bombay! (1988) received over 25 awards including the Caméra d’Or at the 41st Cannes Film Festival. Her best-known films include Monsoon Wedding (2001), which won the Golden Lion Award at the 58th Venice Film Festival, Mississippi Masala (1991), Vanity Fair (2004), and Queen of Katwe (2016). The musical adaptation of Monsoon Wedding, which sold out at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2017, will be staged again in 2021 at the Roundhouse in London. A longtime activist, Nair founded the Salaam Baalak Trust in 1999, an organization that works with Indian street children. She also started the Maisha Film Lab in 2004, a free school that provides training for emerging filmmakers in East Africa. In 2012, Nair was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s prestigious civilian honor, for her work in arts and culture.
Thierry Jobin is the artistic director of the Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF). After making his debut as a journalist at a young age, Jobin has been working as a film critic for 25 years and publishing his works in numerous mainstream media outlets such as Le Temps in Geneva. In addition to promoting Asian cinema through his work at FIFF, Jobin is an expert for Visions Sud Est, a Swiss fund that promotes film productions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe; and Final Cut, a post-production fund for African cinema.
Yang Haegue is a visual artist based in Seoul and Berlin, who exhibits internationally and teaches at Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Yang has participated in numerous major exhibitions including the 53rd Venice Biennale, where she represented the Korean Pavilion and exhibited at the Arsenale. Her work has also been shown at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Sharjah Biennial 12, and the 16th Istanbul Biennial. She held her recent solo exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach; furthermore, her works are collected by museums such as the Guggenheim Museum, Centre Pompidou, and the Tate Modern. Yang’s next solo exhibition O2 & H2O will be held this September at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul.