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.
Deepa Mehta is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker. Her films include the Elemental Trilogy: Earth (1998), Fire (1996), and Water(2005), which received an Oscar nomination in 2007 for the Best Foreign Language film, Bollywood/Hollywood (2002), Heaven on Earth (2008), Midnight’s Children (2012), based on Salman Rushdie’s three-time Booker Prize winning novel, and Anatomy of Violence (2016). Deepa directed the pilot and second episode for the Netflix Original series, Leila, and the pilot episode, “The Manager,” for Apple TV’s Little America. Her latest feature film, Funny Boy (2020), based on the award winning novel by Shyam Selvadurai, received awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Director at the Canadian Screen Awards 2021, and for Best Motion Picture and Best Supporting Performance Female at the Leo Awards 2021.
After graduating with a master of arts degree, Cristina Nord worked as a journalist and an editor. Between 2002 and 2015, she was the film editor of the culture section at the German daily newspaper “taz. die tageszeitung.” At the same time, Nord was active in various ﬁlm-related ﬁelds, such as contributing to the program “Filmtip” at Germany’s Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) station, teaching ﬁlm criticism at the Free University of Berlin, and being a member of the selection panel for the German-language documentary film festival, Duisburger Filmwoche. In addition, she is writing numerous essays on cinema including the book “True Blood” (2015). She began working at the Goethe-Institut in 2015 and became the director of the Berlinale Forum, an independent section of the Berlin International Film Festival run by the Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art, in 2019.
Jang Joonhwan majored in English Language and Literature at Sungkyunkwan University before studying film at the Korean Academy of Film Arts. Starting off in the production department of the film, Motel Cactus (1997), Jang participated in writing the screenplay for Phantom the Submarine (1999). After that, he made his feature debut ﬁlm, Save the Green Planet! (2003). Following his debut, he received many awards both domestically and internationally, from the Silver St. George at the Moscow International Film Festival 2003 to the Golden Raven at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2004. After directing Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013), Jang received the Best Director Award at the Grand Bell Awards and the Blue Dragon Award for Best Film in 2018 with 1987: When the Day Come (2017), a ﬁlm that portrays the ﬁght for democracy in South Korea in the 1980s.
Jeong Jae-eun debuted in 2001 with her ﬁlm, Take Care of My Cat (2001). Set in the city of Incheon, this film deals with the friendship and growth of a group of 20 year-old women, and premiered in numerous locations including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Hong Kong. While continuing to work on ﬁction ﬁlms such as If You Were Me (2003), The Aggressives (2005), and Butterfly Sleep (2018), she produced a documentary trilogy on architecture: Talking Architect (2011), Talking Architecture, City: Hall (2013), and Ecology in Concrete (2017). Jeong is working on archiving multi-dimensional contents, such as the subjects forming the urban environment and space, the experience and memory of the space, and the history of the city, presenting them in the form of movies and exhibitions.