The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF, previously Pusan International Film Festival, PIFF), takes place annually in Haeundae-gu, Busan (also Pusan), South Korea, is one of the most significant festivals in Asia. The focus of BIFF is to introduce new films and first-time directors, mainly from Asian Countries. The festival has a “New Currents” section which has become a venue to foster Asian directors. Many directors were introduced to the world via this section. This year the festival selected 10 films with various themes found throughout East Asian and Southwest Asia. Two films were selected, one being an Indian one – Ashwatthama by Pushpendra Singh and the other being Last Child by Shin Dongseok (South Korea). Details about the two films that competed are as follows:
Firstly, Ashwatthama by Pushpendra Singh. He is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. His debut feature Lajwanti (The Honor Keeper) premiered at the 64th Berlin Film Festival in the Forum Section. The Mythical Tragic Hero – Ashwathama after the war of Mahabharata,w as given a strange curse by Lord Krishna – that he would be immportal, but live forever with the pain of his wounds. Ishvaku , a character, is narrated this story by his mother before she gets killed in an attack by the bandits in the village. Ishvaku is packed off to his maternal village situated in Chambal ravines. Ishvaku has strange encounters in the village and the myth of Ashwathama comes back to haunt him again one day. The story is a narrative intertwined between mythological and real-life experiences that come together to follow the child’s internal and external journey. It’s basically what we can learn from mythology.
Secondly, Ajji by Devashish Makhija. Devashish Makhija began his career assisting Anurag Kashyap and Shaad Ali. Ajji is kind of a mature adaptation of the fairytale, Red Riding Hood. It narrates the story of a nine-year old girl. She is denied justice from the society and later her 65-year old grandmother takes brutal revenge. Ajji features actors like Sushama Deshpande, Sharvani Suryavanshi and Abhishek Banerjee. Its backed by Yoodlee Films.