The 21st BIFF has announced 5 Jurors for the New Currents section in the Asian film competition section. The New Currents section Jury consists of 5 established cineastes of world cinema who will actively look for films with a wide range of genres and materials created by new talented directors.
Souleymane Cissé, the most prominent African film director of the 21st century cinema is the spearhead; in addition, four more world-renowned cineastes will visit Busan as the 21st BIFF New Currents Jurors.
Souleymane CISSÉ, the most prominent African film director of the 21st century cinema, visits Busan as the head juror of the New Currents section
Souleymane Cissé is BIFF’s first African head juror, as well as the most influential present day African film director. Cissé is a historic figure of resistance against autocracy and oppression in Africa as well as an acknowledged filmmaker and cineaste of world cinema. Cissé entered the cinema world by working as a staff member for the documentary on Congo’s independence fighter, Patrice Lumumba. He also participated in producing controversial works, alarming Malian society, despite the government oppression.
His film, Yeelen (1987) was invited to the Cannes Film Festival as the first Black African film and also as the first Black African film to win the Jury Prize. His film, Waati (1987), which portrays the evil of apartheid, and Oka(2015) were both invited to the Cannes Film Festival, and have become representative of African cinema. Further contributions to the growth of African cinema have included the establishment of the Union des Créateurs et Entrepreneurs du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (UCECAO) – known in English as the Union of Creators and Entrepreneurs of Cinema and Audiovisual of West Africa. He was invited as one of the 8 representatives of universal culture and art at The Protection of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions 2005 at UNESCO. In 1996 and 2006, he participated as a juror at the Cannes Film Festival and at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1996. Souleymane Cissé is considered a living inspiration to several master filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese.
Guneet Monga-a prominent Indian Film Producer, Bero Beyer-the festival director of the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, Zhang Lu- the director of the 2016 BIFF’s opening film, A Quiet Dream (2016), Mahamoud Kalari – the most outstanding Iranian cinematographer are commissioned as jurors in the New Currents section.
New Currents Jurors
Souleymane CISSÉ / Head Juror / Director / Mali
The most influential living African director, Souleymane Cissé is a monumental figure in his home country of Mali, as well as the Black African film world. He was the first Malian to study at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) and returned to direct his first short, Les Cinq Jours D’une Vie (1972). He continued directing beginning with Den Muso (The Girl), and continued making films criticizing corruption in Mali, dealing with labor issues and student movements such as Baara (The Porter) (1978) and Finye (The Wind) (1982). His fourth feature, Yeelen (The Brightness) (1987) was the first Black African film to be entered into competition at the Cannes Film Festival and received the Jury Prize. All his films thereafter, from Waati (1995) to O Ka (2015) have been introduced at the Cannes Film Festival. He was appointed as a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival in 1983, 2006, and at Venice Film Festival in 1996. Currently, he is the founder of the Union of Creators and Entrepreneurs of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts of Western Africa (UCECAO), playing a central role in the African and global film scene. He is also the first Black African jury member to be appointed to the Busan International Film Festival.
Guneet MONGA / Producer / India
Guneet Monga is one of the 12 successful women in the global entertainment industry, and an Indian film producer who has worked with producers such as The Match Factory, Elle Driver, and Fortissimo Films. Many of her films were invited to various film festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. She has worked for many years with Anurag Kashyap to produce 23 films that include Gangs of Wasseypur (2012). Other films include The Lunchbox (2013) which was nominated for the Film Not in the English Language category of the British Academy Film Awards in 2013, Masaan (2015) which won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and Zubaan (2015) which was selected as the opening film for the 20th Busan International Film Festival.
Bero BEYER / International Film Festival Rotterdam Festival Director / Netherlands
Bero Beyer is known for producing Paradise Now (2005), which won the AGICOA Blue Angel Award at the Berlin International Film Festival 2005, and Salt of this Sea (2008), which was nominated for Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival 2008. From 2010 to 2012, he served in the film section committee at the Raad voor Cultuur (Council for Culture), and beginning in 2013, he has consulted for the Netherlands Film Fund. In 2014 he produced Atlantic (2014), which was selected for the official Toronto International Film Festival 2014’s offical World Premier. Presently, he is the festival director of the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
ZHANG Lu / Director / Korea
Zhang Lu became a director beginning with Eleven (2000) which was invited to the Venice International Film Festival. Director Zhang Lu debuted with his first feature Tang Poetry (2003). His Grain in Ear (2005) won the New Currents Awards at the Busan International Film Festival 2005, the Prix ACID du meilleur in the International Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival 2005, and the Concorso PNC at the Pesaro Film Festival 2005. Other films of his have also been invited to major international film festivals, including Desert Dream (2007) which was entered into the competition section at the Berlin International Film Festival 2007, and Chongqing (2008) and Iri (2008) with China and Korea as the backdrop. He has recently directed Scenery (2013), Gyeongju (2014), Love and… (2015), and A Quiet Dream (2016). Presently, he teaches film at the School of Communication at Yonsei University.
Mahmoud KALARI / Director, Cinematographer, Photographer / Iran
Born in Tehran 1951, Mahmoud Kalari began his work as a photographer for an Iranian newspaper after graduating from high school. He studied photography and worked as a photojournalist for the Sygma international photo news agency from 1978 to 1983. He had his first experience as a director of Photography with The Frosty Roads (1985). His long career includes collaboration with major Iranian filmmakers like Kiarostami, Makhmalbaf, Mehrjuie, Panahi, Farhadi and many others. Kalari also enjoys international recognition and has received many awards like the Festival of Art of Cinematography, Camerimage. In 1987, he directed his first movie Cloud and the Rising Sun (1997), and it won the Golden Ombu for the best movie at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival in Argentina in 1998