OKINAWA FESTIVAL PRIZES
Taiwanese feature “The Mimicry” was named best picture at the first edition of the Cinema at Sea – Okinawa Pan-Pacific International Film Festival. The festival ran Nov. 23-29 in Okinawa, Japan.
The fantasy-drama film is adapted from a short story by Kao Yi-Feng and directed by Chung Yu Lin. “The film employs a magical yet realistic style, vividly portraying apartment stories by utilizing anthropomorphic techniques that mirror the protagonist’s observations,” said a jury headed by Iran’s Amir Naderi.
The festival’s biggest winner was “Abang Adik,” directed by Malaysia’s Jin Ong, which collected three prizes. It won the audience award, the jury award, and the best leading performance award, which went to actor Wu Kang-Ran. (Wu won the same prize last weekend at the Golden Horse Film Awards.)
The American documentary “One With the Whale,” directed by Jim Wickens and Pete Chelkowski, also received a jury award. It presents a heartwarming yet gripping narrative about a family striving to reconstruct their identities while navigating between ancient and modern worlds.
The Japanese documentary “Numakage Public Swimming Pool,” being directed by Ota Shingo and produced by Takenaka Kyoko (“Hydroblast”) and Maxime Lauret (“Hydroblast”), was the winner of the inaugural pitching award for a film at project stage. It secured a cash prize of JPY100,000 ($6,750). The documentary centers on the imminent closure of Numakage Public Pool, which is set to be dismantled after its final summer season in August 2023, to pave the way for the construction of new condominiums.
Japanese star Shogen (“Gensan Punch,” “Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist”) who hails from the island, was the festival ambassador.
Bus Stop Films, which specializes in inclusive filmmaking and advocacy around the employment of people with disability in the screen industry, is to launch a summit conference to explore disability employment in film, TV and commercials production. It will be held next year over two days in November 2024 at the Bondi Pavillion, Bondi Beach, Sydney.
“Reports such as Screen Australia’s ‘Seeing Ourselves 2’ highlight the lack of representation of people with disabilities in the screen industry, and initiatives such as the Shift 20 campaign and work of the UN Women’s Unstereotype Alliance, reflect a drive to see greater employment and casting of people with disabilities in advertising,” said the organization.
The summit will offer a strong platform to explore issues and celebrate and elevate the impact of disability employment in our amazing sector,” said Bus Stop’s CEO Tracey Corbin-Matchett.
Korean VFX and production house Dexter Studios has signed an agreement with the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) to expand its global infrastructure and strengthen its overseas business capabilities. The two parties will cooperate in joint investment and production of video content and promote global expansion strategies.
“We will seek ways to develop video technology research and support projects by interacting with Dexter Studios, which has worked on global OTT and Academy Award-winning films,” said Chae Ga-jun, chairman of TAICCA. “We will actively utilize the Taiwan National Development Fund’s cultural content investment program and move forward with practical win-win project cooperation.”
” Taiwan is a region with active exchanges with Asian content industry powerhouses such as Korea, Japan, and China, and has great potential for market growth. We are producing domestic content in many sectors such as broadcasting, advertising, games, and books, and we are also showing high interest in Korean IP,” said Dexter Studios co-CEOs Kim Wook and Kang Jong-ik. “In future, we plan to establish cooperative relationships with local VFX-related companies in Taiwan through TAICCA and to discuss possibilities such as fostering professional talents, participating in joint projects, and planning and producing other contents.”