South Korean dramas about a struggling defector and teenage angst won the top prizes Friday at Asia's leading film festival.
Park Jung-bum's "The Journals of Musan" and Yun Sung-hyun's "Bleak Night" were named the New Currents Award winners at the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea, organizers announced. The annual prizes go to two young Asian filmmakers and carry a cash award of $30,000 each.
"The Journals of Musan" follows a North Korean defector to the south that struggles to fit in. "Bleak Night" is about a father who tries to unravel the relationship between his dead son and two fellow students at an all-boys high school.
"After watching 13 films, 'The Journal of Musan' stays in my head even 'til now. The end was especially impressive," said Taiwanese actress Yang Kuei-mei, a member of the five-person jury headed by Oscar-winning costume designer Emi Wada.
Another juror, Korean-American actress Kim Yun-jin called it "a gripping story" with a unique ending.
The "Lost" actress gave "Bleak Night" high marks because "the plot weaves from past to present in a fluid, interesting way. This was every juror's favorite."
Wada said "the drama of the three guys is portrayed with well-structured cuts and skillful editing."
The Flash Forward Award for new non-Asian filmmakers went to Swedish director Lisa Langseth's "Pure," the coming-of-age story of a 20-year-old woman.
In a statement, the five-person Flash Forward jury headed by Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper called the movie "bold, risky and high energy while featuring an amazing performance by a young actress that can carry a film with conviction and power."
Langseth wins a cash prize of $20,000.
Polish filmmaker Marek Lechki's father-son drama "Erratum" was given special mention.