Thai film “Malila” (“The Farewell Flower”) has won the Kim Ji-seok award at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival along with Japanese film “The Scythian Lamb” directed by Daihachi Yoshida.
Announced on Saturday, the Kim Ji-seok award was inaugurated this year as a tribute to the festival co-founder and former festival programme director who died while attending the Cannes International Film Festival in May.
Directed by Anucha Boonyawatana, whose previous work was the independent release “Onthakan” ("The Blue Hour"), the film premiered at Busan. Its stars, Sukollawat “Weir” Kanaros and Anuchyd Sapanphong, attended the festival and Weir also won the “Face of Asia Award” organised by Marie Claire magazine and the BIFF. Other winners of the “Face of Asia” awards are Japanese actress Sugisaku Hana, Vietnamese actress Lan Ngoc Ninh Duong and South Korean actor Choi Min Ho.
“Anucha’s film casts a Buddhist eye on the piercing theme of transience, using the metaphor of baisri flowers (where are sewn into elaborate flower sculptures and then allowed to decay) to stand for the impermance of our lives and emotions,” the jury noted.
“A man who has lost his daughter and driven away his wife rekindles an earlier romance with another man. But his lover is terminally ill, and the man becomes a monk in the hope that “making merit” will help to fend off the illness. With its exquisite language, ‘Malila: The Farewell Flower’ seems a more-than-fitting film to win an award named in memory of the late Kim Ji-seok.”
The Kim Ji-seok prizes are awarded to two films from the festival’s Window on Asian cinema section. Each receives a cash award of $10,000 (Bt340,000).
The jury was made up of critic and curator Tony Rayns, former Variety correspondent Darcy Paquet, and Indonesian director Garin Nugruho.