Busan (South Korea), Oct 13 (Canadian-Media): The winners top award at the 24th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) were shared by an Iraq-Qatar co-production looking at life in war-torn Baghdad and a Vietnamese tale of a young bookie struggling to support himself and his loved, media reports said.
Iraqi director Mohanad Hayal's "Haifa Street" and "Rom", from Vietnam's Tran Thanh Huy, won the festival's New Currents award, which hands out two prizes of $30,000 to first- or second-time Asian directors, early Saturday.
"Haifa Street" was a film with tension from beginning to end, the jury said in a statement.
"This is a mature, grown-up movie and the director exhibited a confidence and understanding of cinema language which set the film apart," their statement read. "Good to see a strong gender-balanced cast."
The New Currents jury praised "Rom" for "it's amazing energy".
Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda was in town to collect the Asian Filmmaker of the World award while the Korean industry was out in force, led by opening night host Lee Hanee.
299 films from 85 countries, with 118 world premieres were screened this year by BIFF and almost 200,000 attending across its 10-day run.
The official prize-giving and with the world premiere of Korean director Lim Dae-hyung’s mother-daughter relationship drama "Moonlit Winter" the event came to an end on Saturday night..