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(LEAD) (PIFF) Asian film market in Pusan fest closes with brisk sales
By Kim Hyun
SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- The film market for the Pusan International Film Festival counted deals for 26 feature films so far as the event came to a close Wednesday night, but negotiations were still underway for more potential deals.

   The four-day Asian Film Market, installed in 2006 alongside the largest cinema festival in Asia, boasted a sharp growth in its size, drawing 108 participating companies, compared to 75 last year.

   The Pusan International Film Festival, which uses the host city of Busan's old romanization for its name, closes its curtains on Friday.

   CJ Entertainment, South Korea's largest film producer and distributor, called this year's market "one of the most active" it has ever joined, according to a press release by the film market. It sold seven films, including "The Recipe," "Moss" and "The Servant," to Taiwan's Catchplay, Emphasis Video of Hong Kong, Sky Media of Singapore and Hwa Yea of Malaysia.

   Another Korean distributor, Fine Cut, also sold seven films but had a larger number of deals, with some films garnering multiple deals. "Poetry" by Lee Chang-dong, the winner of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival screenplay award, was sold to distributors in Hong Kong, Syria, Japan, Portugal and Sweden, while Hong Sang-soo's "Hahaha," also the winner of the Cannes' Un Certain Regard top award, was acquired in Hong Kong and Mexico.

   "Acoustic," an omnibus drama starring K-pop idols and distributed by M-Line Distribution, was sold to Taiwan and Malaysia.

   Films from France ("The Four Times" and "Dirty Diaries"), Taiwan ("Treasure Hunter"), Hong Kong ("Amazon Forever" and "Cusine Culture") and Thailand ("Hello Stranger") also reported deals during the film market.

   Foreign companies such as Distribution Workshop and TOEI Company Ltd. clinched many new deals, but decided not to reveal them due to policy, the market organizers said.

   "Even though we can't exactly figure how much money the deals registered, judging from the market atmosphere, sales activities visibly increased this year," Nam Dong-chul, general manager for the Asian Film Market, said. "It's important for us that there's now an understanding in the film industry that they have to come to PIFF to do business."

   More deals were possible as negotiations were still underway. The total count of deals so far was 39 and the number of films traded in them was 26 films, 20 of which were Korean.
Last year, 23 films clinched deals.

   Meanwhile, Japanese director Naoko Ogigami of "Mushroom Watermelon" received the US$20,000 Pusan Award provided by the city government of Busan in support of new talents.

   The Pusan Award was one of the seven awards given under the Pusan Promotion Plan, a venue where little-known directors meet with potential funding sources in and out of Asia.