For those first hearing of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), the annual entertainment event dating back to 1996 is held in Busan, South Korea. Perhaps the most prestigious film festival in all of Asia, this ten-day event pivots on first-time directors and new films from Asian countries, hence, pioneering Asian cinematography. This year, two Thai series won big awards.
[Featured Image Credit: ‘Girl from Nowhere’ via Netflix]
Busan International Film Festival 2021
This year’s BIFF commenced on October 6 2021 and runs until tomorrow, 15 October 2021. 2021 marks the 26th BIFF and the debut of the ‘On Screen’ section – a section dedicated to non-theatrical original content from online streaming services including Netflix and HBO Asia. Forbidden, HBO Asia’s first Thai-language original series was one of the three drama series selected for the inaugural ‘On Screen’ section. As a whole, this year’s film festival saw a screening of 223 films from 70 countries.
The two Netflix original Thai series that won awards were Girl from Nowhere and Bad Genius: The Series.
Girl from Nowhere
Synopsis: This thriller anthology revolves around an enigmatic girl transferring to different private schools around Thailand to reveal secrets, lies, and misdeeds of the respective students and faculty. The epitome of a thriller teen drama, Girl from Nowhere is revered by cinephiles all around Thailand and beyond.
Cast and crew: Chicha Amatayakul (Nanno), Chanya McClory (Yuri), Kongdej Jaturanrasamee (writer), Komgrit Triwimol (director).
BIFF award: Girl from Nowhere season two won the ‘Best Asian TV Series’ award at the BIFF 2021.
Bad Genius: The Series
Synopsis: An adaptation of the 2017 film Bad Genius, this 2020 Thai crime-thriller television series is all about how high school academic geniuses capitalise off of their abilities to creatively help other students cheat.
Cast and crew: Pat Boonnitipat (director), Plearnpichaya Komalarajun (Lynn), Jinjett Wattanasin (Bank), Paris Intarakomalyasut (Pat).
BIFF award: Bad Genius: The Series won the ‘Creative Beyond Border’ award at the BIFF 2021, sharing it with the Japanese series Alice in Borderland.