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Two international festival selectors in Australia

Screen Australia will soon host visits by Janet Pierson, Producer of the SXSW Film Festival and Conference, and Jay Jeon, Deputy Director of the Busan International Film Festival, South Korea.

SXSW commenced in Austin, Texas, in 1987 as a music festival and conference, growing quickly in popularity with bands and music companies. In 1994, SXSW added film and interactive components which together now attract approximately 32,000 registrants to Austin every March. The original goal was to create an event that would act as a tool for creative people and the companies they work with to come together from a wide area and share ideas. That continues to be the goal today, whether film, music or the internet.

In 2012, Australian projects invited to screen at SXSW included documentary Scarlet Road and short films Perished, The Hunter, Bear, The Maker and Somebody That I Used to Know. Two digital projects won prestigious SXSW Interactive Awards – Goa Hippy Tribe in the Film/TV category and Big Stories, Small Towns in the Community category.

Janet will be visiting Sydney in early August for industry meetings before heading to Melbourne as a guest of the Melbourne International Film Festival where she will see new Australian films.

Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in Asia and includes the Asian Film Market and the Asian Project Market. In 2011, the festival achieved more than 196,000 attendances and screened 307 films from 70 countries. The Asian Film Market hosted 177 companies from 28 countries.

BIFF offers the Flash Forward Award with a cash prize of US$30,000 for the best world premiere film by a first or second time non-Asian director. Recent Australian films to screen at BIFF include feature films The Hunter, Red Dog, Snowtown and Taj; documentary Mad as Hell: Peter Finch; and short film Peekaboo.