Filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage’s film Paradise won the Kim Jiseok Award at the Busan International Film Festival 2023 on Friday. Paradise jointly shares the Kim Jiseok award with Mirlan Abdykalykov’s Bride Kidnapping.
The Kim Jiseok Award, established in 2017, commemorates the late Kim Jiseok, who dedicated his life to discovering and supporting the growth of Asian cinema. It is given to the two best films that reflect the contemporary standing of Asian cinema.
Paradise, produced by Newton Cinema and presented by Mani Ratnam’s Madras Talkies, was shot in Sri Lanka and narrates the vacation of a tourist couple, exploring their struggles with societal, personal and internal challenges. The film stars Roshan Mathew, Darshana Rajendran, Shyam Fernando and Mahendra Perera and its crew members include Rajeev Ravi as the cinematographer, Sreekar Prasad as the editor, Tapas Nayak as the sound designer, and K, the music director.
The film will have its South Asia premiere at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival in the Icons: South Asia section.
“After 28 years today, it is ironic to receive this award named after the late Kim Jiseok. Kim was a dear friend to all Asian filmmakers. Kim, I am honoured to take you to my home. I would like to thank you, my dear producer, Anto Chittilappilly and Newton Cinema, our presenter Mr Mani Ratnam, Madras Talkies, and the cast, and crew of Paradise. This award belongs to you,” the filmmaker said.
Ratnam called Paradise a film with a vision. “When there is turmoil in paradise, both social and economic, when there is a re-evaluation of man-woman relationship when an old epic gets reflected in today’s troubled times, we have Paradise, a film with a vision,” he said.