Paranmanjang, otherwise known as Night Fishing, won the Golden Bear Award for best short film at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival. Normally this news wouldn't be featured here, however brothers Park Chan-wook and Chan-kyong shot the entire 30 minute movie using an iPhone.
One of nine Korean films featured in the film festival, Night Fishing was funded to the tune of 150 million won (roughly $136k) by South Korea's exclusive iPhone carrier, wireless company KT. The experimental film took 10 days to record using the iPhone 4 and a crew of 80 people.
The plot centers around a fisherman who catches a female shaman in the middle of the night and transcends his current and previous lives. Night Fishing is a fantasy that uses recording techniques and effects that leave viewers in total disbelief that it was shot on the iPhone. The work is also the first movie to be recorded with a smartphone and win an award at an international film festival.
The jury explained its decision to award Night Fishing the Golden Bear, "The film we chose is nothing but a small miracle. Throughout the multi-layered original story of a simple man who is forced to confront his life and death through his shape-shifting, we experienced transformation, judgment and deep forgiveness."
At a press screening last month director Chan-wook stated, “While I was working on this film, I realized anyone can make films as long as they have an iPhone and some money to pay for meals [during the production]. I hope to see more experimental films come out [through the iPhone].” Chan-wook has won several awards at other film festivals in the past, including the Grand Prix for Oldboy at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
25 short films were competing for the win, and Night Fishing was voted the winner unanimously by the jury. Another Korean director, Yang Hyo-joo received second place honors in the same competition with her Silver Bear Award winning short film The Unbroken.