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Stars Return to Busan Film Festival for Opening Ceremony of 26th Edition

Oct 08, 2021
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
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BIFF Honors Im Kwontaek, Hosts World Premiere of Im Sangsoo’s HEAVEN: TO THE LAND OF HAPPINESS



This year’s 26th Busan International Film Festival kicked off with a star-studded opening ceremony on a warm night at the Korean Cinema Center on Wednesday, October 6, which was hosted by internationally renowned actors Song Joongki (Space Sweepers) and Park Sodam (Parasite, 2019).


Legendary Korean filmmaker Im Kwontaek, the author of over 100 feature films, including classics like Seopyeonje (1993), was on hand to accept the festival’s Asian Filmmaker of the Year award, which was presented to him by Parasite director Bong Joonho. Im was greeted with a standing ovation as he stepped up to accept his award. 


Also awarded for his contribution to the Korean film industry was the late film producer Lee Choonyun, known for the Whispering Corridors franchise and The Terror, LIVE (2013), who posthumously received the Korean Cinema award.


Other stars that attended the ceremony included the casts of two upcoming Netflix series with are previewing episodes at the festival, with Han Sohee and Park Heesoon representing the revenge drama My Name and Yoo Ahin and Won Jinah among the cast members present for Yeon Sangho’s occult-themed action-thriller Hellbound.


The ceremony was followed by a presentation of the opening film Heaven: To the Land of Happiness, with director Im Sangsoo and leading actors Choi Minshik and Park Haeil also gracing the stage. Initially selected for last year’s Cannes Film Festival, which didn’t stage an event, the film had its world premiere at BIFF.


This year’s 26th Busan International Film Festival will take place until October 15, during which time it will screen over 220 films from 70 countries.

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