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Busan Festival Claims Best-Ever Selection, Sets BECAUSE I HATE KOREA as Opening Film

Sep 11, 2023
  • Source by Variety
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The festival will close with THE MOVIE EMPEROR


(Image: Busan IFF)



The Busan International Film Festival put aside many of its recent internal and local political problems to Tuesday unveil a large selection ranging from bleeding edge art titles to international festival favorites. “The difficult times are not behind us, but hard work has made this year’s festival better than ever,” said programmer and interim festival chief Nam Dong-chul, speaking at an online press conference.


International guests expected to attend the festival include Luc Besson, Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing, Japanese directors Hamaguchi Ryusuke and Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and Korean Americans Justin Chon (Gook) and Lee Isaac Chung (Minari). Hong Kong-based superstar Chow Yun-fat has been named as Busan’s Asian Filmmaker of the Year and will be in person to receive the award. The Korean Cinema Award will presented to the late Yoon Jeong-hee, the actress who starred in The General’s Mustache and Lee Chang-dong’s 2010 drama Poetry.


The festival will open with a book-to-film adaptation of frustration and emigration Because I Hate Korea, by local filmmaker Jang Kun-jae. Nam said that Korea is a “great film” based on a well-known and important youth story. The festival will close with The Movie Emperor, a sparkling satire on the film industry by China’s Ning Hao.


Gala screenings will include: Bertrand Bonello’s The Beast, Han Shuai’s Fan-starring Green Night and Kore-eda’s Monster.


International festival winners and presentations include: David Fincher‘s The Killer; Berlin festival-winner On The Adamant; Ken Loach’s The Old Oak; Justine Triet’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner Anatomy of a Fall; Wim Wenders’ Anselm; Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things; Wang Bing’s Youth (Spring); Tran Ahn Hung’s Pot-au-Feu; Marco Bellocchio’s Kidnapped; and Aki Kaurismaki’s Fallen Leaves. Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo appears twice with In Our Day and In Water.


During the Tuesday conference, Nam admitted that in prioritizing the film selections, organizers had been forced to drop the BIFF Forum conference section. He also said that the highly public infighting had frightened off a number of sponsors and that the festival had to reduce its operating budget to about KRW10 billion ($7.45 million).


Nevertheless, Busan remains a large event. It will include 209 films in its main program, with a further 60 in its Community BIFF companion offering. It will use 24 theaters in four venues (the Festival Center, two Centum City multiplexes and the Lotte Daeyoung cinema in Nampodong for the Community BIFF screenings).


The festival has previously announced selections for its New Currents and Jiseok competitions as well as the Korean Cinema Today sidebar and a thematic program on Indonesian cinema.


On Tuesday it announced that the main competition jury will be head by Korean critic Jung Sung-il, alongside French film selector Ava Cahen, Indonesian director Edwin, U.S. producer Christina Oh and Korean director Han Junhee (Coin Locker Girl, D.P.). The Jiseok jury will be headed by Vesoul festival co-head Martine Therouanne, alongside Japanese director Nishikawa Miwa and Korean director Lee Kwangkuk.


On Tuesday it also revealed a sidebar on Korean American filmmaking called Korean Diasporic Cinema and a tribute to Sakamoto Ryuichi and Yoon Jeong-hee, who both died in the past year.


Other notable films selected and screening across the program include: Karan Johar’s Rocky and Rani’s Love Story, Catherine Breilla’s Last Summer, Alice Rohrwacher’s La Chimera, Kim Chang-hoon’s Hopeless, Mongolian director Lkhagvadulam Purev Ochir’s City of Wind, Pham Thien An’s Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell, Jessica Hausner’s Club Zero, Goran Stolevski’s Housekeeping for Beginners, Australian Oscar-contender Shayda, Molly Manning Walker’s How to Have Sex, Kamila Andini and Ifa Isfansyah’s Cigarette Girl, and Besson’s Dogman.




By Patrick Frater 


Link: https://variety.com/2023/film/news/busan-festival-selection-1235713156/

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