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Actor Song Kang-ho to host Busan film festival to fill leadership vacancies

Sep 13, 2023
  • Source by Yonhap
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Song will host the opening ceremony and welcome guests


Cannes-winning Korean actor Song Kang-ho has been chosen as the host of this year's Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) as leadership posts remain vacant amid an internal feud, its organizing committee said Tuesday. The 28th BIFF will screen 209 films from 69 countries in the southeastern city of Busan from Oct. 4-13, including 80 films set for world premieres at Asia's largest festival.


Song, who won the Best Actor Award at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival for his role in Broker, will represent the film festival in various capacities to fill the void of the chairman and festival director positions. 


"We had discussions over who should host the opening ceremony, and there was an opinion that actor Song Kang-ho, one of the representative actors of South Korea, should host the ceremony," BIFF programmer Nam Dong-chul said in an online press conference. "Despite the challenging circumstances, Song gladly accepted the offer to help with the film festival. He will attend various events and welcome guests. It is the most distinctive and unique aspect of this year," he added.




The 28th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) runs from Oct. 4-13, 2023, in the southeastern port city of Busan, according to the poster provided by the BIFF organizer. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)



The leadership posts have remained vacant after former executive director Huh Moon-young and chairman Lee Yong-gwan stepped down in June amid an internal feud over management issues. Huh was also accused of sexual harassment by a female employee, with an investigation currently under way. Following their resignations, program director Nam Dong-chul and deputy director Kang Seung-ah are overseeing this year's edition.


Among the notable guests is famous Hong Kong actor Chow Yun Fat, who will be recognized as the "Asian Filmmaker of the Year" at the opening ceremony. His recent film, One More Chance (2023), will be screened, along with A Better Tomorrow (1986) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), as part of this year's Special Program in Focus.


The Asian Contents & Film Market returns with more participants in a bigger space at the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center for sales of original content from various countries and regions, according to BIFF. 



The Asian Contents & Film Market, a sideline event of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), runs from Oct. 7-10, 2023, at BEXCO in the southeastern port city of Busan, according to the poster provided by the BIFF organizer. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)  




By Kim Eun-jung 

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