- BiFan Expands through 20th Anniversary Lineup
- by Pierce Conran / 06.24.2016
- CAPTAIN FANTASTIC and SEOUL STATION to Bookend Korean Genre Jubilee
For its 20th anniversary edition, the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BiFan) is pulling out all the stops for a large event, with 302 films from 49 countries, that will both look back to the festival’s past and forward to its future. Set to open on July 21st with Matt Ross’ Captain Fantastic, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival last month, the festival will unfold over 11 days, winding down on July 31st.
Featuring as the closing film, after the awards ceremony on July 29th, will be YEON Sang-ho’s indie animation Seoul Station. The Korean premiere will take place just nine days after YEON’s latest film, the live action TRAIN TO BUSAN, which is a live-action sequel to Seoul Station, is slated to open in Korean theaters, following its world bow as a Midnight Screenings at Cannes.
For the first time, BiFan has appointed an organizing committee chairman, which will be Korean filmmaker CHUNG Ji-young (Unbowed, 2012). Other changes include an exclusive ‘Korean Fantastic’ section, which will include recent thriller INSANE and Phantom Detective, as well as KIM Sang-chan’s chamber genre drama Karaoke Crazies, which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival and has proven popular on the festival circuit. This year will also see the return of the ‘Family Zone’ section, to welcome wider audiences to the festival.
A ‘20 Years, 20 Favorites’ program will bring together some of the most popular titles of BiFan’s history. Among the selection are Korean favorites such as JANG Joon-hwan’s Save the Green Planet (2003), NA Hong-jin’s The Chaser (2008) and JANG Cheol-soo’s Bedevilled (2010) and global genre favorites from the likes of Darren Aronofsky, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Christopher Nolan. Other sidebars include ‘Gaumont: 120 Years of Cinema’, ‘A Black Star that Fell to the Earth: Tribute to David Bowie’, ‘I Confess, Nakashoma Tetsuya’, and Best of Asia, which will assemble the top three 2015 box office hits from 10 Asian countries.
This year will also feature the BiFan Industry Gathering for the first time, an event that assembles various industry programs, such as the Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF), now in its 9th edition, Made in Asia, a producers’ forum which this year will focus on China, Korea Now!, which will feature forums on the local industry, and a New Media section which this summer will present VR technology.