The 26th Busan International Film Festival Announcing the ‘Busan Vision Awards’ Winners
Announcing the Winners of the Asian Project Market 2021 Awards
The 26th Busan International Film Festival Asian Contents & Film Market 2021 Open
The 15th Asian Film Awards Announce Winners in 18 Categories
Asian Contents & Film Market 2021 Announces the Recipients of the 3rd Asia Contents Awards
Lineup for the Asian Contents & Film Market 2021 Online Conference Announced
The 26th Busan International Film Festival to Host the "Cinema Forest Event"
The 15th Asian Film Awards Academy Announces the Highest-Grossing Asian Film of 2020
The 26th Busan International Film Festival Announces the Open Talk “Filmmaking and Drama Making”
The 26th BIFF Selects Director IM Kwon-taek as "The Asian Filmmaker of the Year"
The 26th BIFF Screening 22 Short Films Online On Naver SERIES ON & YouTube Movies
The 26th Busan International Film Festival, which will be held from October 6 (Wed) to 15 (Fri), is offering online screenings of 22 short films that have officially been invited to the Wide Angle Competition Section. The Busan International Film Festival is collaborating with Naver and YouTube. This is a new attempt that is in keeping with the transformed moviegoing experience due to COVID-19. Furthermore, this collaboration will expand the previously limited opportunity for viewing short films, such that more members of the audience can enjoy the film festival online and on-site at the same time. In particular, among the 22 films for online screening that have officially been invited to the BIFF’s Wide Angle Competition Section, all are world premieres with the exception of one ("Windows" (2021)), which is an international premiere. 12 works from the Wide Angle - Korean Short Film Competition Section and 10 works from the Wide Angle - Asian Short Film Competition Section will be screened on a pay-per-view basis through Naver SERIES ON and YouTube Movies.
Renowned Korean actor LEE Byung-hun to receive The Excellence in Asian Cinema Award at the AFA15
Today, the Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA) announced that the recipient of this year’s Excellence in Asian Cinema Award is the renowned Korean actor LEE Byung-hun (이병헌, 李炳憲). The Asian Film Awards is an awards ceremony hosted by the Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA), which was jointly established by the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Busan International Film Festival, and the Tokyo International Film Festival. The Excellence in Asian Cinema Award aims to highlight distinguished talents and recognize their achievements in and contributions to the Asian film industry and culture. With a stellar career spanning three decades, LEE Byung-hun has demonstrated his versatile talent in movies of all genres produced in many countries. LEE is known for his special ability to interpret and transform a role into a powerful performance that delivers insight into his character’s psyche. LEE brings every line of dialogue to life, stunning his audiences with unforgettable experiences. His astonishing acting ability has earned him many awards. With his film Inside Men (2015), he swept the Best Actor Awards at ten different awards presentations, including the prestigious Korean Grand Bell and Blue Dragon Awards, in 2016. LEE Byung-hun’s influence goes beyond Korea and Asia; he makes an impact through his global influence. He was invited to the Academy Awards with his film Inside Men (2015) as the presenter for the Best Foreign Film, becoming the first Asian actor to be a presenter at the Oscars. LEE’s presence in Hollywood blockbusters including G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) and The Magnificent Seven (2016) has been an inspiration to many Korean talents inside and outside of Hollywood. In addition to the long list of awards he has received, LEE has been crowned twice with Best Actor at the Asian Film Awards for his impressive performances in Inside Men (2015) and The Man Standing Next (2020). With his most recent film, Emergency Declaration, LEE was invited to the Cannes Film Festival, taking the stage at the closing ceremony. LEE continues to build his illustrious career, recently venturing into producing a Netflix film titled I Believe in a Thing Called Love, in which he will also star. “The Busan International Film Festival is proud to present LEE Byung-hun with the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award,” said LEE Yong-kwan, Chairman of the 26th Busan International Film Festival, adding that “LEE’s contribution to Asian and world cinema is widely recognized by the audience and the film industry. His fearless attitude towards morphing into a completely different character in every film truly reflects LEE’s professional dedication. Throughout his distinguished career, LEE has honed his acting skills and worked to raise the standard of film art. His finesse and passion show that he is a great fit for the title of Excellence in Asian Cinema.” The 15th Asian Film Awards is once again held alongside the Busan International Film Festival. On October 8 (Fri), which is during the 26th Busan Film Festival period, the awards ceremony will commence at the Paradise Hotel Busan at 20:00 PM (KST). The ceremony will be broadcast live on Naver and YouTube as well.
Actor LEE Jun Hyuk and Actress LEE Joo Young to Host the Closing Ceremony
The 26th Busan International Film Festival has selected Actor LEE Jun Hyuk and Actress LEE Joo Young to host the Closing Ceremony, which will be held on October 15 (Fri) at 19:00 (KST). Actor Lee Jun Hyuk, who has reached a wide audience with his outstanding performances in the films Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017) and Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days (2017), is constantly expanding his filmography by working in various projects. Lee, who has continually broadened the range of his versatile acting by portraying diverse characters, has acted in drama series, such as Stranger (2017) and Stranger 2 (2020), and the films No Mercy (2018) and Baseball Girl (2019). His recent title, FIREFIGHTERS (2020), which is a humanist film based on the true story of the 2001 Hongje-dong fire incident, is about to premiere, raising expectations of the audience. Actress Lee Joo Young started her career in the short film Encounter (2012), and displayed her wide spectrum of talent by acting in various titles, such as Beauty of Journey (2013), The Transfer Student (2015) and A Quiet Dream (2016). Lee left a captivating impression with her performances in many films and TV series, such as Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo (2016), Jane (2016), Maggie (2018), Baseball Girl (2019), and Itaewon Class (2020), which presented her unique style of character build-up and original approach to acting. Lee won 4 awards at the Busan International Film Festival 2018, including the KBS Independent Film Award, the CGV Arthouse Award, the Citizen Critics’ Award, and the Actress of the Year, for her role in the film Maggie (2018), which was invited to the Korean Cinema Today-Vision section of BIFF. ■ Actor LEE Joon Hyuk’s Filmography - Films: Fortune Salon (2009), I Saw The Devil (2010), The Peach Tree (2012), Two Rooms, Two Nights (2016), Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017), Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days (2017), No Mercy (2018), Baseball Girl (2019), FIREFIGHTERS (2020) - Drama Series: The City Hall (2009), Three Brothers (2009), I Am Legend (2010), Secret Garden (2010), City Hunter (2011), Man From the Equator (2012), Half of a Fairy Tale (2012), My Blooming Days (2014), House of Bluebird (2015), The Birth of a Married Woman (2016), Naked Fireman (2017), Stranger (2017), Summer Days (2017), Are You Human? (2018), A Poem A Day (2018), Life (2018), Designated Survivor: 60 Days (2019), The Lies Within (2019), Stranger 2 (2020), 365: Repeat the Year (2020), Dark Hole (2021) ■ Actress LEE Joo Young’s Filmography - Films: Encounter (2012), Beauty of Journey (2013), Living Things (2013), The Transfer Student (2015), A Quiet Dream (2016), The Eternal Theme of Humanity (2016), Channel CGV Movie House (2016), Jane (2016), Alone Together (2017), An Algorithm (2017), Jamsil (2018), THE NEGOTIATION (2018), Maggie (2018), Baseball Girl (2019), Broker (Working Title, 2020) - Drama Series: Horror Delivery Service (2016), Women at a Game Company (2016), Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo (2016), School of Hip Hop (2017), Something in the Rain (2018), The Ghost Detective (2018), Drama Special: House of the Universe (2019), Itaewon Class (2020), Times (2021)
The 26th Busan International Film Festival Launching "Actor's House," a New Special Talk Program
The 26th Busan International Film Festival newly added a Special Talk program, Actor's House, where the audience meets 6 actors representing the contemporary generation. Actor's House is a special program in which actors, who represent the Korean film industry, are invited to share intimate stories of their acting careers with the audience. For this year, which is the first edition of the program, a total of 6 actresses and actors - Uhm Junghwa, Han Yeri, Jun Jong Seo, Cho Jinwoong, Lee Je-hoon, and Byun Yohan - are attending. The Q&A sessions (Guest Visits) in previous editions provided an occasion to share stories about the overall film. This program, however, is special in terms of arranging in-depth conversations with the actors, who will be sharing stories that have never been heard before, including their acting philosophy and their most memorable scenes. First, veteran actress Uhm Junghwa and actor Cho Jinwoong, who have established their filmography across the silver screen and television, take the stage. The two, who were also appointed to the jury of the Actor & Actress of the Year at this year’s BIFF, have a large fan base as a result of their broad acting spectrum that covers many genres. The two will make use of this new Special Talk program to reflect on their prolific acting careers. Han Yeri and Jun Jong-seo, international film festival favorites of the year, are also visiting Actor's House. Actress Han Yeri has garnered much acclaim from news outlets and critics all over the world for her portrayal of "Monica," a caring mother leading her family’s way in a foreign country, in the film Minari (2020). Jun Jong-seo began her career with director Lee Chang-dong’s film Burning (2018). She presented her unique acting style in Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon (2021), a film which was officially invited to the Competition Section of the Venice International Film Festival 2021. Jun will spend time interacting with the audience at the Actor's House, following her Open Talk. Furthermore, guaranteed powerhouse actors Lee Je-hoon and Byun Yohan are also participating. Actor Lee Je-hoon visits Busan as the director of a short film in the omnibus film Unframed (2021), which was officially invited to the Korean Cinema Today - Panorama section. Lee will join Actor’s House and share moments of his outstanding career with the audience. Byun Yohan, a charming star who is showing that he can morph into any character in films such as The Book of Fish (2021), On the Line (2021) and more, intends to relate the story of his career trajectory to the audience with an honest attitude. Una Beck, the head of Una Labo Actorology, has been appointed as the moderator of Actor's House. She plans to draw out intimate stories from the actors. All are welcome to join the audience, and the ticket price is KRW 8,000. The proceeds of the event will go to Save the Children, an international humanitarian aid organization for children. The details about ticket reservations will be released on the Busan International Film Festival's official website (www.biff.kr).
Asian Contents & Film Market 2021 Nominees for the 3rd Asia Contents Awards Unveiled
The Asian Contents & Film Market (ACFM), which will open on October 7 (Thurs), has announced the nominees for the 3rd Asia Contents Awards (ACA). Asia Contents Awards (ACA), which grants awards to outstanding TV, OTT (Over-the-top streaming platform), and online contents from Asia, was established in 2019 and is welcoming its 3rd year. Despite the COVID-19 situation, the ACA2021 has achieved almost double the number of submissions as compared to last year, receiving a total of 163 contents from 16 countries across Asia, and has finalized 30 nominees for 11 sections after undertaking multiple steps of careful evaluation. Furthermore, award-winning titles in three categories, ACA Jury’s Special Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, and ACA Excellence Award, will be announced directly at the ceremony without presenting the nominees beforehand. This year’s Asia Contents Awards drew attention because of its large number of Korean nominations, which received widespread acclaim from both domestic and international viewers, that includes NAVILLERA, MOVE TO HEAVEN, Stranger 2, VINCENZO, and Sweet Home. Bae Doo-na from Stranger 2 and Lee Si-young of Sweet Home have been nominated for the Best Actress award, while Lee Je-hoon from MOVE TO HEAVEN and Song Joong Ki from VINCENZO are nominees for the Best Actor award. Outstanding overseas candidates include original contents from iQIYI and Netflix, such as Alice in Borderland, which captivated Netflix viewers, not only in Japan, but around the world, The Long Night, which was the most-talked-about OTT series in China in 2020, Girl from Nowhere S2 from Thailand, and Ray from India. Moreover, various works from all over Asia, including Sheker (Kazakhstan), Antara Pintu (Malaysia), and Life of namjoo (Korea), are nominees in the Best Short-form / Web drama section, which is a newly established award category this year. Japan Sinks 2020 and Heaven’s Design Team from Japan, and The Curious World of Linda and Time Traveler Luke from Korea have been nominated for the Best Asian Animation award section, proving the two countries to be the powerhouse of the animation industry. Similar to last year, ACA will operate as a hybrid online and on-site event. Domestic attendees, including the hosts, will be participating on-site from Busan, while overseas nominees across Asia will be attending the awards online. The event will be hosted by the TV personality and enterpriser Mark Tetto, who has been active in various fields, such as JTBC's Abnormal Summit, and Kim Sae-yeon, a participant of Miss Korea 2019, who has hosted ACA since its first edition. The 3rd Asia Contents Awards can be viewed on October 7 (Thurs) via Naver and the Busan International Film Festival’s official YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/Busanfilmfest).
Directors BONG Joon Ho X HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke’s Special Talk & Director Leos CARAX’s Master Class
The 26th Busan International Film Festival is officially announcing the agenda for the Special Talk with directors BONG Joon Ho and HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke, and the Master Class with prodigy director Leos CARAX. World-renowned genius directors, BONG Joon Ho, HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke, and Leos CARAX will be making their way to the 26th Busan International Film Festival, which will be held for ten days from Oct 6 (Wed) to Oct 15 (Fri). BIFF is hosting a special program that will showcase HAMAGUCHI’s two celebrated films and a Special Talk with HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke and BONG Joon Ho, as well as a Master Class with French master director, Leos CARAX, who will visit Busan with his latest film, Annette, for the first time in 9 years since his last attendance with Holy Motors (2012). HAMAGUCHI Ryusuke’s Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (2021) and Drive My Car (2021), along with Leos CARAX’s Annette (2021), have all been selected to premiere at the Gala Presentation section at this year’s BIFF. The Japanese director, Hamaguchi Ryusuke, has been honored with the title of Japan’s representative director for the next generation, succeeding Koreeda Hirokazu, after winning the Silver Bear - Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival 2021 with Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (2021), and the Award for Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival 2021 with Drive My Car (2021). Being a well-known fan a of Director Bong, he has hosted the Guest Visit (GV) of Memories of Murder (2003) as a special guest at BIFF2019, and led a deep talk session about Parasite (2019) in Japan last year. The meeting with the audience will take place after the screenings, and the Special Talk will be held after the GVs of Drive My Car and Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy on Oct 7 (Thurs) with the two directors Bong Joon Ho and Hamaguchi Ryusuke. The tickets for this talk session will be sold as a package set, which will include the premiere, the GV, and the Special Talk, and will open on Sept 30 (Thurs). Furthermore, Leos Carax’s Master Class, “Leos Carax: The Cinema,” will be held on Oct 10 (Sun) at 5 PM (KST). Leos Carax, a director who continues to revisit and reinterpret classic films, while simultaneously exploring the new potential for films, is coming to Busan with his newest feature, Annette (2021), which won the Award for Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival 2021. The film, Annette, is the result of the collaboration between the American art-pop duo, Sparks, and the French auteur, Leos Carax, who has been eager to make a musical film for a long time. It is a story about a couple, a renowned opera singer (Marion Cotillard) and a stand-up comedian (Adam Driver), after giving birth to their first child, Annette. This Master Class is an event dedicated to exploring the cinematic world of the master director Leos CARAX and will give an opportunity for aspiring filmmakers and audiences to directly communicate with the internationally masterful director Leos Carax. This session will have in-depth discussions, and the BIFF Festival Director, Huh Moonyung, will be hosting the event as the moderator. Advance ticket sales for the Master Class will open on Sept 30 (Thus). The 26th Busan International Film Festival is hosting international directors Bong Joon Ho, Hamaguchi Ryusuke, and Leos Carax, and will be held for ten days from Oct 6 (Wed) to Oct 15 (Fri).
BFA (BIFF Film Academy) Application Guideline and Promotional Video
The application guideline and promotional video for the BFA (BIFF Film Academy), which is the first Film Studies degree program in Korea to be designed and operated by a film festival, were released on the BFA's official website. The Busan International Film Festival unveiled the official website for the BFA, a global Film Studies degree program, which was first announced last month. The application guidelines and the promo video uploaded on the website provides a preview of the official admissions application process for the program, signaling that the program has taken off in earnest. [BFA's Unique Academic Program] The BFA degree program was established with the goal of fostering global film professionals under the motto: "Education for Film, Education through Film." From its developmental stages, the BFA's degree program began with the contemplation by global film professionals of the most effective film education for students who are dreaming of becoming filmmakers. Based on such contemplation, every class was designed systematically. Three degrees – Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate –were established. The undergraduate program includes filmmaking and media acting majors, while the graduate program trains film production and film theory majors. The doctorate program focuses on film theory. The filmmaking major provides a diversity of courses in professional film education, from overall film production, which includes directing and technical education, to practical field trainings in conjunction with the Busan International Film Festival's project. The Film Theory major provides an advanced theory education on the arts, which includes the study of both the film and culture industries with focus on acquiring practical and independent critical thinking abilities through case studies analyses; fostering a deeper understanding and insight about cinema and the world through studies of Asian humanities subjects, and presenting a new methodology based on an understanding of cinema and the world. For the undergraduate program, a Media Acting major was established to help students adjust to production locations through a co-production workshop with the Filmmaking majors. [Excellent Faculty - a Hands-on Coaching System with Korean Master Directors] The Busan International Film Festival selected the faculty by recruiting the best directors in Korea and the best veteran theory specialists from Asia in order to create an educational program that concentrates on field and practice, the two primary tracks of film education. With the BFA faculty, students can experience the cinematic worldview of master directors, create meaningful connections with them, and receive direct coaching through the newly added mentoring system, which has been incorporated into the project-based, co-production practice provided by BFA. Through this process, students can have a variety of substantial experiences that will serve as a foundation for becoming a professional filmmaker. Apart from the core curriculum, diverse educational opportunities, such as master classes with film production specialists or renowned filmmakers, will be available to all students. [Accepting Applications] The application guidelines are distributed through BFA's official website (bfa.biff.kr). The overall information on the program, such as the program overview, the degrees offered, the admission guidelines, and the curriculum can be found on the website. A foundation program (online courses) is offered for students preparing for undergraduate admission, and it is currently accepting applications as well. The foundation program is a preliminary education that includes Korean language and basic education on film studies. Anyone who intends to enter the BFA undergraduate program can apply for the foundation program.
Actors Song Joong Ki and Park So Dam as the Opening Ceremony Hosts
Actor SONG Joong Ki and actress PARK So Dam have been selected to be co-hosts for the 26th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). SONG Joong Ki and PARK So Dam, who have captured worldwide attention over various platforms such as television, film, and online media services, will be taking on the roles of hosts for the 26th BIFF’s opening ceremony, which will be held on the night of October 6th at the Busan Cinema Center. With the consecutive success of his projects this year, from the film, Space Sweepers (2020), to the drama, Vincenzo (2021), actor Song Joong Ki, rightfully, caused a syndrome. After debuting in the 2008 film, A Frozen Flower, he solidified his position as a global star, proving both his popularity and acting capabilities by starring in various projects such as the dramas, Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010), The Innocent Man (2012), Descendants of the Sun (2016), and Arthdal Chronicles (2019), and films A Werewolf Boy (2012) and The Battleship Island (2017). Along with the film Bogota, which he is currently filming, he is expanding his versatile acting capabilities by starring in films and dramas of diverse characters, eras, and genres. Actress Park So Dam has taken on characteristic performances in every one of her films, such as The Royal Tailor (2014) and The Silenced (2014), and has left a lasting impression with the audience for her unique presence in The Priests (2015). After receiving the Best Supporting Actress award at the Blue Dragon Film Awards and the New Actress in Film award at the Baeksang Arts Awards the following year, she was able to quickly build a reputation for herself as the rising star of Chungmuro, and has gone on to display her infinite talent through different projects on stage, screen, and TV. Furthermore, she captured the hearts of the worldwide audience and obtained a 10,000,000 audience count for her role in Parasite (2019), where she transformed into Ki-jung, the youngest daughter of the family that lives in a semi-basement apartment, a character that added tension and depth in the film due to her impressive portrayal. The 26th Busan International Film Festival, which is gaining enormous attention after naming the universally beloved Song Joong Ki and Park So Dam as the opening ceremony hosts, will be held for ten days from October 6th to October 15th. ■ Actor SONG Joong Ki Filmography - Movies: A Frozen Flower (2008), Five Senses Of Eros (2009), Where the Truth Lies (2009), Hearty Paws 2 (2010), Penny Pinchers (2011), A Werewolf Boy (2012), The Battleship Island (2017), Space Sweepers (2020), Bogota (2021), and more - Dramas: My Precious You (2008-2009), Triple (2009), Will It Snow for Christmas (2009-2010), Obstetrics and Gynecology Doctors (2010), Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010), Deep Rooted Tree (2011), The Innocent Man (2012), Descendants of the Sun (2016), Arthdal Chronicles (2019), Vincenzo (2021), and more ■ Actress PARK So Dam Filmography - Movies: The Royal Tailor (2014), The Silenced (2014), The Throne (2014), Veteran (2015), The Priests (2015), Run Off (2016), Ode to the Goose (2018), Fukuoka (2019), Parasite (2019), Special Cargo (2020), Ghost (2021), and more - Dramas: My First Time (2015), Red Moon (2015), A Beautiful Mind (2016), Cinderella and the Four Knights (2016), Record of Youth (2020), and more
Asian Contents & Film Market 2021 Announces 45 Official Selections for the E-IP Market
The E-IP Market (Entertainment Intellectual Property Market), a transaction market for diverse original contents in the Asian Contents & Film Market (ACFM), has unveiled its 45 official selections, which includes 28 Korean IPs, 10 Taiwanese IPs, and 7 Japanese IPs. From June 14 (Mon) to July 2 (Fri), E-IP Market collected various domestic original IPs, such as books, webtoons, web novels, and stories, that are adaptable across diverse media platforms, and received a total of 94 projects from 40 companies, setting a new record. 28 projects have been selected from the Korean section. From sci-fi and fantasy with creative fictional universes, comedy and drama where the characters come alive, to action and thriller where the dynamic narrative is hard to miss, the diverse genres of original IPs are sparking much excitement. Genre works that have female-led narratives, such as Gyeongseong Women's Counseling Center, The Evaporated Woman, and Lady Coroner in Joseon, works in the teen romance genre, such as Anonymous, I Know You! and Two Steps Away, along with other fresh projects such as The Gate of Solitude: Cinderella-The Mystery Cuisine3, Reply: Hate Comments, and How to Deal with Evil Boss? are also attracting attention. In addition, the E-IP Market provides various works that will foster the newest content trends with innovative subjects, and invite noteworthy publishing houses and content production companies such as GOZKNOCK ENT, KYOBO BOOK CENTRE, TOYOU’S DREAM, and MUNPIA CO., LTD, to join the market. Furthermore, the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), an organization under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture, which supports the overall contents industry in Taiwan, from movies, to TV, music, and fashion, is also introducing 10 original IPs. Amongst various platforms, such as video games, webtoons, stories, and books, the selection of Taiwanese books, Virtual Street and Notes of a Crocodile, and the video game Dusk Diver, which has been released in Korea, is heightening the anticipation on the possibility of film and audiovisual adaptations. Moreover, the Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO), which supports the overall Japanese contents businesses, is joining the E-IP Market once again this year. 7 original IPs of diverse forms, including manga, book, web novel, and webtoon, have been selected. In addition to these selections, major companies that lead the Japanese contents market, such as KADOKAWA CORPORATION, BUNGEISHUNJU LTD., and MANGA BOX CO., LTD. are expected to introduce their diverse original IP project lineups at the market. The E-IP Business Meeting, which will be held from October 11 (Mon) to 14 (Thurs), is to open as a hybrid format that combines both online and onsite events in compliance with the disease prevention and social distancing guidelines set by the Korean government. More information regarding the 45 E-IP Market selections, and advance registration for business meetings will be available from September 23 (Thurs), on the ACFM official website www.acfm.kr/eng
Presenting the Official Poster for the 26th Busan International Film Festival
The 26th Busan International Film Festival, which will be held from Oct 6 (Wed) to Oct 15 (Fri), has unveiled its official poster. The official poster for the 26th Busan International Film Festival was designed using live-action photos of the Korean traditional ramie fabric as the background with the festival’s name stylistically presented in white brushstroke. Overlaying the photos of the various colors of ramie fabric resulted in variant shades of red, which is BIFF’s symbolic color, throughout the poster. This poster uniquely symbolizes Busan, the location of the festival and a UNESCO Creative City of Film, and has drawn much attention to the festival in Busan. The deep purple and burgundy of the lower section represent Busan’s night sea, while the mid-section shows the space in between the sky and the land. The seven squares that surround the center of the poster characterize the diversity of films from the different cultures and backgrounds presented at the event. The traditional Korean heritage of “Mosi Jjagi,” or fine ramie weaving, requires an intense and lengthy process of about three months to transform the ramie grass into fabric. The ramie fabric, which is produced from the hard work and cooperation of numerous individuals, adds a special meaning to the poster because it represents the filmmaking process and the efforts of the filmmakers. BIFF 2021’s poster was designed by Choi Soon-dae, who is the president of the Busan Ensemble of Contemporary Visual Design, as well as the art director at BIFF since its second edition. The 26th Busan International Film Festival, which is garnering much attention after unveiling the festival’s official poster, will be held for ten days from Oct 6 (Wed) to Oct 15 (Fri).
The 26th Busan International Film Festival Announces 7 Nominees for the Kim Jiseok Award
The 26th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), which will be held from October 6 (Wed) to October 15 (Fri), has selected 7 nominees for the Kim Jiseok Award. The Kim Jiseok Award is celebrating its 4th year at the 26th BIFF, and was established in respectful memory of the late program director Kim Jiseok in 2017. The award will be given to the most attractive films that reflect the contemporary standing of Asian cinema in accordance with the late Kim's intent. Among the films in the A Window on Asian Cinema section, seven candidates are selected to compete for the award. Two award recipients will be chosen by jurors and be given a cash prize of 10,000 USD each. This year the Kim Jiseok Award is expected to be more competitive due to the inclusion of new titles from prominent filmmakers such as Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, Brillante Mendoza, Ogigami Naoko, Aparna Sen, among many others. GENSAN PUNCH (2021), directed by master filmmaker Brillante Mendoza from the Philippines, stars Japanese actor Shogen and depicts the true story of a handicapped athlete's fight against discrimination to be recognized as a professional boxer. Singaporean director, Royston Tan, who is well-known in Busan because of his black comedy and musical films, is showcasing his latest film 24 (2021), which frames the satire and inner beauty of Singapore's rigid culture and atmosphere with a warm perspective. Japanese director, Ogigami Naoko, who has attracted Korean audiences with her previous works such as Kamome Diner (2006), Glasses (2007) and Close-Knit (2017), has also been nominated for the Kim Jiseok Award with her new title, Riverside Mukolitta (2021). The film captures the director's unique minimalism and follows the humorous process of a young man with a criminal record settling in a fishing village. Azerbaijani director, Ilgar Najaf, who has drawn attention for Buta (2011) and Pomegranate Orchard (2017), has newly released a black-and-white film, Sughra′s Sons (2021), that calmly portrays the struggle of Sughra and his sons working on a collective farm under communism and the unforgettable historical wounds caused by abusive power. Aparna Sen, a representative director and actress of India, revisits BIFF in a long time with her 16th title, The Rapist (2021). The film narrates a story about an incident that suddenly and completely disrupts the comfortable life of a couple, who are both professors and anti-death penalty activists, and follows their lives after the incident. The 76-year-old director has made an insightful portrayal about the problems of gender, class, laws, and institutions in India by capturing the devastating aftermath of the incident that the couple faced in the film. Chinese director, Wang Qi’s new title, The Bargain (2021), has also been nominated for the Kim Jiseok Award and will be introduced at BIFF for the first time. The Bargain (2021) tells a story of an ordinary family dealing with a sudden change in Chinese society. Finally, leading Bangladesh's New Wave, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, who is already familiar to Korean audiences with his BIFF 2012 closing film, Television (2012), has been nominated for the Kim Jiseok Award with his new title, No Land′s Man (2021). The film, which was selected at the Asian Project Market (APM) 2020, carefully deals with discrimination and hate crimes based on race, religion, and nationality with A. R. Rahman’s music. The festival appointed Iranian director Reza Mirkarimi as head of the jury, along with the two other jurors Gulnara Abikeyeva, Kazakhstani film critic and professor at Turan University, and Kim Haery, a Korean film critic and a member of the editing committee at CINE21 magazine. The two winners of the award will be announced at the Closing Ceremony of the 26th Busan International Film Festival on 15th October (Fri).
Introducing BFA (BIFF Film Academy) Film Studies Degree Program
Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) is launching BFA (BIFF Film Academy), a newly created film degree program. After continuously providing programs that have contributed to the fostering of new film professionals, such as programs for sponsoring filmmakers and discovering new film professionals, BIFF is officially opening an educational institute that will discover new, talented film personnel around the world, and enrolling students for its first semester in March 2022. BFA is an official film education curriculum and is in partnership with universities based in Korea. It is an experimental and advanced program in film education that is based on long-term and systemized project production, and built on the foundation of BIFF’s newly developed curriculum along with BIFF’s accumulated expertise from hosting AFA (Asian Film Academy), which is conducted through a workshop during the duration of the festival. In contrast to the generic education provided at other educational institutions, BIFF is differentiating its curriculum by offering education in relation to BIFF’s many diverse projects and events, and by providing prominent faculty and education through its vast network in the film industry. BIFF is starting its new degree program through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement with Dongseo University’s Im Kwon Taek College of Film and Arts, a school that substantiated its international reputation as a renowned film school after being introduced in a list entitled ‘World top 20 film schools,’ in Variety, one of the two major film magazines in the US. BFA will allow students to obtain both, Certificate of Achievement from BIFF and a degree from Dongseo University. More details about the BFA degree program, such as the curriculum, the admission schedule, and the application guidelines, can be found on the BIFF official website(https://www.biff.kr/eng). An important note: The Busan International Film Festival’s education program, Asian Film Academy (AFA), has currently been put on hold due to the COVID-19 situation. The program will resume as the situation improves. [BFA (BIFF Film Academy) Admissions Overview] - Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s Degree (Department of Film & Video – Filmmaking/Media Acting), Master’s Degree (Film - Film Production, Film Theory), PhD (Film - Film Theory) - Admission Period: Undergraduate Program – Every March Semester, Graduate Program – Every Semester (March/September) - Partner University: Korean Dongseo Univeristy - Im Kwon Taek College of Film and Arts (Ranked in: ‘World top 20 film schools’ by Variety) - About the Program: Global curriculum linked with BIFF projects, practical and set-based education, courses led by international film professionals, and Certificate of Achievement by BFA and an official degree from the partner university upon graduation
The 26th Busan International Film Festival Opening Film Heaven: To the Land of Happiness Selected
Heaven: To the Land of Happiness directed by Im Sang-soo was selected as the opening film for the 26th Busan International Film Festival, which will be held from October 6 (Wed) to 15 (Fri). Heaven: To the Land of Happiness is a festive and pastoral road movie in which two men – “Inmate 203” (Choi Min-sik), who escaped from jail, and “Nam-sik” (Park Hae-il), who coincidentally joins 203's trip – get their hands on a large amount of money by chance and embark on a journey together, dreaming of a luxurious ending to their lives. The harmony created from Im Sang-soo's outstanding directorial power and excellent acting by Choi Min-sik and Park Hae-il ultimately turns the film into an inquiry about happiness that is warm and beautiful like no other. This film, which was selected for the Official Selection 2020 of the Cannes Film Festival, is the newest feature presented by Im Sang-soo, six years after Intimate Enemies (2015), as well as the fourth film by Im to receive an invitation to the Cannes Film Festival. Actor Choi Min-sik plays "Inmate No. 203," who risks a passionate escape from the ordinary in search of his last moment of happiness, while Park Hae-il takes on the role of Nam-sik, who unwittingly tags along "203" on his special journey. Actors Choi Min-sik and Park Hae-il, who are joining forces on the silver screen for the first time, add a fascinating charm to this film with fresh energy and resonance. In addition, Youn Yuh-jung, who was the first Korean talent to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, flaunts her acting chops as the glamorous and unique Madam Youn. The brilliant performances by amazing supporting actors Cho Han-cheul, Lim Sung-jae, and Lee El shine as well. [IM Sang-Soo] After making a memorable debut with the film Girls' Night Out (1998), Im Sang-soo solidified his position as a director representing Korea through topical works that get to the heart of Korean society, including: A Good Lawyer's Wife (2003), The President's Last Bang (2005), The Housemaid (2010), and Intimate Enemies (2015). Following his foray into the Cannes Film Festival Competition Section in 2010 with the film The Housemaid (2010), which is a remake of the eponymous 1960 film by director Kim Ki-young, Im was invited to the Cannes Film Festival competition section in 2012 with The Taste of Money and was selected for the Cannes Official Selection 2020 with Heaven: To the Land of Happiness, a film invited to the Busan International Film Festival to be the opening film.
Announcing the Selections for New Currents
The 26th Busan International Film Festival, which will be held from October 6 (Wed) to 15 (Fri), announced 11 selections for New Currents, the section where the future of Asian cinema can be viewed. New Currents, which is a main competition section at BIFF, has become an entry point for capable directors over the past 25 years in the discovery of new Asian films. Many directors, who were introduced in the section, not only left their marks on the global stage beyond Asia, but also paved the way for new Asian cinema. The 26th Busan International Film Festival showcases 11 New Currents selections, where new and talented directors are discovered. This year, the works of outstanding directors that will brighten the future of Asian cinema are awaiting the audience. The 11 selected films will become the nominees for the New Currents Award, the New Currents Audience Award, the NETPAC Award, and the FIPRESCI Award. - A Japanese director, who worked as an assistant director to Bong Joon Ho, selected for New Currents Among the New Currents selections, director Katayama Shinzo and his film Missing is drawing attention due to his career as an assistant director to Bong Joon Ho. After working as an assistant director for the episode Shaking Tokyo in TOKYO! (2008), an omnibus film by Leos Carax, Michel Gondry, and Bong Joon Ho, Katayama was the assistant director for the film Mother (2009). He debuted with the film Siblings of the Cave (2018). Missing is his second feature, a thriller that is expected to go above and beyond the audience's imagination, which is fitting for a former assistant director to Bong Joon Ho. - Two films each from India and Iran selected This year, two films from India were nominated for the New Currents Award. Pedro depicts the difficult situation that the eponymous protagonist, an electrician who had been living an invisible life in a forest village in the western region of India, coincidentally finds himself in. ln addition to the vivid acting by non-professional actors, the film captures a moment in which every part of the forest transforms cinematically inside the frame. House of Time was co-directed by Rajdeep Paul and Sarmistha Maiti. The suspense builds as a doctor is locked in a house that is occupied by three women, while they sink into the quagmire of time and space. This film was produced by Aurora Film Corporation, which has a long history of being in charge of the production and distribution of Indian films since its establishment in 1906. Two films were selected from Iran as well. The Absent Director depicts a director conducting a rehearsal for a play through video calls and the resulting fracas created by the director and the crew. Like director Sam Mendes's 1917 (2019), the film is a unique piece of work that is shot in single-take style without cuts. Asteroid is a heartwarming film that portrays a boy who makes an earnest living for his mother and siblings despite his poverty. This film also won an award at the Fajr International Film Festival 2021. - New directors of Kazakhstan, China, and Southeast Asia From Central Asia, Red Pomegranate, the second feature of director Sharipa Urazbayeva, who won the Golden Wheel Award from the Vesoul Film Festival of Asian Cinemas 2020 with her debut feature Mariam (2019), was selected as a nominee for the New Currents Award. Following her debut, Urazbayeva demonstrates the force of Kazakhstani women directors through telling the story of women who actively make their own choices. A film selected from Chinese-speaking area, a region from where many films of great quality were submitted this year, is Farewell, My Hometown by director Wang Er Zhou. Farewell, My Hometown overlays the life of three generations of women within pastoral and poetic images and voiceovers. From Southeast Asia, two films that are set in an environment of sexist social contradictions, such as oppressive patriarchy, are introduced. Director Kim Quy Bui of Vietnam revisits Busan with Memoryland, which she directed with much more maturity stemming from a long period of preparation that came after her debut with The Inseminator (2014), which was a film supported by the Asian Cinema Fund. Indonesian director Wregas Bhanuteja completed his feature debut with the mystery crime film Photocopier after receiving an invitation to the Asian Shorts competition section at BIFF with his short film No One is Crazy in This Town (2019). - Korean films: The Apartment with Two Women and Seire For Korean films, director Kim Se-in's first feature film, The Apartment with Two Women, and director Park Kang's Seire were selected. The Apartment with Two Women is a realist family drama that acutely questions the relationship and meaning of family, and tenaciously depicts the emotional battle between mother and daughter that lasts for 2 hours and 24 minutes. Seire is an ominous and fantastic mystery horror film that deals with the Korean folk tradition Samchilil (also called Seire; postpartum confinement), a period during which outsiders are not allowed to enter the house for 21 days after the birth of a baby in order to prevent bad luck. Likewise, the 11 New Currents selections, which are raising expectations for the sensuous works by emerging directors who will lead the future of Asian cinema, will be screened at the 26th Busan International Film Festival, from October 6 (Wed) to 15 (Fri).
Announcing Selections for the Korean Cinema Today-Vision Section
The 26th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), which will be held from October 6 (Wed) to October 15 (Fri), has announced 12 selections for the Korean Cinema Today-Vision section. The Korean Cinema Today-Vision section of BIFF is the venue that introduces the latest Korean independent films with outstanding cinematic quality, and discovers emerging competent Korean directors. Based on the results in recent years, such as Short Vacation (2020) directed by Kwon Min-pyo and Seo Hansol, Behind You (2020) directed by Park Hong-min, Good Person (2020) directed by Jung Wook, Lucky Chan-sil (2019) directed by Kim Cho-hee, Moving On (2019) directed by Yoon Danbi, Maggie (2018) directed by Yi Okseop, Our Body (2018) directed by Han Ka-ram, Sub-zero Wind (2018) directed by Kim Yuri, Microhabitat (2017) directed by Jeon Gowoon, February (2017) directed by Kim Joonghyun, Park Hwa-young (2017) directed by Lee Hwan, Possible Faces (2017) directed by Lee Kanghyun, Autumn, Autumn (2016) directed by Jang Woojin, and Jane (2016) directed by Cho Hyunhoon were first unveiled worldwide through the Korean Cinema Today-Vision section. After their releases at BIFF, these films received favorable reviews from both domestic and international critics and audiences. This year, all the selections of the Korean Cinema Today-Vision section have a high quality of production and outstanding craftsmanship. From solid storytelling to the planning and implementation of daring and original imageries, the cinematic qualities have been evenly elevated through their fascinating and challenging approach to filmmaking. Therefore, the Korean Cinema Today-Vision section, which has selected 10 films in the past, has now expanded its selection to 12 titles. Nobody's Lover, directed by Han In-mi, captures a period of mysterious yet brutal growth that a high school girl passes through with delicate and sophisticated emotional direction. Through My Midwinter, directed by Oh Seongho, is a desperate youth melodrama based on the realistic plight of contemporary youth. A Lonely Island in the Distant Sea, directed by Kim Miyoung, reflects the mature and determined attitude of a father and a daughter as they face a significant change in life. Doom Doom, directed by Jung Wonhee, is a positive female narrative about a single mother who is also a talented DJ. A Bit Different, directed by Lee Woodong, is a genre film set in a limited place where two detectives are entangled in complicated incidents. Sophie's world, directed by Lee Jeahan, depicts various times of four days and the emotional panorama of a foreign traveler, Sophie, and her Korean friends. No Surprise, directed by Shin Sun, narrates an undeniably intriguing story about time and emotion by portraying three friends who happen to reunite in one place. Hot in Day, Cold at Night, directed by Park Songyeol, is a moral drama that uses a strange touch of laughter to portray the daily life of a poor but honest couple. Film for the Coming Winter, directed by Kim Kyungrae, raises questions about love and philosophy in a conversation between a man and a woman about a film within the film on a familiar yet strange day. Chorokbam, directed by Yoon Seo-jin, depicts the secular days of a family with an elegant mise-en-scéne of green palette and a drastic production design throughout the film. Not One and Not Two, directed by Seo Bohyung, captures a man's meditative life in his search for enlightenment, which is portrayed in a challenging genre with various images and avant-garde compositions. The Conversation, directed by Kim Dukjoong, is focused on small yet lively daily conversations, while featuring delicate cinematography with experimental composition and rhythm. The selected titles of Korean Cinema Today-Vision section will be reviewed and granted various awards such as the DGK MEGABOX Award, the CGV Arthouse Award, the KBS Independent Film Award, the CGK&SamyangXEEN Award, the Critic b Award, the Watcha Award, the Citizen Critics' Award, and the Actor & Actress of the Year award. The 12 titles of the Korean Cinema Today-Vision section will present the vision of contemporary Korean cinema and can be viewed at the 26th Busan International Film Festival, which will be held for 10 days from October 6 (Wed) to October 15 (Fri).
Jury Members for the New Currents Competition Section
The 26th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has confirmed four jury members for New Currents, which is a competition section for new Asian films. New Currents is a main BIFF section that introduces the first or second feature films of emerging directors, who will lead the future of Asian cinema. Beginning with the first edition in 1996, New Currents, which has showcased new Asian directors’ works including those from Korea, has drawn the attention of the global film industry by introducing cinematic works of ambitious spirit. New Currents is a competition section in which four members of the jury select two of the best feature films and award each film a prize of USD 30,000. Deepa Mehta, an international master director born in India, was appointed as head of the jury for the BIFF New Currents Award. Mehta, who appeared on the global cinema scene when she received the Caméra d'Or Special Distinction at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991 with her first feature film Sam & Me, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (currently Best International Feature Film) in 2007 with her film Water (2005). She is active in various fields, such as participating in the production of Leila (2019), a Netflix Original Series. Other members of the jury include Cristina Nord, the head of the Berlinale Forum; Jang Joonhwan, who took domestic and international film festivals by storm with the film, Save the Green Planet! (2003), and received the Daejong Film Awards (the Grand Bell Awards) for Best Director, and the Blue Dragon Awards for Best Feature in 2018 with the film 1987: When the Day Comes (2017); and director Jeong Jae-eun, who made an impressive first appearance in the Korean film society with her first feature debut, Take Care of My Cat (2001), and is currently expanding her horizons to include documentaries and exhibitions. Take Care of My Cat was also selected as one of the 10 Best Asian Films by Female Directors, ‘Wonder Women Movie.’ The 26th BIFF will be held for ten days from October 6th (Wed) to October 15th (Fri). The two recipients of the New Currents Awards will be announced at the closing ceremony.
The 26th Busan International Film Festival Presents On Screen Section
The 26th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), which will be held from October 6th (Wed) to October 15th (Fri), is launching the new program, On Screen section. The section screens highly anticipated drama series that will be streamed over online video streaming platforms (Over-the-Top, hereinafter OTT). The On Screen section plans to showcase highly anticipated drama series on OTT platforms as either world premieres or Asia premieres. The section aims to precisely reflect the current state of the market, which is expanding multi-directionally, while embracing the extended flow and value of cinema. As BIFF accommodates not only traditional theatrical releases, but also OTT drama series with the new addition of the On Screen section, it is able to present more diverse and higher-quality works to the audience, whose range of fandom is expanding. On Screen section will be a swift and preeminent entrance into a new area of cinema. The three drama series invited to the On Screen section, which have been confirmed through a careful and rigorous selection for the section’s first launch, are director Yeon Sang-ho's Hellbound, director Kim Jin-min’s My Name, and Forbidden, which was co-directed by directors Anucha Boonyawatana (Thailand) & Josh Kim (US). Hellbound and My Name are Korean dramas on Netflix, while Forbidden is HBO ASIA's original series. Hellbound, which is based on the eponymous popular webtoon, tells the story of supernatural events in which people suddenly receive a hell-bound condemnation. The events lead to the establishment of a religious organization called the New Truth Church, which gains a following in the midst of the chaos, and those who try to reveal the truth of the situation become involved with each other. Director Yeon Sang-ho, who has provided the audience with a generic catharsis through a tight narrative and novel subjects in each of his works, is in charge of directing the series, which raises expectations for the opening of a new genre in Korean film. Veteran actors Yoo Ah-in, Park Jeong-min, Kim Hyun-joo, Won Jin-a, Yang Ik-june, Kim Do-yoon, Kim Sin-rock, Ryu Kyung-soo, and Lee Re add their own unique refinements to the show. The screening of this series is an Asia premiere, which is its second worldwide screening, following its first screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. Director Kim Jin-min, whose Netflix series Extracurricular has surprised and shocked not only movie fans but also people in the film industry, has finally come out with his next work: My Name. The work is a powerful and captivating action noir with a female-led narrative that depicts the harsh truth of the protagonist (Han So-hee), who infiltrates the police using another name to reveal the secret of her father's death and to seek his revenge. Some of the trendiest acting talents in Korean cinema and stand-out performers, Han So-hee, Park Hee-soon, Ahn Bo-hyun, Kim Sang-ho, Lee Hak-ju, and Jang Yull make appearances. It is a world premiere. Lastly, the series Forbidden was co-directed by Thai director Anucha Boonyawatana and Korean-American director Josh Kim. The two episodes premiering at BIFF 2021 were directed by Anucha Boonyawatana, who won the Kim Jiseok Award at BIFF 2017. Forbidden, the story of four friends who travel from Bangkok to a remote mountain village for one of their father's funeral, stars one of Thailand's rising stars, actor-singer Kritssanapoom Pibulsonggram. The still unreleased work is expected to present an extreme horror that incorporates many various plot twists. It is a world premiere.