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The 21st Busan International Film Festival

Busan International Film Festival
12-21 October, 2017

The 22nd
Busan International Film Festival
Oct 12th (Thu) - Oct 21th (Sat), 2017
  • 32 SCREEN at 5 THEATERS (including P&I and Market screening)
    • - Busan Cinema Center, LOTTE CINEMA Centum City, CGV Centum City, MEGABOX Haeundae, Dongseo University Sohyang Theater
  • Total of 298 films from 75 countries
  • 129 World & International Premieres
    • - 100 World Premieres (76 Feature Films, 24 Short Films)
    • - 29 International Premieres (24 Feature Films, 5 Short Films)
    • - All New Currents screenings are World Premieres

2017 Busan International Film Festival

2017 Poster

2017 Trailer

Jury Members



Asian Cinema and the late Kim Ji-seok, the Program Director of Busan International Film Festival

The (late) Program Director of the Busan International Film Festival (who passed away this May), Kim Ji-seok’s love and passion toward Asian cinema, as well as his friendship with Asian films professionals will remain a valuable inheritance to the festival for years to come. It is unbearable to endure his absence; however, the Busan International Film Festival prepares diverse programs to honor and follow his spirit. The memorial service embodying condolences and sympathy from Korean and Asian cinema will be arranged on October 15 th , Sunday, during the festival, and a photobook will be published to commemorate his dedication with filmmakers. In addition, the Busan International Film Festival will launch Platform Busan, a network among Asian independent filmmakers that Kim Ji-seok had carefully organized, as well as maintain the identity to discover and support Asian cinema with the ‘Kim Jiseok Award’ presented to two titles in the A Window on Asian Cinema.

Platform Busan, a networking and exchanging venue for Asian independent films

The Busan International Film Festival, a hub of Asian cinema, launches Platform Busan this year. Platform Busan offers a platform, where Asian independent filmmakers can communicate, share experiences and eventually grow together, as well as to develop association within Asian independent films and establish a foothold on the world stage. Platform Busan provides seminars, forum and workshop sessions to exchange information from October 14 th to 18 th , 2017.

‘Mapping the Asian Cinema’, Korean Cinema Retrospective and Special Programs in Focus

Korean Cinema Retrospective this year spotlights actor Shin Seong-il, whose career followed the essential flow of the 20 th -century Korean film history. Also, Special Program in Focus ‘Suzuki Seijun: A Drifter Across the Borders’ will be held to commemorate Suzuki Seijun, a master in Asian genre film who passed away this February. Special Program in Focus will honor his cinematic legacy and contribution in Asian films. There will be 7 screenings that place his major works in the limelight of the cinematic world. The Busan International Film Festival has expanded the scope diversity on Asian cinema over the last 20 years through ‘Mapping the Asian Cinema’ and discovering new Asian films. Following this tradition of diversity, the Special Program in Focus ‘Sakha Cinema: World of Magical Nature and Myth’ spotlights unexplored Sakha films full of regional legends and the great nature of Far East Siberia for the first time.

Asian Film Market offers networking opportunity through various events

The Asian Film Market will continue to run ‘E-IP Pitching’ and ‘Book To Film’, which record high contract accomplishments every year through the special attention given by many film and media professionals. Asian Project Market (APM) will also maintain its reputation as a co-production market that celebrates its 20 years. Various opportunities will be provided to all independent cineastes and participants through Platform Busan at the Busan International Film Festival and Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Program in Asian Cinema Fund that will be held at the market site.

VR CINEMA in BIFF: examining the future of VR films

Busan International Film Festival this year will launch ‘VR CINEMA in BIFF’, co-organized with Barunson Co., Ltd., the leading company in VR industry. In VR CINEMA screening room, nearly 30 VR films from all over the world will be screened. The conference and forum will compose VR CINEMA in BIFF. The events will offer audiences diverse experiences to see both the present and the future vision of the VR industry. VR CINEMA in BIFF will perform as a platform for the activation of VR in film production.

Programming Trend

Growth in Greater China Cinema

Asian films screened at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival are an opportunity to look into the current position of rapidly thriving Greater China cinema, as well as newly emerging trends. It draws attention for up-and-coming directors and independent films to become a new mainstream venue by replacing leading directors who played an important role in Taiwan and Hong Kong cinema, but later expanded their boundaries into China. Somewhere Beyond the Mist by Cheung King Wai, a Hong Kong film selected for New Currents in 7 years, and a Taiwanese film The Last Verse by Tseng Ying-Ting are invited to the New Currents. Numerous Taiwanese films are also invited to this year’s Busan International Film Festival’s A Window on Asian Cinema including The Great Buddha+ by Huang Hsin-Yao (a highprofile film that will be screened in A Window on Asian Cinema), Missing Johnny by Huang Xi (a film that Hou Hsiao-hsien helped produce), The Bold, The Corrupt And The Beautiful by Yang Ya-Che (a 2012 APM project), and On Happiness Road by Sung Hsin-Yin (an animation). In addition, many other Chinese films will be screened along with this year’s 7 closing film Love Education by Sylvia Chang such as a New Currents nominated End of Summer by Zhou Quan, One Night on the Wharf by Han Dong, a new film Ash by a former New Currents director Li Xiaofeng, a debut film Dragonfly Eyes by a leading Chinese artist Xu Bing, Walking Past the Future by a former New Currents director Li Ruijun, and Have a Nice Day by Liu Jian (an animation). Diverse Greater China Cinema raises new expectations and will be enjoyed at the 22 nd Busan International Film Festival.

Bonanza of Japanese Cinema

Japan is the most invited country to this year’s Busan International Film Festival. Previously, numerous Japanese films have been presented at the festival and well-received by audiences; however, films invited this year give a different meaning of affluence. Dynamic Japanese cinema features several experienced filmmakers who direct more than one film along with various small-scale independent films that have been screened in theaters. The abundance in Japanese films is proven by theaters in Japan that are almost fully booked until the first half of the next year. As well as notable Japanese directors (such as Kore-eda Hirokazu, Kurosawa Kiyoshi and Kawase Naomi), diverse Japanese films will also visit the 22nd Busan International Film Festival such as Narratage by Yukisada Isao, a long-waited film Outrage Coda by Kitano Takeshi, new films The Scythian Lamb and A Beautiful Star by Yoshida Daihachi visit Busan for the first time, Side Job. and The Miracles of the Namiya General Store by Hiroki Ryuichi. Independent Japanese films are also outstanding; a rising director Ninomiya Ryutaro directed Sweating the Small Stuff, and after making a TV documentary with Kore-eda Hirokazu, Yoshiyuki Kishi moved his field to film drama and directed a 5-hour-running film Wilderness starring a Japanese star Suda Masaki and a popular Korean director Yang Ikjune. The 22 ndBusan International Film Festival will hold a special exhibition for a talented animator Yuasa Masaaki, and will screen the animation film Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom? by Shimbo Akiyuki, based on Iwai Shunji’s film of the same title, in the Open Cinema.

Multifarious Asian Cinema

It is impossible to discuss Asian cinema without Indian and Philippine cinema. The Busan International Film Festival has grown in importance for Indian independent cinema since several Indian indie films were featured. Like the previous years, the Festival invites diverse films of up-and-coming Indian directors, to develop new talent. The 22 nd Busan International Film Festival will screen a new film Smaller and Smaller Circles by Raya Martin, an acknowledged Philippine director, as well as focus on films from emerging young Philippine directors. Two Nepalese films Goodbye Kathmandu by Nabin Subba and A Curious Girl by Rajesh Prasad Khatri are invited to A Window on Asian Cinema and the Short Film Competition. Many singular Southeast Asian films with distinct characteristics are also invited.

The Abundance in Korean Cinema, straddling veteran and up-andcoming directors

The 22nd Busan International Film Festival abounds with Korean Cinema. In addition to Opening film Glass Garden by Shin Suwon and Gala Presentation Butterfly Sleep by Jeong Jae-eun, there are 3 films in the New Currents, 16 films in the Korea Cinema TodayPanorama and 11 films in the Korea Cinema Today-Vision. Among 16 films in Korea Cinema Today-Panorama, 8 films have not had a theatrical release. Veteran directors such as Jeon Sooil, O Muel, Pang Eunjin, Shin Yeonshick, Min Byunghun, Kim Sungho, Park Kiyong, Ko Eunki will release new films. Ryoo Seungwan presents The Battleship Island: Director’s Cut, which has an additional 19 minutes to the original film. In New Currents, Last Child by Shin Dongseok which was a project from the Post-Production Fund in the Asian Cinema Fund, After My Death by Kim Uiseok and How to Breathe Underwater by Ko Hyunseok have been selected. All 3 pieces convincingly tell tragic stories in different ways. In the Korean Cinema Today-Vision, February, the second feature-length film of Kim Joonghyun selected in the New Currents with the first film Choked (2011), Mothers by Lee Dongeun who received KNN Award with In Between Seasons (2016), A Tiger in Winter, the third feature-length film of Lee Kwangkuk following Romance Joe (2011) and A Matter of Interpretation (2014), Possible Faces, the first drama film of Lee Kanghyun who is wellknown for documentary, Microhabitat directed by Jeon Gowoon and produced by Gwanghwamun Cinema which formerly produced The King of Jokgu (2013), Park Hwayoung by Lee Hwan, produced by Myung Films Lab, A Haunting Hitchhike by Jeong Heejae, which is about children who crave for a family, home by Kim Jongwoo, Hit the Night by Jeong Gayoung, Counting the Stars at Night by Choi Yongseok and Black Summer by Lee Weonyoung have also been selected. The Korean Cinema Retrospective spotlights a legendary actor Shin Seong-il, screening 8 of his major works. Adopting the preliminary round this year, the Korean Short Film Competition will present 15 films. There are also 5 selections in the Korean Documentary Competition and 4 films in the Korean Documentary Showcase.

Must-See Films of Non-Asian Master Directors, and Masterpieces of Veteran Writers

Non-Asian films, presented this year, consist of new films by master and veteran directors, which were hot issues of the year, and debut films by promising filmmakers with overwhelming creativity. Masterpieces that mark an era, by master directors such as Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Aki Kaurismaki and Bruno Dumont, are lined up. The film of Jean-Luc Godard from 1980s, starring the New Wave champion Jean-Pierre Léaud, is premiered in Asia. New films by veteran directors such as Andrey Zvyagintsev, Sharunas Bartas, Sergei Loznitsa, Lucrecia Martel, Fatih Akin, Ruben Östlund, and Michel Franco, which transpose historical and social matters into cinematic distress, are also screened. Standout films, such as Tomorrow and Thereafter by Noémie Lvovsky, The Intruder by Leonardo Di Costanzo and The Double Lover by François Ozon, which have experimental style and flawless mise-en- 9 scène by veteran writers are screened this year. Great advances in North American films are represented by films such as Wonderstruck by Todd Haynes, Downsizing by Alexander Payne, The Florida Project by Sean Baker who created a great sensation with Tangerine (2015), and Mother! by Darren Aronofsky who is well-known for Black Swan (2010). Genre films will entertain cinephiles with an abundance of repeated variations. Attempts by Santiago Mitre and Kornél Mundruczó to extend the boundaries of genre films like thrillers and SF, the persistence of Olivier Marchal continues the tradition of original French crime series and Five Fingers for Marseilles, a Western genre film from South Africa, are must-see.

Steeped in North American Documentary Films and Breathtaking Debut Films of Up-and-coming Directors

North American documentary films make a strong mark this year. Preeminent pieces are curated, such as Ex Libris: New York Public Library by the master of documentary, Frederick Wiseman, and The Work by Gethin Aldous and Jairus Mcleary which was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW Film Festival. Makala by Emmanuel Gras, with the backdrop of the Congo, has driven new wave upwards. This year features many works from up-and–coming filmmakers. Astonishing debut films and independent films from Europe, North America, Africa and Latin America will be introduced through the Flash Forward. There are 11 nominees for the Busan Bank Award (Flash Forward Audience Award) which utilizes the audiences’ votes.

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