The Beginning of the Busan International Film Festival

On September 13, 1996, the first opening ceremony was held with the desire to create a 'small but prestigious film festival'. The first international film festival in Korea took its first step amidst many concerns about holding an 'International Film Festival' in Busan, and not Seoul. In the first festival, 169 works from 31 countries were invited and screened in a total of 6 theaters.

Busan International Film Festival now

The Busan International Film Festival has grown from Korea's first international film festival to Korea's largest, and has become a film festival loved by many filmmakers and audiences not only in Asia but also in the world. As of 2019, 299 works were invited from a total of 85 countries, and the number of theaters that started with 6 has increased to 37. In addition, the ‘Busan Cinema Center’ opened in 2011, which is an exclusive venue of the Busan International Film Festival and has become a landmark in Busan.

Busan International Film Festival
Largest Film Festival in Asia, Non-competitive (with some competitive sections)

Asia’s esteemed content market, It is a comprehensive site of content business where transactions of original IPs ranging from film and audiovisual content, to books, webtoons, web novels, story treatments, and more, are accessible.


IP sales market where stories, the foundation for all content, are sold and purchased to be reproduced on various platforms


Asia's first investment and co-production market, which introduces promising Asian feature film projects in the stages of planning, development, or production, to individuals related to the film industry.


A support program established to help activate Korean and Asian independent film productions


Asia Contents Awards & Global OTT Awards (ACA & G.OTT) is an award ceremony to celebrate content creation industries from the world and to recognize the outstanding TV, OTT and online content of the year.


A networking platform where emerging Asian independent filmmakers can share their field experiences to enlighten artistic philosophies and exchange field experiences


As an educational program, BIFF Asian Film Academy aims to discover promising filmmakers who will lead Asian cinema and establish networks among Asian filmmakers.


As a socializing hub for filmmakers and professionals from all over the world, Forum BIFF will provide the audience with an opportunity to experience a wealth of cinematic intelligence.


A program nurturing creative film manpower and providing continuous supports for them with universities in Busan.


Community BIFF aims to be an open film festival where audiences, filmmakers, activists, academics, and local residents become agents of the festival.


The audience can join the festival with ease and share rich experiences with their neighbors, such as the screening of popular films from domestic and international film festivals, meetings with guests, and attending performances by local artists.

In the early days of its establishment, it was simply focused on building the best film festivals in Asia and promoting Korean films to the world. Today, it is also serving as a bridgehead to promote Asian films to the world by discovering and supporting various films and talented filmmakers.

As a non-competitive film festival that rose to the top in such a short period of time, the Busan International Film Festival played a decisive role in making Busan the center of the film industry as well as the city of film.

Vision of Busan International Film Festival

As it has been, the Busan International Film Festival will continue to seek ways to strengthen Korean and Asian films through various programs including production support, so they can be firmly established.

UNESCO Fellini Award (2007)
The second time as a film festival after Cannes

The longest cantilever roof in the world
(the big roof at Busan Cinema Center)
certified by Guinness World Records (2011)

UNESCO Creative Cities of film
first in Asia (2014)

The most prestigious film festival in Asia
and one of the top 5 in the world (2017) Time (USA)

In particular, as the environment of the media market is changing faster than before, the film festival redeemed its overall strategy and set out mid-to-long-term visions and strategic tasks to move forward with a more distant future.

Although it has already been recognized as the best film festival in Asia and the hub of Asian films, it is making efforts to reset and expand the vision to "Hometown of Asian Films" and leap forward as the world's best non-competitive film festival and Asian film hub.