• Period: Oct 21st (Wed) - Oct 30th (Fri), 2020
  • 192 films from 68 countries
  • Official Selection Screening Venue: 6 screens at the Busan Cinema Center
    * Community BIFF Screening Venue: LOTTE CINEMA Daeyoung
  • Total Attendance & Online Attendance: 20,135
    • Busan International Film Festival: 18,311 (Available Seats 19,909 / Seat Capacity 92%)
    • Community BIFF: 1,824 (Available Seats 2,108 / Seat Capacity 87%)
    • Online Attendance numbers at Oct 30th 12am, 2020
    • Master Class numbers indicate registered participants
  • Program Events
    • Guest Visits (GV) 135 (Online 90 / Onsite 45)
      * Hybrid 1, Simultaneous 2, Live-streaming 1 included
    • Online Master Class 1 (director Mira Nair)
    • Online Press Conference 5

Asian Contents & Film Market Overview

  • Online Market Badge: 885 people and 611 companies from 45 countries
  • Online Sales Booth: 205 companies and 205 booths from 20 countries (833 contents transacted)


Successful Preventive Measures against COVID-19 and Responsible Citizenship

In order to secure the safety of the audiences and citizens, the Busan Cinema Center has been entirely controlled and ran only eight gates. Temperature checks, hand sanitizers, and QR check-ins were all placed and held in each of the gates. In case of emergency, surveillance cameras were operated to check the audience routes. Social distancing was practiced inside and outside of theaters through measures such as mobile tickets and opening only 25% of the total seats. The atmosphere was quite composed than in the previous years since the number of audiences decreased. Nonetheless, the festival was able to end with no safety accidents thanks to audience’s responsible citizenship strictly complying to the COVID-19 preventive measures. Most importantly, this year’s festival will be marked as a significant edition as the first international festival, with no online screenings but only onsite screenings, to open in Korea during the COVID-19.

High Audience Participation Rate

This year, all seats were reserved online, and on the day before the opening of the Busan International Film Festival, seat reservation rated up to 94 percent, and ultimately maintained 92 percent seat occupancy. Although the total number of festival audiences remained approximately 18,000 due to 25 percent occupancy for each theater, it was a noteworthy number that shows the love and support of the audience for the Busan International Film Festival.

Diverse Breakout Films

Breakout films, including Wife of a Spy, True Mothers, Falling, First Cow were in the limelight. Despite the cold weather, 9 out of 10 films that screened at the Busan Cinema Center BIFF Theater were sold out, including Soul, Summer of 85, In the Mood for Love, and The Asadas. Films that received acclaim from overseas film festivals, such as Minari, were also sold out.

New and Diverse Challenges in the Guest Visit (GV) -Live-streaming Online, Hybrid,Simultaneous Across Nations

The Busan International Film Festival arranged various methods in creating the platform to have conversations on the films, although guests could not visit this year due to COVID-19. As for the GVs for Korean films, a high percentile of participation from the guests was notable marking up to 100%. Foreign guests that could not come to the venue were connected online, enabling the audiences to meet the directors live. Special hybrid GVs were also held, where director not able to be physically present participating online and actors present in the cinema. Simultaneous screening held in Vietnam/Thailand and Busan with live Guest Visits were notable as a brand-new format of GVs, crossing borders in disconnected times. Lastly, director Yoon Sung-hyun’s Time to Hunt Guest Visit was live-streamed on Youtube, to provide the opportunity for audiences to meet with the cast that could not be present in person. Such new approaches indicate the festival has thrived even in the COVID-19 era with devotion to its original core value. With 90 online Guest Visits and 45 Guest Visits with guests participating Busan inperson, 135 Guest Visits were held in total.

Successful Operation of Online Events -Including Forum BIFF, Press Conference, Master Class, Award Ceremonies, and Individual Interviews

For all events excluding film screenings such as Forum BIFF, press conferences, master class, award ceremonies, and individual interviews, the Busan International Film Festival hosted new forms of events suited for the post-COVID-era by making active use of online platforms. Forum BIFF garnered enthusiastic response in its adoption of an online conference system and themes suited for this era. It provided an opportunity to broaden the site of discussion online. The event ended in success by adding up to 20,919 views, which marked the participation rate at an all-time high. Directors and actors abroad, international and domestic press, and local interpreters and moderators connected from their respective locations for the online press conference, which had an attendance rate higher than that of the previous years. Director Mira Nair’s online master class was also met with enthusiastic response. Other events that set new standards for this era included online individual interviews and the Asian Film Awards which was broadcast live on YouTube.

Proven Potential of the Asian Contents & Film Market (ACFM)

Changing its name from the original Asian Film Market earlier this year, the contents trade zone pursuing B2B market, Asian Contents & Film Market (ACFM) has moved online and changed the opening period due to COVID-19. Despite being held online, 205 institutions and business from 20 countries opened online booths, registering and trading 833 contents, which marked an increase of 5 companies than in the previous year. Local and international guests were pleased with online screening, allowing access to 118 official selections of the Busan International Film Festival. The original copyright trading market, E-IP Market, presented Taiwanese and Japanese contents. Held for the second year, the Asia Contents Awards (ACA) was live-streamed online through video conferences, connecting local and international awardees and presenters.

Community BIFF, a Successful Edition of the Youth Planning Team

Successfully cementing the creative ‘audience participating’ program and the ‘youth planning team’ program held for the first time this year, the Community BIFF gained support from the new generation. Although only 25% of seats were able to be run due to the COVID-19 preventive measures, 37 out of 46 screenings were sold out with 1,824 audiences visiting Nampo-dong. Community BIFF will keep extending its domain to a diversified cultural hub, pursuing the value of coexistence through communication and compassion and keeping a parallel relationship between audiences and the administration.