Here at ScreenAnarchy, we're huge fans of the PiFan (Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival), the largest celebration of genre cinema in Asia. So we've been eager to discover the program of their 17th edition, taking place next month. The wait is over as PiFan revealed its packed lineup for 2013 earlier today during their launch press conference in Seoul. An eclectic mix of premieres, festival hits and retrospectives will be on offer this year from July 18-28.
James Marsh and I, who will both be covering the fest on site, will preview the program in greater depth over the coming weeks, but let's quickly take a look at the broadstrokes:
Next month, 230 films, including 135 features, 53 world premieres and 19 international premieres from 44 countries will descend on Puchon, a town on the outskirts of Seoul. Opening the festivities on July 18th is The Congress, the new film from Waltz with Bashir director Ari Folman. Closing the fest on the 26th will be the word premiere of upcoming Korean thriller The Terror Live from director Kim Byeong-u, starring the red-hot Ha Jung-woo (The Berlin File, The Yellow Sea).
Looking at the fest's main competition section, Puchon Choice, a variety of films will vie for the fest's top prize (Best of Puchon). Among the highlights are Thai thriller Countdown, Filipino hitman film On the Job and the wacky Japanese superhero flickHK/Forbidden Super Hero. The World Fantastic Cinema section, the bread and butter of the fest, will feature 40 films including The ABCs of Death, Cheap Thrills, Frankenstein's Army, Hardcore Comedy, Library Wars and V/H/S 2. Meanwhile, the Vision Express program will feature progressive works such as The Kirishima Thing and A Story of Yonosuke. The Masters section is reserved for heavy hitters and will screen new works from Johnnie To (Drug War and Blind Detective), Miike Takashi (Lesson of the Evil and Straw Shield) as well Sono Sion's long unavailable Bad Film.
Perhaps most exciting are this year's special programs, which feature retrospectives on Tsukamoto Shinya and Alejandro Jodorowsky (which will include the Cannes premieres The Dance of Reality and Jodorowsky's Dune) and the sidebars 'The Catcher in Korean Films: KAFA 30 Years', 'Ourselves, Our Robots: Thin Line Between Human and Robot' and 'Urban Cult: Dark Side of the City'. Throw in other sections like 'Forbidden Zone', 'Ani Fanta' and 'PiFan Classic', 95 shorts and a litany of new Korean films, and PiFan 2013 promises to be another terrific celebration of the best of genre cinema.
Stay tuned for much more from James and me in the coming weeks. Roll on July 18th!