Pollution particles and yellow dust have been replaced by summer humidity hanging in the air, which can only mean one thing - BiFan is just around the corner! On a hot Thursday afternoon in early June in Central Seoul, the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BiFan) revealed its stellar program for this year's 22nd edition.
Local animation The Underdog (from the people who brought us Leafie, a Hen into the Wild) will open proceedings on July 12, while Indian sensation Secret Superstar by Advait Chandan will close the event which is scheduled to run until July 22.
Twelve films will duke it out in the festival's signature Bucheon Choice program, which will include Coralie Fargeat's popular French thriller Revenge and Issa Lopez's acclaimed Mexican drama Tigers Are Not Afraid.
The Korean Fantastic: Features Competition includes new works such as The DMZ by Oh In-chun and The Deep by Cho Sung-kyu. 'Korean Fantastic: Non-Competition' selections include recent commercial works Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum, The Merciless and Psychokinesis.
Some notable films will get their festival debuts in Korea, including Filipino master Erik Matti's latest, Buy Bust. Nestled among the other main festival strands are popular hits, such as high school zombie musical Anna and the Apocalypse, zombie comedy One Cut for the Dead, Cannes-invited Giallo Knife+Heart, the intense coming-of-age dramas Pin Cushion and Thelma, revenge thrillers Brawl in Cell Block 99 and Mandy, and much, much more.
This year's main programs include retrospectives such as 'Jung Woo-sung: The Star, the Actor, the Artist', '3X3 EYES: A Special Program Featuring the Three Horror Masters and Their Eyes', focusing on the work of Wes Craven (whose Nightmare on Elm Street series provides the influence for BiFan's visual concept this year), George A. Romero and Tope Hooper (Lifeforce on the big screen!), and also 'The Women Who Leapt through Time: The Representation of Women in Sci-Fi Films', which will include Alien and Mad Max: Fury Road - Black and Chrome, among others.
Screen Anarchy will out in force once again with at least three sets of boots on the ground indulging in grilled meats, soju and loud, dark karaoke rooms, with the occasional film thrown in for good measure.
Be sure to check out BiFan's spectacular trailer below and see you in sweltering Bucheon in five weeks!