Busan International Film Festival Returns to Full Strength with Packed 27th Edition

Contributor; Seoul, South Korea (@pierceconran)
Busan International Film Festival Returns to Full Strength with Packed 27th Edition

For the first time since 2019, the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) will return to full force, with a complete lineup for its upcoming 27th edition, which will welcome a full complement of international guests for the first time since the pandemic began.

Kicking off on October 5th and running until the 14th, BIFF is coming back in grand fashion with a broad program filled with major international titles, and a selection of special programs, including an expanded 'On Screen' section devoted to TV series.

The 27th BIFF will open with Scent of Wind, the fourth film of Iranian filmmaker Hadi Mohaghegh, while the Japanese film A Man by Ishikawa Kei will wrap up the festival. A total of 243 films from 71 films will be screened this year, including a whopping 89 world premieres and 13 international debuts.

This year's star guest will be legendary Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai, who will be presented with this year's Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award. Several of Leung's classics will be screened, including the Wong Kar-wai films 2046, Happy Together and In the Mood for Love, Patrick Yau's The Longest Nite and the action classic Infernal Affairs, from directors Andrew Lau and Alan Mak.

Other major names expected to travel to Busan this year including Japanese filmmakers Koreeda Hirokazu with his Cannes Film Festival screened Korean-language film Broker, and Miike Takashi, whose own Korean-language debut, the drama series Connect, is having its world premiere in Busan ahead of its launch on Disney+ later this year.

Major titles confirmed for BIFF include Noah Baumbach's White Noise, Palme d'Or winner Triangle of Sadness by Ruben Ostend, Martin McDonagh's The Banshees of Inisherin, Ali Abbasi's Holy Spider, Peter Strickland's Flux Gourmet and the runaway success Everything Everywhere All at Once, from directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, which has yet to screen in Korea.

Busan is famous for platforming important indie films from Korea and Asia, and the signature New Currents and Korean Cinema Today-Vision competitive sections are once again filled with potential arthouse breakouts. The festival is also premiering a couple of major new Korean films this year, including Boys, the new film from veteran filmmaker Chung Ji-young (Unbowed) and 20th Century Girl, a Netflix Original film from director Bang Woo-ri.

In addition to its expanded program and guest list, Busan is set to resume many of its signature programs and events this year. The Asian Cinema Fund and Asian Film Academy will return after a three year absence, as will Forum BIFF, which this year will explore the rapid transitions that the film and TV industries are currently experiencing.

After being introduced last year with three selections, the 'On Screen' section returns with nine new TV dramas this year, including the world premieres of new shows from filmmakers such as Lee Joon-ik (The King and the Clown), Lee Ho-jae (The Scam), Roh Deok (Very Ordinary Couple) and the aforementioned Miike.

Jiseok, a documentary about the esteemed BIFF programmer Kim Ji-seok, who passed away suddenly during the Cannes Film Festival four years ago, is also part of this year's program. The film, which has been in production for three years, will have its world premiere in Busan.

Check back with us next month when Screen Anarchy hits the ground in Busan to dive in and discover BIFF's deep program.

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A ManBIFFBusan film festivalScent of WindTony Leung

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