LOVE LIES BLEEDING and TWILIGHT OF THE WARRIORS Bookend 28th BiFan, Festival to Launch AI Film Competition

Contributor; Seoul, South Korea (@pierceconran)
LOVE LIES BLEEDING and TWILIGHT OF THE WARRIORS Bookend 28th BiFan, Festival to Launch AI Film Competition

This year's Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BiFan) in Korea will open with Rose Glass' acclaimed romantic neo-noir thriller Love Lies Bleeding, while Soi Cheang's Cannes-premiered Hong Kong action-drama Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In will serve as the closing film.

The 28th edition is scheduled to run from July 4 - 14 and will present a program stuffed to the gills with 255 films from 49 countries, including 67 world premieres. While everything we love about the festival will return, tongues are also wagging about a new component added to the festival: an AI section, which is reflected in the festival's new tagline, simply BiFan+.

Earlier this year, BiFan announced Korea's first competitive AI program, which will feature 15 works, ranging in length from two to 14 minutes, in which AI was employed to some degree, perhaps even for the entire production of the film.

Festival director Shin Chul explains, "I believe that with the help of generative AI an era of equal competition will come, in which imagination, not the size of budget, is the most important factor."

Major guests this year will include actress Son Ye-jin, who will be the focus of a six-title retrospective entitled 'One and Only Son Yejin', which will include landmark Korean films such as The Classic, A Moment to Remember, and The Truth Beneath.

Other cinema legends set to grace the event include master Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To, Japanese filmmaker Koki Mitani and Korean cineaste Kim Sung-soo. To will take part in a masterclass following a screening of the recently restored Throw Down, Mitani will get his own 'The Magic Theater of Mitani Koki' program, and Kim Sung-soo, riding high after the recent success of 12.12: The Day, will be celebrated through a 'Night of the Living 'Duk-hu'' section, which will include City of the Rising Sun, Musa: The Warrior and his rarely screened early short Dead End.

Among the eagerly anticipated retro screenings will be the films of the 'Celluloid Erotica: Anatomy of Sexploitation Cinema' section and the titles of the returning 'Strange Hommage' program, which will include Yasuzo Masumura's Blind Beast, Anthony Waller's Mute Witness and the rarely screened 90s Korean features Death Song and Rosy Life.

Many acclaimed genre new works from around the world will be featured as well as several hotly anticipated world premieres, including the Korean film Base Station, co-directed by Screen Anarchy favorite Park Syeyong, whose debut The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra was a standout in Bucheon two years ago.

Screen Anarchy will have several boots on the ground, ready to take in the sights, tastes and smells of BiFan's hot days and infamously long nights.

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