Eclectic Array of Award-Winning Films Announced.
The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has unveiled an impressive lineup of films to be screened during the spectacular 10-day event, providing film fans and cineastes alike with much to be excited for. Running from October 6-15, BIFF will present 300 films from 69 countries, featuring 95 world and 27 international premieres, including a host of award-winning projects that were recognized earlier in the year at Cannes, Venice, and Berlin.
BIFF will open the 21st edition with Korean film A Quiet Dream by director Zhang Lu. The black and white production features Han Ye-ri as a bar-owner pursued by three men who are, in reality, Korean independent filmmakers, who within the film take on the personalities of their most renowned characters. Closing the festival is director Hussein Hassan’s The Dark Wind. The co-production between Iraq/Qatar/Germany explores romance, community, and religion as a young woman is abducted by IS and later struggles to find her place in the world.
A number of special guests will also be available for Q&A sessions and events throughout BIFF, notably actor Miles Teller (Whiplash) who will be joined by director Ben Younger for a screening of their boxing drama Bleed for This. A Special Talk: Three Masters event is also due to take place between cinematic maestros Lee Chang-dong (Secret Sunshine), Kore-eda Hirokazu (My Little Sister), and Hou Hsiao Hsien (The Assassin), in which they discuss their careers.
International cinematic highlights include the SF film Arrival by director Denis Villeneuve, which sees Amy Adams attempting to communicate with extraterrestrials, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s musical collaboration La La Land, from helmer/scribe Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), director Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake, Kristen Stewart delving into indie films with psychological horror Personal Shopper by helmer Olivier Assayas, which also won the Best Director award at Cannes, and director Adam Wingard’s highly anticipated horror sequel Blair Witch, which screens in the Midnight Passion program.
Korean cinema is heavily represented with a mix of blockbusters and independent selections at BIFF 2016, all with English subtitles. Thrillers are well-featured in the form of colonial era spy-noir Age of Shadows by director Kim Jee-woon, alongside erotic period drama The Handmaiden by director Park Chan-wook who adapted the screenplay from the novel Fingersmith, and otherworldly horror The Wailing by director Na Hong-jin. Socially-conscious issues are explored through director Yoon Ga-eun’s school drama The World of Us, while director E J-yong examines the rise of prostitution amongst the elderly in Bacchus Lady. A special program dedicated to screening the work of classic director Lee Doo-yong will also be presented as part of the Korean Cinema Retrospective.
BIFF 2016 will also play host to two special programs. And Film Goes On: Abbas Kiarostami Retrospective celebrates the work of the renowned Iranian director who sadly passed away earlier this year by screening 10 of his films, including 1997 Palme d’Or winner Taste of Cherry. South American cinema is due to be recognized in the Cali Group: Root of Colombian Cinema program, in which 8 feature and 6 short films will screen and express the evolution of cinema in the region from the 1970s to the present.
With much to choose from both cinematically and in terms of events, festival-goers have a lot to look forward to at BIFF this year.
When: October 6-15, 2016
Where: Busan City (Haeundae, Centum City, Nampo-dong areas)
Times: Screening times vary. Check the website for details.
Cost: Ticket prices vary per screening.
Transport: Shuttle buses transport visitors between locations.
Story by: Simon McEnteggart
Photos by: Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)