Busan's Haeundae Beach will host stars from around the world for nine days from Thursday as Asia's most prestigious celebration of the art of moviemaking, the highly anticipated 16th Busan International Film Festival, finally kicks off.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to be hosted by actresses Uhm Ji-won and Ye Ji-won at Busan Cinema Center on Thursday evening. And the opening film, Song Il-gon's "Always" starring So Ji-sub and Han Hyo-joo, has already set a new benchmark by selling out in record time. Tickets were snapped up seven seconds after they were released on the BIFF booking website on Sept. 26.
Among the star-studded cast in attendance are a number of leading Japanese and Chinese stars and directors. Japanese actor Joe Odagiri was named a jury member for the New Currents section, while actor Satoshi Tsumabuki will have an open talk with the audience on Sunday. Shunji Iwai, director of the hit movie "Love Letter," is also coming to Haeundae with his latest flick, "Vampire."
Takeshi Taneshiro of Taiwan and China’s Tang Wei, who both star in Peter Chan's "Wu Xia" in the Gala Presentation section, will hold a press conference and an open talk on Sunday.
Furthermore, Logan Lerman, a rising star in Hollywood who recently featured in a 3D version of "The Three Musketeers," will hold an open talk on the future of cinema with Korean actor Jang Keun-suk this weekend.
Korean director Hong Sang-soo and French actress Isabelle Huppert, who appears in Hong's latest film, will have a public talk on Saturday.
Also on the attendance list in Busan are French director Luc Besson, Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh -- who takes up the role of freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi in Besson's "The Lady" -- and Tsui Hark, who will receive the festival's coveted Asian Filmmaker of the Year award.
The remaining tickets can be booked at biff.movie.daum.net. Further information is available on the festival's official website at www.biff.kr.