The 18th Busan International Film Festival will be held from Thursday to Oct. 12 at seven cinemas in the southern port city. Top directors including Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Hirokazu Koreeda and Jim Sheridan will attend, while about 70 films by Im Kwon-taek will be screened at a special Korea Cinema Retrospective section. Actor Aaron Kwok will serve as the host at the opening ceremony.
Movie buffs can choose from a total of 301 films from 70 countries, with 50 percent of all tickets to be sold online and the rest on-site. As of Sunday afternoon, online bookings were sold out for about 20 films.
It took just 43 seconds for all the tickets to be snapped up for the curtain-raiser, "Vara: A Blessing," by Bhutanese filmmaker Khyentse Norbu. Those available for Korean independent filmmaker Kim Dong-hyun's "The Dinner," which will close the festival, also sold out immediately.
Norbu wrote the script for "Vara" based on the short story "Rakta Aar Kanna" (Blood and Tears) by Indian poet and novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay. The film portrays the love and self-sacrifice of a strong-willed woman through beautiful images, scenery and bharatanatyam, a traditional dance from southern India. Norbu, a film director and Buddhist monk, will not attend the festival as he has sequestered himself in a cave in Bhutan to practice asceticism.
The cinemas participating in the festival are: Busan Cinema Center, CGV Centum City, Lotte Cinema Centum City, Megabox Haeundae, Community Media Center, Sohyang Musical Theater at Dongseo University, and Megabox Busan Theater.