Filmmakers to Boycott Busan Film Fest

      April 21, 2016 12:39

      This year's Busan International Film Festival is in crisis due to a feud between the Busan city government and the film industry that began last year.

      Filmmakers and producers have clubbed together to defend the festival's autonomy and said Monday that they decided to boycott this year's event.

      They want Busan Mayor Suh Byung-soo to resign as chief of the organizing committee and guarantee their freedom of expression.

      The city in a press conference Wednesday vowed to go ahead with the festival and promised to try and come to an agreement with the filmmakers.

      The BIFF is Asia's largest film festival and also the biggest cultural event in the country, drawing some 227,000 visitors last year.

      Festival organizers accuse the city government of meddling after it tried to cancel a screening of "The Truth Shall Not Sink with the Sewol," a documentary criticizing the government's rescue efforts in the April 2014 ferry disaster.

      The film was screened anyway, but in February the festival's former executive director Lee Yong-kwan was fired over an attempt to load the organizing body with supporters and wrest the event from the control of the city, which funds it.

      Suh promised to step aside as the organizing committee chief but seems to be clinging to his chair, and with only six months left before the festival is to open, it looks impossible to come up with a sufficient lineup.

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