September 16, 2021 11:32
This year's Busan International Film Festival will take place next month in the southern port city with the usual outdoor events that were all canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The festival's organizers said Wednesday they will hold the opening and closing ceremonies with filmmakers and glittering stars from home and abroad attending in person as well as some other on-site events in cooperation with local health authorities to ensure safety.
It will open on Oct. 6 with "Heaven: To the Land of Happiness" by Im Sang-soo starring Choi Min-sik and Park Hae-il. The buddy drama depicts a road trip by a prison inmate who escapes from jail after being given only three months to live and a poor man suffering from a hard-to-treat illness. They stumble upon a huge amount of money and embark on a journey together.
It also features Academy-winning actress Youn Yuh-jung.
The fest features a newly created "On Screen" section to reflect the changes brought about by the pandemic. The section will show popular dramas available on over-the-top streaming platforms.
Two special screenings will be presented for movies by female Asian directors and by up-and-coming Chinese directors.
Some 223 films from 70 countries will be screened during the 10-day run until Oct. 15. They include highly acclaimed winners at the world's major film festivals this year like "Titane" by Julia Ducournau, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, "Annette" by Leos Carax, which took the Best Director, and "Drive My Car" by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, which won the Best Screenplay. Also to be shown are Romanian film "Bad Luck Banging" by Radu Jude, which received the Golden Bear in Berlin, and Paolo Sorrentino's "The Hand Of God," which took the Grand Jury Prize in Venice.
The festival will close with the world premiere of Longman Leung's "Anita," a biopic about Anita Mui, a legendary figure in Hong Kong cinema and popular music.
The number of films this year increased slightly from last year's 192 from 68 countries but is still only about 70 percent of pre-pandemic years. Each film will be shown two or three times compared to once last year.
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