Stars from most of the world’s major film industries including Willem Dafoe, Juliette Binoche, Aishwarya Rai, Tang Wei and Jang Dong-gun turned out for the 15th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF), the last to be officially presided over by festival director Kim Dong-ho.

Under The Hawthorn Tree, directed by Zhang Yimou, opened the event which runs Oct 7-15. Zhang attended the opening ceremony along with the film’s young stars Zhou Dongyu and Dou Xiao.

Kim, the highly-respected and much-loved PIFF co-founder and director, is retiring after this year’s edition of the festival. The opening ceremony included a song and animation film dedicated to Kim and a party will be held in his honour later in the week.

In total, PIFF will screen 308 films from 67 countries, including 103 world premieres  (82 features and 21 shorts) and 52 international premieres (49 features and 3 shorts). The closing film is the world premiere of omnibus Camellia, from directors Wisit Sasanatieng, Yukisada Isao and Jang Jun-hwan.

Gala presentations include Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy, starring Binoche; Mani Ratnam’s Raavan and its Tamil version Raavanan, both starring Rai, and Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.  

The Asian Film Market and Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) get underway on Sunday (Oct 10). Around 21 companies from ten countries are screening films in the Asian Film Market, at the Megabox Haeundae, and the market also features online screenings.