The 18th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) opens tonight (July 17) with German film Stereo; this year’s Producers’ Choice Awards going to actor Hyun Bin and actress Son Ye-jin.

The 18th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) opens tonight (July 17) with this year’s Producers’ Choice Awards going to actor Hyun Bin and actress Son Ye-jin.

Selected by PiFan and the Korean Film Producers Association (KFPA), the Producers’ Choice Awards go to “the most recognized actors with outstanding careers in Korea” each year. The awards were started in 2012 and have guaranteed top stars on the PiFan opening night red carpet annually.

Previously seen in romances such as Lee Yoon-ki’s Come Rain, Come Shine and Kim Tae-yong’s Late Autumn, Hyun was most recently in historical thriller The Fatal Encounter.

Son’s credits include hits such as The Art Of Seduction, April Snow and My Wife Got Married. She also stars in the upcoming sea-faring adventure The Pirates.

The fest opens with Maximilian Erlenwein’s German film Stereo.

Also presented at PiFan’s opening ceremony will be the It Star Award and the Fantasia Award. The former, which goes to an actor or actress for an impressive performance in a genre film, this year goes to Cho Jin-woong.

Cho recently featured in Kim Seong-hun’s Cannes entry A Hard Day as well as Yoon Jong-bin’s action adventure Kundo: Age Of The Rampant. He is also in the highly anticipated historical drama Roaring Currents.

The Fantasia Award is “hand-picked” by the citizens of Bucheon (the current official English spelling of the city also known as Puchon) and given to the celebrities they most want to see at the PiFan opening ceremony. This year’s Fantasia Award goes to actor Kim Woo-bin (Friend: The Great Legacy) and actress Shim Eun-kyung (Miss Granny). Shim is also serving as this year’s festival ambassador, the PiFan Lady.

Other prominent guests due on the red carpet include veteran directors Im Kwon-taek and Chung Ji-young, stars Ahn Sung-ki, Kang Ha-neul, Ryohei Otani and Tsukasa Aoi, and the directors of PiFan titles including Oh In-chun (Mourning Grave), and Koji Shiraishi (A Record Of Sweet Murder).

This year’s Puchon Choice: Feature competition jury members are Pieta actress Cho Min-soo from Korea, The Flu director Kim Sung-soo (Korea), Erik Matti (Philippines), who won the Jury’s Choice Award and Best Actor last year with On The Job; Tom Davia (US), director of festivals and alternative theatrical distribution for Shoreline Entertainment, and Diego Marambio Avaria (Argentina), expert in South American genre movies.

PiFan runs July 17-27, screening 210 films from 47 countries. The closing awards ceremony will be held July 25 with encore screenings on the last couple days.

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