The 18th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has announced its full line-up of 301 films from 70 countries with 95 world premieres and 42 international premieres.

Running Oct 3-12, the festival will open with the world premiere of Bhutanese film Vara: A Blessing, directed by Buddhist monk Khyentse Norbu, who formerly served as technical advisor to Bernardo Bertolucci on Little Buddha.

BIFF will close with the world premiere of Korean film The Dinner, directed by Kim Dong-hyun whose Hello, Stranger (2007) won Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) post-production support and won the 12th BIFF’s NETPAC Award.

New Market Incentive

The Asian Film Market is launching new incentives for buyers and sellers participating from this year.

Market head Jay Jeon said: “With an aim to being more productive and bring more Asia-focused development in future, we are going to offer indirect support with flight and accommodations to buyers who pick up films at the Asian Film Market.

“We’ll be giving the same to sales agents who do deals for three or more films at the Asian Film Market and announce them there.”

The market will see 142 exhibitors from 27 countries including Relativity International from the US, Wild Bunch from France and Gaga from Japan.

New buyers attending include Visit Films from the US, Tiger Pictures from China and Le Pacte from France.

The New Currents competition for first and second time Asian directors includes world premieres such as Lee Yong-seung’s Korean film 10 Minutes, the first feature project out of Dankook University’s Graduate School of Cinematic Content, established by honorary BIFF festival director Kim Dong-ho; and Concrete Clouds, the directorial debut of Lee Chatametikool who is known for his editing on Thai films by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Anocha Suwichakornpong and Aditya Assarat.

Concrete Clouds is produced by Weerasethakul, Suwichakornpong, Sylvia Chang and Soros Sukhum.

The Flash Forward section has seen changes. Expanded from the 10 or so selections of previous years to 32 films from 28 countries this year, it no longer has a dedicated jury to give out the Flash Forward Award. Instead, 12 films in the section will vie for the Busan Bank Award for Korean distribution support. The winner will be chosen by audiences.

World premieres in this section include the UK romantic drama Delicious, starring Louise Brealey (Sherlock, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and Nico Rogner (Seraphine).

Gala Presentations include Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer which will screen in the director’s cut seen in Korea.

Korean Cinema programmer Nam Dong-chul said: “This will likely be the first major opportunity for people from English-speaking territories, where The Weinstein Company is editing its own version, to see the director’s cut.”

The Korean Cinema Today section includes the two Hong Sang-soo films produced this year – Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, Our Sunhi and Kim Ki-duk’s controversial film Moebius in the Korean censored version.

“We have been and will continue to keep trying to convince Kim Ki-duk to screen the Venice version but we do have to respect the creator’s wishes,” he said.

The Wide Angle section has world premieres from Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Ongoing Smile, featuring the daily life of honorary BIFF fest head Kim Dong-ho) and Zhang Lu (Scenery) as well as films such as Tan Pin Pin’s To Singapore, With Love in the Documentary Competition section.

The fest will present a major retrospective on Im Kwon-taek - 71 films to start screening ahead of the fest Sept 23 to the end of BIFF. Academics will lecture and filmmakers like Bong Joon Ho will hold talks about their favourite Im Kwon-taek films.

Other special programs include focuses on the “Unknown New Wave” of Central Asian Cinema, Irish cinema and a commemorative program for the director Park Chul-soo who passed away earlier this year.

New Currents competition line-up

* title/country/director/premiere status

  • 10 Minutes (Korea) Lee Yong-seung
  • Again (Japan) Junichi Kanai
  • Concrete Clouds (Thailand, Hong Kong/China) Lee Chatametikool
  • Jal (Water) (India) Girish Malik
  • Pascha (Korea) Ahn Seonkyoung
  • Remote Control (Mongolia, Germany) Byamba Sakhya
  • Sarikend (Iran) Mehdi Parizad
  • Steel Cold Winter (Korea) Choi Jin-seong
  • The Isthmus (Thailand) Sopawan Boonnimitra, Peerachai Kerdsint
  • The Story Of An Old Woman (Kazakhstan) Alexey Gorlov
  • Toilet Blues (Indonesia) Dirmawan Hatta
  • Transit (Philippines) Hannah Espia

(All world premieres except Transit, which will receive its international premiere)

Flash Forward section
Busan Bank Award candidates

* WP=World Premiere, IP = International Premiere

  • Clydecynic (Canada) Ramiro Belanger - WP
  • Delicious (UK) Tammy Riley-smith - WP
  • Dreamland (Switzerland/Germany) Petra Volpe - IP 
  • Drift (Belgium/Netherlands) Benny Vandendriessche - WP 
  • Good night (US) Sean H.A. Gallagher - IP 
  • Home (Sweden/Iceland) Maximilian Hult – WP 
  • Judas (Russia) Andrey Bogatyrev – IP 
  • Miss And The Doctors (France) Axelle Ropert – IP 
  • Pink Noise (Columbia) Roberto Flores Prieto – WP 
  • That Thing You Love (Peru/Argentina) Alvaro Velarde – WP 
  • The Impeccables (Turkey) Ramin Matic – WP 
  • The Referee (Italy/Argentina) Paolo Zucca – IP