The 12th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) has announced its line-up and projects market agenda, with the festival to open with animated Cannes competition title Waltz With Bashir making its Asian premiere on July 18.

PiFan will screen 205 films from 39 countries, including 125 features and 80 shorts.

The fest will close July 25 with the world premiere of 'the international version' of Kwak Jae-yong's Cyborg She. Currently in its fourth week in Japan's box office top ten, the Korea-Japan co-production opened the Yubari Fantastic film fest with its Japanese version.

'Being genre movies, our selections usually find a cult fanbase about two years after screening at PiFan,' said festival director Han Sang-joon. 'This year, we've tried to showcase them for wider mass appeal and are starting the Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF).' (see separate story on NAFF.)

The Puchon Choice competition will show 12 features and 12 shorts, with the world premiere of Death Bell next to Cannes midnight screening title The Chaser, by Na Hong-jin.

The jury for feature films will be chaired by veteran director Lee Doo-yong, whose The Hut was awarded in Venice. Joining him on the jury are producer Roy Lee, former Singapore fest director Philip Cheah, journalist Ron Holloway, and critic and former Beograd fest art director Miroljub Vuckovic.

The World Fantastic Cinema section will include the world premiere of Taku Sagaguchi's Samurai Zombie and Nic Balthazar's Ben X, while the newly created Strange Hommage section will be screening six films from genre masters such as Kim Ki-young's Housemaid and Stuart Gordon's Stuck.

Another new section, Off the Fantastic will showcase non-fantastic films like Andreas Dresden's Cloud 9 while the fest will continue with its extreme Forbidden Zone and Family and Ani Fanta sections.

Special programmes include a showcase on Gregg Araki (Living End: Remixed And Remastered), 100 years of Nikkatsu films, contemporary Russian genre films, Asian action films from the 60s to the 80s, and 'trash films' in The GrindHouse Revisted section.

Han also mentioned plans for a cinematheque in Bucheon (official government spelling for PiFan's host city) to be announced in full by next year's edition.

As usual, PiFan will hold encore screenings for local audiences for two days after the closing awards ceremony (July 26 - 27), but organisers say this year will not see the traditional surprise screening of a new upcoming film in the days after most foreign guests have left.

Feature Competition Line-up:

Acolytes (Australia) Jon Hewitt

The Chaser (Korea) Na Hong-jin

Fear(s) of the Dark (France) Various directors

Let the Right One In (Sweden) Tomas Alfredson

Mirageman (Germany) Martin Weisz

Nothing to Lose (U.K.) Pieter Kuijpers

The Objective (Morocco/US) Daniel Myrick

Opapatika (Thailand) Thanakorn Pongsuwan

Rule Number One (Hong Kong/Singapore) Kelvin Tong

Timecrimes (Spain) Nacho Vigalondo

When The Full Moon Rises (Malaysia) Mohamad Mohd Khalid

Death Bell (Korea) Chang - world premiere