The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) announced itsline-up today with a record 64 world premieres. A total of 245 films from 63countries will show at the festival's 11th edition, running Oct 12 - 20.

The inauguralAsian Film Market will run parallel to the festival from Oct 15-18, with 95registered sales companies. The "total convergence" market also encompasses theco-productions market PPP, locations and technology market BIFCOM, aproducers' workshop, and a "talent market" dubbed Asian Stars Summit.

The festival isto open with Kim Dai-seung's melodrama Traces Of Lovestarring Yoo Ji-tae as aman on the road trying to overcome the trauma of losing his fiancee(Kim Ji-soo) in the real-life SampoongDepartment store collapse.

PIFF will closewith mainland China hit CrazyStone by Ning Hao, ajade heist caper film making its international premiere. The low-budget sleeperhit, produced by Andy Lau's Hong Kong-based Focus Films, was made with largelyunknown actors, making it "exactly the kind of Asian film Pusan is about," said Kim Ji-seok,the festival's Asian Cinema programmer.

Although muchspeculation has been given to the effects of the new Rome film festival, which opens a day after Pusan, PIFF announced the two fests have optedfor a cooperative strategy, with two day-and-date world premieres: Shinya Tsukomoto's NightmareDetective will screen on the 14th and Patrik Tam'sAfter This Our Exile will screen onthe 15th. Both films are scheduled for slots at 9pm in Pusan and 2pm in Rome - effectively the same time around the world.

"PIFF has had noproblem in getting all the films we wanted for our program," says Kim. The Asianselection also highlights films from Southeast Asia, reflecting the trend of film industries that havebeen getting boosts from their respective governments, like the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

In the NewCurrents section for up-and-coming Asian directors, nine of the 10 selectionsare world or international premieres. A jury headed by Academy Award winner Istvan Szabo will judge the filmsincluding Mike Sandejas' Just Like Before.

Reflectinginternational festival-goers' demands to see solid local fare that has been onrelease, in addition to independent film discoveries, PIFF has programmed Koreanfilms into three different sections this year. Already released films such asYu Ha's A DirtyCarnival are in the Panorama section, while low-budget films including NohDong-seok's BoysOf Tomorrow will go in the Vision section. TheSpecial Premiere section will showcase pre-release films like Park Ki-hyung's GangsterHigh.

Also in thissection, Im Sang-soo'scontroversial The President's Last Bangwill be screened for the first time in its entirety. A court ruling last monthoverturned a previous order that nearly 4 minutes of footage had be removedfrom all prints after the late president Park Chung-hee'sheirs had sued on grounds of character defamation.

The Wide Anglesection, featuring shorts and documentaries, will have world premieres of suchfilms as Korean Don Quixote, Lee Hise, by Hyun Jung Choi, which was awarded the UnikoreaFund at last year's PIFF.

The World Cinema sectionwill see Cannes and Venice entries in addition to world premiereslike Daniel Gordon's North Korean documentary Crossing The Line. A special programme on Contemporary French Auteurswill commemorate 120 years of Korea-France relations.

Other special programsalso include "Remapping of Asian Auteur Cinema" presenting films by Iran's Amir Naderi, China's Zien Cui, andIndia's Rajaram Vankudre Shantaram. The AniAsia program will highlight the development in countrieswhere feature animation hasn't received attention, like Thailand and Singapore.

A retrospectiveon Korean films from the Japanese occupation will be joined by an HD screeningof the long-lost Shin Sang-ok film Bound By Chastity Rule.

The Asian FilmMarket, with a budget of $2m, will open sales booths in the seaside Grand Hoteland take over all 10 of the nearby Primus multiplex screens for a total of 120market screenings.

Buyers attendinginclude Wild Bunch, Lions Gate, The Weinstein Company, Gaga, and Beijing Polybona Film Distribution.

"You see Koreanfilms sold to Japanese buyers in LA, but they won't have to travel so far withthe Asian Film Market," says Park Kwang-su, market head,referring to the Santa Monica-based American Film Market, whose dates arealmost directly after Pusan.

Asian Film Marketorganizers are confident that "with Japan the second largest market in the worldand Korea the 5th, before long, Asia will have the largest [regional bloc] film market inthe world."