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Actor Park Eun-bin opens 28th Busan International Film Festival’s opening ceremony

Actor Song Kang-ho to host, with new 'Korean Diaspora' section introducing Korean American filmmakers

Oct. 4, 2023 - 15:25 By Kim Da-sol
Actor Park Eun-bin arrives at the opening ceremony of Busan International Film Festival in Busan Cinema Center, Busan, Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Actor Park Eun-bin opened this year’s Busan International Film Festival Wednesday, Asia’s largest film festival which will showcase a total of 269 films from 69 countries on 25 screens in Busan throughout the 10 day-long festival. The related Asian content and film market will be held Oct. 7-10.

Park, the breakout star of hit drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo (2022), was the festival’s first-ever solo host for the opening ceremony, due to a sudden surgery of actor Lee Je-hoon. Lee was scheduled to co-host the opening ceremony.

The 28th edition of the festival will open with director Jang Kun-jae’s “Because I Hate Korea” will open the ceremony, while director Ning Hao’s “The Movie Emperor” will close the festival on Oct. 13.

Actor Song Kang-ho (center) greets guests at the opening ceremony of Busan International Film Festival in Busan Cinema Center, Busan, Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Actor Song Kang-ho, who has been picked as this year’s BIFF host amid absence created by the resignations of the festival executive director and chairperson in May, will greet renowned actors and filmmakers such as Luc Besson, Shunji Iwai, Hirokazu Koreeda, Fan Bingbing and Youn Yuh-jung and Chow Yun-fat during the festival.

Song said in a recent interview with The Korea Herald that he “happily accepted the suggestion (to become the BIFF host)” because he wanted to support the festival and he would be in Busan anyway this week. Song has recently starred in director Kim Jee-woon’s black comedy “Cobweb.”

As BIFF has also gone through a budget reduction from the Busan city government, the number of invited films are less than that of last year, but the organizer sought to seek change by introducing new programs like Global OTT Awards and inviting more renowned guests, implying the industry trend and catering to the needs of the visitors and audience.

For the first time, the BIFF is showcasing a Korean American section, "Korean Diaspora," introducing works by Korean American filmmakers like Lee Isaac Chung of the Oscar-winning “Minari.” Chung, John Cho, and Justin Chon will meet with the audience.

Some of the high-profile works of global auteurs and actors like Hirokazu Koreeda’s “Monster” and Léa Seydoux’s “The Beast” will be showcased for Korean audience, while highly-anticipated Korean director Baik’s “Believer 2” and director Lee Chung-hyun’s “Ballerina” will get world premieres at Busan. A documentary titled “Dear Jinri,” which includes the late singer Sulli’s final interview, will be also premiered for the first time.

Korea’s renowned actors like Youn Yuh-jung, Song Joong-ki, Han Hyo-joo will participate in BIFF’s flagship special talk session called Actor's House to share their thought and insights with the audience. Jung Woo-sung, Kim Hee-sun and more will meet with the audience through open talk programs in Busan.

For the Asian Filmmaker of the Year award, Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-fat was announced as this year’s recipient. His films, including this year's “One More Chance” (2023), “A Better Tomorrow” (1986) and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” (2000) will be screened during the festival.

He appreciated the Korean fans who congratulated him at the scene.

"I debuted in 1973 and this year marks my 50th anniversary. ...I want to thank my Korean fans who supported and loved me for such a long time," a 68-year-old actor said on the stage.

Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)