BIFF kicked off Wednesday for a 10-day run in a year that has seen many film festivals around the world canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IRNA reported.
Two Iranian documentaries, ‘Drowning in Holy Water,’ directed by Navid Mahmoudi and ‘Slaughterhouse,’ directed by Abbas Amini, will compete at the 25th edition of the BIFF.
Director Majid Majidi’s award-winning drama, ‘Sun Children,’ will be competing in Icons, a showcase of the latest films of contemporary iconic filmmakers from around the world.
Ruhollah Zamani, the star of ‘Sun Children,’ was named the best young actor at the 77th Venice Film Festival by winning the Marcello Mastroianni Award.
Aram Shahbazyan’s ‘Chnchik’ is an entry to the New Currents, a competition among up-and-coming Asian filmmakers’ first or second features.
‘Chnchik’ is the nickname of a 24-year-old, hunchbacked girl living in a small community in the mountains.
‘All the Time,’ directed by Shadi Karamrudi, will be competing in the Asian Short Film Competition.
‘The Art of Living in Danger,’ by Mina Keshavarz, and ‘Children of the Night,’ by Behruz Nuranipur, will be screened in the documentary competition.
However, this year’s BIFF is a much scaled-down version, with all large crowd-attracting events such as the opening and closing ceremonies, outdoor greetings and open talk sessions canceled, according to koreaherald.com.
“Many leading overseas film festivals were canceled due to COVID-19, but we decided to hold it, as we have trust in Korean audiences’ citizenship and the government’s quarantine system,” Lee Yong-kwan, chairman of the Busan International Film Festival, said in a statement. “We will focus on holding a safe film festival through strictly adhering to the government’s social distancing rule.”
This year’s festival was originally set to open on Oct. 8 but was pushed back for two weeks due to a prior increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
With almost all festival events having been canceled, the organizer said it would focus on screening the 192 movies from 68 countries.
A total of 23 films from the 2020 Cannes Film Festival official selection will be screened at BIFF, including festival opener ‘Septet: The Story of Hong Kong,’ an omnibus by seven renowned Hong Kong directors: Sammo Hung, Ann Hui, Patrick Tam, Yuen Wo Ping, Johnnie To, Ringo Lam and Hark Tsu.
The Japanese animated film, ‘Josee, the Tiger and the Fish,’ directed by Tamaru Kotaro, will close the festival.
A total of 53 Korean movies are being presented at Busan, and in-person ‘Guest Visit’ events, allowing directors, actors and the audiences to meet, will be held for some of the films.
All the movies will be screened exclusively at six screens of the Busan Cinema Center, and each movie will get one screening only. Moreover, each theater will only fill up to 25 percent of capacity; a move that goes beyond the government’s social distancing guidelines in place at the moment.
Other BIFF programs, including the Asia Contents & Film Market, the Asia Project Market and the BIFF Forum, have all moved online.