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Pusan filmfest kicks off with 'Trace of Love'

2006/10/12 Source

The Pusan International Film Festival kicks off its nine-day schedule today with the screening of director Kim Dae-seung's melodrama "Trace of Love" in the southeastern port city of Busan. The annual film fest will feature 245 films from 63 countries.

"In the past 10 years, PIFF tried to help movie lovers turn their attention to high-quality Korean and Asian films. For the next 10 years, the film festival will make concerted efforts to provide a new launching pad for Asian films", festival director Kim Dong-ho said.

The 11th PIFF aims to kick-start its new Asian Film Market this year in a bid to turn Asia's biggest film festival into a true marketplace for filmmakers, producers and distributors interested in Asian films.

Director Kim Dae-seung`s "Trace of Love" opens the 11th Pusan International Film Festival today.
The opening film "Trace of Love" stars high-profile Korean stars - Yoo Ji-tae, Kim Ji-soo and Uhm Ji-won - and tickets sold out in just 2 minutes 45 seconds on Sept. 19, reflecting the popularity of the film festival's initial highlight. Some 150 Korean and Asian stars will attend the opening ceremony. Director Kim Dae-seung, former assistant director of the legendary Korean director Im Kwon-taek, has gained critical acclaim for such films as "Blood Rain" (2005) and "Bungee Jumping of their Own" (2000).

The closing film of the festival is Chinese director Ning Hao's low-budget black comedy "Crazy Stone", which will be screened Oct. 20. The film involves the comedic adventures of a gang of thieves plotting a jewelry theft - a box office hit in both Hong Kong and mainland China this year.

The film festival features 64 world premieres this year. Asian filmmakers showcasing their work in Busan include India's Murali Nair ("Life Is All About Friends"), Japan's Shinya Tsukamoto ("Nightmare Detective"), Malaysia's James Lee ("Before We Fall in Love Again") and Hong Kong's Patrick Tam ("After This Our Exile").

Among world premieres from Western countries are British director Daniel Gordon's "Crossing the Line", a documentary about a U.S. soldier who defected to North Korea and lived there for 40 years, and German director Uli Gaulke's "Comrades in Dreams".

New Currents, PIFF's sole competition section for up-and-coming Asian directors, features 10 films including "Betelnut", directed by Yang Heng (China), "Just Like Before" from Mike Sandejas (Philippines) and "Driving With My Wife's Lover" by Kim Tae-sik (Korea).

The Korean Cinema Retrospective portion of the festival will screen late director Shin Sang-ok's 1961 film "Bound by Chastity Rule" for the first time. It took the Korea Film Archive three years to restore the film after it was discovered at the Chinese Taipei Film Archive.

PIFF is now drawing keen interest from Asian filmmakers, critics, journalists and fans, amid heightened interest toward well-made Korean and other Asian films. Organizers are eager to promote the festival's Asian Film Market, which covers financing, production, location scouting, post-production and sales. The film market is scheduled to put on more than 200 industry screenings, reflecting PIFF's renewed emphasis on the commercial side of the festival. The festival organizers said they will push for offering a key venue for those who want to buy and sell high-quality Asian films.

Busan is already riding a wave of PIFF - the festival placards and posters decorate many parts of the port city. About 170,000 moviegoers and 5,000 filmmakers, actors and distributors are expected to visit the venue this year, brining in 52 billion won in economic value for the port city.

All of the participating films will be screened at five multiplexes in Busan. For more information, call (02) 3675-5097 or go to Open the link

By Yang Sung-jin

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