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This year's PIFF to feature record 274 films

2007/09/13 Source

The 12th Busan International Film Festival will kick off on Oct. 4, featuring a record 274 films from 64 countries, along with gala events in the southeastern port city that is now solidifying its position as the hub of Asian cinema.

"This year, PIFF will focus on helping Asian films play a bigger role in the world market, while promoting exchanges that go beyond continents", festival director Kim Dong-ho said at a news conference held last week.

The theme of the festival this year is "Beyond Frame", symbolizing the importance of breaking down barriers that divide people within the world's film industry. PIFF has emerged as a major film festival in Asia, where innovative regional films are introduced to moviegoers, film critics, journalists and distributors.

Reflecting the elevated stature of the festival, the number of world premieres (the first-ever screening of a film) is 66, and international premieres (formal introduction outside of the home countries) are numbered at 26. The events open with Feng Xiaogang's Assembly, and close with "Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone", a Japanimation by Hideaki Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki, and Masayuki.

The much-anticipated Assembly will be screened as a world premiere at PIFF. It is the latest film of Feng who gained nationwide fame in China after making such films as "The Banquet", "A World Without Thieves", and "A Sigh".

Co-produced by China's Huayi Brothers Media & Co. Ltd. and Korea's MK Pictures, the movie goes beyond the genre of a war-epic to create a moving human drama about a soldier who devotes his life to redeeming the honor of his fellow soldiers who have been declared missing in action. The battle scenes have been perfected by the special effects team of 2004's Korean hit, "Taegukgi".

The closing film, "Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone", is a big-screen adaptation of the 1995 TV animation series, "Neon Genesis Evangelion" which created die-hard fans, and enjoys longstanding popularity.

In 1997, "Neon Genesis Evangelion" was a box-office success, and this year, 10 years after Evangelion's first silver-screen release, the title is now making a return with a new ending.

The most dramatic changes in the festival this year are Gala Presentation and Flash Forward. The newly-added section, Gala Presentation, screens master artists' new or the year's most talked-about films. This year, the section will feature the latest works by Lee Myung-se, Royston Tan and Hou Hsiao Hsien. Organizers said there will be one screening per day during the festival period, making this branch "a festival within a festival"

Flash Forward, a new world cinema section, looks into young filmmakers who stand out in the industry. This year, Kriv Stenders's "Boxing Day", Serge Bozon's "France", and Michael Kang's "West 32nd" will be featured, along with eight other innovative films by young directors.

The Korean Cinema Retrospective section will be devoted to Kim Seung-ho, a famous actor in the 1950s and 1960s, and seven Korean films which the office of Cutlural Heritage Administration has designated as "National Assets".

One thing to look forward to is a special program in honor of the late Edward Yang, one of Asia's most prominent filmmakers, who died in June. Festival organizer Kim said the program will feature Yang's entire film lineup, adding that the festival staff made great efforts to secure all eight films.

Another characteristic of the 12th edition of the PIFF is an entirely overhauled ticket reservation system. Movie fans are now allowed to purchase tickets online via or the GS25 convenience store chain across the nation. Moviegoers can select their own seats, and pay the fees in real time.

For further information, visit the PIFF homepage at Open the link

By Yang Sung-jin

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