The 18th edition of the Busan International Film Festival, one of Asia’s premiere showcases for both emerging and established talent, wrapped its 10-day run yesterday. Though numbers were slightly down from last year – 299 films screened from 70 countries compared to last year’s 304 from 75 – board members maintain that the elevated caliber of content, the result of an increasingly demanding submission consideration process, actually produced the intended effect of heightening the overall experience and impact of the South Korean event as a whole.
And while the number of festivalgoers was slightly down from last year as well, the nominal attendee difference (from 218,000 to over 200,000) is reportedly of little concern, and can even be read as promising in light of the recent typhoon that hit the shores of Busan on Sunday and Monday.
To promote this sense of optimism for the future of the festival, festival director Lee Yong-kwan remarks, “I believe we are increasingly becoming a festival where everyone, both cineastes and film fans, can mingle together.”
This year, two standout films, both by young emerging Asian filmmakers, shared the “New Currents Award,” the most coveted honor the festival offers. Pascha, a Korean production, and Remote Control, a joint Mongolian/German production, highlighted the festival’s growing international flavor.
Additional awards, juror information, and festival news can be found on the BIFF website, here.