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The Korean port city of Busan is once again flocked with film directors and movie stars. The 17th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) kicked off on October 4, especially focusing on Asian movies. BIFF is the biggest and most prestigious film festival in Korea.
The opening ceremony of the festival was hosted by Korea’s widely beloved actor Ahn Sung-ki and the Chinese actress Tang Wei, known for the movie ‘Lust, caution’ (2007), and about 100 movie stars from both Korean and foreign countries were in attendance.
At the opening ceremony, about 5,500 people were gathered at the Busan Cinema Center to watch the ceremony, and about 2,000 people who could not get in the center watched the ceremony outside of the center. Most of them were Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. A Hungarian movie director Bela Tarr was also spotted. He attended the BIFF in the capacity of jury member.
The red carpet event held before the opening ceremony started had a large number of famous and popular movie stars from Korea and other countries and drew many rounds of enthusiastic applause from fans.
The Japanese movie director Koji Wakamatsu showed up first followed by Korean actor Lee Byung-hun, who played Storm Shadow in ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’ (2009). The Chinese actress Cecilia Cheung, who recently was on the movie ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ (2012), and co-star Jung Woo-sung also garnered huge attention. Aaron Kwok and Tony Leung Ka-fai, who played the main characters of the opening movie ‘Cold War’, made a grand finale of the premiere red carpet event.
The Mayor of Busan said at the opening ceremony, “We have prepared many programs to make BIFF grow globally.” After his speech, BIFF kicked off with showing the opening movie ‘Cold War’.
‘Cold War’, directed by Leung Longman and Sunny Luk, is a Hong Kong action-thriller about police and gangsters. The film is also focusing on the rivalry between the two high-ranking officers who set out to solve the kidnapping of five police officers.
Longman is an award-winning movie director, known for such films as ‘Vengeance’ (2009). Luk is an assistant direct who participated in making ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008).
The movie features a handful of big Chinese stars such as Aaron Kwon, Tony Leung Ka-fai, and Andy Lau. Tony Leung, a 54-year-old Chinese actor, has appeared in over 100 movies since his debut in 1983.
On the schedule is 304 movies from 75 countries shown at 37 cinemas located in Busan city. BIFF will be held for 10 days, and the movie ‘Television’, directed by Mostafa Farooki from Bangladesh, will close the festival.