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2013 Busan International Film Festival

2013 Busan International Film Festival

Movie buffs all across the country are on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the 2013 Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), scheduled to run from October 3-12 at Megabox (Haeundae branch), the Busan Cinema Center (Centum City), CGV, Lotte Cinema, the Community Media Center (Centum City), and BEXCO in Busan.

Marking its 18th anniversary, this major movie event is one of the largest in Asia, and features a great number of newly released Korean films, as well as unsung masterpieces from all over Asia. During the 10 days of festivities, 301 movies from 70 countries will be screened, making up a total of 11 film categories including “Gala Presentation,” “New Currents,” and “World Cinema.” Read on to find out about the feature films and programs of this year’s Busan International Film Festival!


Major Programs

Opening / Closing Films

This year, the BIFF will kick off with a screening of Vara: A Blessing (2013) by director Khyentse Norbu. The movie uses South Indian traditional dance, Bharatanatyam, to tell through beautiful imagery, the story of two lovers and a woman’s strength through adversity. Festivities will draw to a close with a showing of the film The Dinner (2013) by Korean director Kim Dong-hyun. The Dinner is a family melodrama that depicts a series of misfortunes that could happen to any modern family.

Vara: A Blessing (2013), The Dinner (2013)

Highlight Programs

1. Gala Presentation

Kadal, Snowpiercer, Ana Arabia

The "Gala Presentation" category is dedicated to new releases or blockbuster hits from established directors. This year, 6 new films from international filmmakers will make their festival debut including, Kadal (India) by director Mani Ratnam, Nagima (Kazakhstan) by director Zhanna Issabayeva, Unforgiven (Japan) by director Lee Sang-il, Ana Arabia (Israel & France) by director Amos Gitai, Snowpiercer (South Korea, Czech Republic) by director Bong Joon Ho, and The X (South Korea) by director Kim Jee-woon.

2. New Currents

Pascha, The Story of an Old Woman, Concrete Clouds

Swinging the spotlight to today's up-and-coming filmmakers, the "New Currents" category is dedicated to the works of new Asian directors who are making their first international debut. This year's lineup features 12 films from 11 Asian countries that portray diverse themes such as religion, love, and consciousness of social issues. In particular, The Story of an Old Woman by Kazakhstan director Alexey Gorlov is gaining attention as one of the feature films of the New Currents category. This film was taken in one shot to effectively portray the theme of ugly human desires.

3. World Cinema

Inside Llewyn Davis, Stranger by the Lake, An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker

Starting this year (2013), the “World Cinema” section will focus on new releases or much-talked-about hits from world-renowned auteurs. The new category presents 51 films from 28 different countries. The French and American films are particularly strong this year. The two French films on homosexuality, Adele: Chapters 1 & 2 and Stranger by the Lake, have been highly acclaimed for their artistic value. Meanwhile, the eight selected films from the U.S. including, Fruitvale Station and Inside Llewyn Davis, offer an overall look at American film trends.

4. Flash Forward

Good Night, That Thing You Love, Clydecynic

The festival’s “Flash Forward” category introduces films that attest to the originality and potential of new emerging directors. The number of feature movies has dramatically increased since last year to 32 films from 28 countries. The films mostly deal with universal themes such as societal problems, family, and love portrayed through the individual approaches of each director. Grand Central (France) touches upon the nuclear power plant problem that has recently become a worldwide issue, while sensational directing by Milko Lazarov draws attention to the film Alienation (Bulgaria). Other works gaining attention are Clydecynic (Canada) that captures the tragedy of a family using a unique plotline, and That Thing You Love (Peru & Argentine), which presents a humorous depiction of the heroine’s twisted retaliation with her childhood sweetheart.

Other Programs

Korean Cinema Retrospective; Director Im Kwon-taek,
Wide Angle; Animation Showcase

The 2013 BIFF also presents a wide variety of programs like “A Window On Asian Cinema,” featuring 54 movies from 20 Asian countries, “Open Cinema,” held at the open theater of Busan Cinema Center, “Wide Angle” screening short films and documentaries, and “Special Programs in Focus” shedding light on the lesser-known Central Asian and Irish films, as well a special commemoration of the late director Park Cheol-soo, who passed away in an accident this year. In addition, “Korean Cinema Retrospective” explores an impressive 70 films by Korea’s maestro filmmaker Im Kwon-taek, which includes some of his most widely-known works like Chihwaseon, The General’s Son, and Seopyeonje.



Handprint Ceremony (left) & Open Talk (right) events at 2012 BIFF

This year’s BIFF events include the "Master Class," showcasing the lives and works of master filmmakers, "Open Talk," inviting the audience to exchange ideas with internationally-recognized guests from the most issue-raising films during the festival period, "Handprint Ceremony" of famous people in the movie industry, "Film Screening Service for Kids and Silver Members," and more.


Most of the accommodations around the main festival ground and Haeundae Beach area will be booked in advance, so may be difficult to find available lodging facilities once the festival kicks off. Visitors are strongly advised to book accommodations prior to their visit, even if the lodging facilities may be a little far off from Haeundae Beach.

☞ Accommodation Websites
- BnB HERO Homepage
- Goodstay Homepage
More info
2013 Busan International Film Festival
Period: October 3 – October 12, 2013
Venue: 7 theaters (35 screens) in the Haeundae, Nampo-dong, and Centum City areas
- Haeundae: Megabox
- Nampo-dong: Megabox
- Centum City: Busan Cinema Center, CGV, Lotte Cinema, Community Media Center, Sohyang Musical Center
Ticket Reservations: (Korean, English)
Ticket Prices: Opening & Closing Ceremonies / Screenings: 20,000 won, General Screenings: 6,000 won, 3D Theater: 8,000 won, Midnight Passion: 10,000 won
(Midnight Passion: a 3-movie marathon starting at midnight.)
Inquiries: +82-1688-3010 (Korean, English)
Homepage: (Korean, English)

☞ Busan Tourism Homepage: (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Busan Tourism Hotline: +82-51-441-3121 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian)
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Busan Tour Columns

Busan City Tour
Beautiful Port City, Busan
Busan Beckons
Korea Information Alive on Visit Korea, Busan Special
Shopping in Busan
Guide to Beaches in Busan / Geojedo Island

2013 BIFF News

Busan Int’l Film Festival 2013 Ticket Reservation starts Sep 24

Tour Information during the 2013 BIFF

Get Close to Hallyu Stars at the APAN-Blue Carpet Event!
2013 Busan Grand Sale to run for 40 days starting Sep 1

Photo Courtesy of the Busan International Film Festival Organizing Committee
Last updated on September 9, 2013


Date 09/24/2013

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