Stars align for Asia’s largest film fes­ti­val launch

The China Post - - ARTS -

Stars from Asia and be­yond gath­ered in South Korea’s sec­ond largest city on Thurs­day for a Bol­ly­wood-fla­vored launch of the 20th Bu­san In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val.

The event styles it­self as the most in­flu­en­tial of its kind in a re­gion en­joy­ing stel­lar growth in box-of­fice re­ceipts and in­creas­ing clout in the global movie mar­ket.

BIFF’s found­ing mis­sion was to celebrate the global reach of cin­ema and cham­pion the cause of the in­dus­try in Asia, and Thurs­day’s open­ing cer­e­mony at the sprawl­ing Bu­san Cin­ema Cen­ter was aimed at re­flect­ing its suc­cess in reach­ing those goals.

The main fea­ture is the world pre­miere of de­but In­dian di­rec­tor Mozez Singh’s “Zubaan” — a com­ing-of-age drama about a young Sikh mu­si­cian and the first time a Bol­ly­wood of­fer­ing has opened BIFF.

Host­ing du­ties for the open­ing cer­e­mony will be shared be­tween South Korean ac­tor Song Kang-ho and Afghan ac­tress Ma­rina Gol­ba­hari.

Join­ing them on the red car­pet will be a pack of Asian cin­ema heavy­weights, in­clud­ing Chi­nese ac­tress Tang Wei, Masami Na­ga­sawa from Ja­pan, and Tai­wan’s Chang Chen.

Among the in­ter­na­tional guests at­tend­ing the Oct. 1-10 event are Hol­ly­wood vet­eran Har­vey Kei­tel, Bri­tish ac­tress Tilda Swin­ton and France’s So­phie Marceau.

BIFF has been cred­ited with nur­tur­ing the ca­reers of nu­mer­ous Asian film­mak­ers and some of them will be on hand for the 20th an­niver­sary event, in­clud­ing Chi­nese di­rec­tors Jia Zhangke and Feng Xiao­gang, and Tai­wanese au­teur Tsai Ming-liang.

“We hope BIFF will con­tinue to grow as Asia’s most cel­e­brated and his­toric film fes­ti­val for the 20 years to come,” fes­ti­val codi­rec­tor Kang Soo-yeon told AFP.

With the rem­nants of Typhoon Du­juan hov­er­ing over­head, work­ers toiled overnight to pre­pare both the Bu­san Cin­ema Cen­ter and the city’s Hae­un­dae beach, where many of the fes­ti­val’s events are held.

These in­clude “Open Talks” with the stars and, for the first time this year, a “Cast­ing Board” event aimed at in­tro­duc­ing upand-com­ing Asian act­ing tal­ent to in­ter­na­tional film­mak­ers.

Singh said he felt “ex­tremely hum­bled” that his film was given the op­por­tu­nity to open the fes­ti­val on its 20th birth­day.

“This is a su­per plat­form for any film­maker and I wish all of us luck and the open­ing of many ex­cit­ing new cin­e­matic doors,” he said.

This year’s BIFF will screen 304 movies from 75 coun­tries, in­clud­ing 94 world pre­mieres, a num­ber of them pro­duced by the ris­ing stars of Asian cin­ema.

Films al­ready be­ing her­alded as Os­car con­tenders are also spread around the fes­ti­val’s var­i­ous pro­grams, in­clud­ing Hou Hsiaohsien’s sump­tu­ous mar­tial arts epic “The As­sas­sin.”

While BIFF has strug­gled with fund­ing is­sues over the past year, Asia’s film in­dus­try as a whole is boom­ing.

The com­bined box of­fice re­ceipts of Asia’s big­gest movie mar­kets — main­land China, Ja­pan, In­dia, South Korea, Tai­wan and In­done­sia — out- earned North Amer­ica for the first time last year by US$10.5 bil­lion to US$10.4 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Mo­tion Pic­ture As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica.

Much of that was down to China, where box-of­fice tak­ings surged 38 per­cent from 2013 to US$4.8 bil­lion.

Growth in the first eight months of this year is es­ti­mated to have been even higher at 49 per­cent, and the Chi­nese mar­ket alone is ex­pected to out-earn North Amer­ica by 2018.

AFP

Ac­tress Sarah Jane Dias, sec­ond left, sings a song as di­rec­tor Mozez Singh, left, ac­tor Vicky Kaushal, sec­ond right, and ac­tor Raaghav Chanana lis­ten dur­ing a press con­fer­ence of the open­ing of the In­dian Bol­ly­wood film “Zubaan” for the Bu­san In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val (BIFF) at Dongseo Univer­sity Cen­tum Cam­pus in Bu­san on Thurs­day, Oct. 1. Stars from Asia and be­yond gath­ered in South Korea’s sec­ond largest city on Thurs­day for a Bol­ly­wood-fla­vored launch of the 20th BIFF. This year’s BIFF will screen 304 movies from 75 coun­tries, in­clud­ing 94 world pre­mieres, a num­ber of them pro­duced by the ris­ing stars of Asian cin­ema.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.