The Closing Ceremony for the 24th BIFAN Is Held Safely and Successfully!


The Closing Ceremony for the 24th BIFAN
Is Held Safely and Successfully! 
BIFAN Looks Ahead to Its 25th Edition
With the Screening of the Closing Film, Pelican Blood

Festival takes home 4 awards: Best Korean Fantastic Film, Fantastic Award, Distribution Award, and the Korean Fantastic Audience Award
Closing ceremony wraps up with a “Contact with Untact” party

ㅣ(left to right) Festival’s Actor OH Chiwoon, Actor HA Jun, Director KIM Lokkyoung, Techcross Environmental Services CEO BAEK Euiyeol, Actor LEE Jihyun, Producer Ray L. HONGㅣ

It was a big night for Festival. The film took home a total of four awards – Best Korean Fantastic Film, Fantastic Actor, Distribution Award, and the Korean Fantastic Audience Award – at the closing ceremony of the 24th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. As the film’s name was called one last time for the Best Korean Fantastic Film award following its string of previous awards, director KIM Lokkyoung and his team took the stage to embrace one another, wipe away each other’s tears, and revel in the joy of the moment. 

“Thank you to the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival for inviting our film to be screened in a theater and for giving us this huge award. I share this honor and joy with our cinematographer, crew members, and cast,” said director KIM Lokkyoung during his acceptance speech. “I would like to express my gratitude to my friend who gave me the strength to continue making movies. I will keep doing everything in my power to make good films.”

The 24th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (Chairman: JUNG Ji-young, Festival Director: SHIN Chul, hereafter BIFAN) held its closing ceremony on the evening of July 16 at CGV Sopoong.  The ceremony was held with the minimum number of guests, which included the award winners, presenters, and jury members, in order to ensure that social distancing could be maintained.  Actor PARK Wonsang and content critic KANG Yujung took on hosting duties for the evening. Following the screening of a festival highlights video and a greeting and festival report from Festival Director SHIN Chul, the winners of the 12 award categories in the 4 sections were announced. 

ㅣ(clockwise from top left) △Director Katrin GEBBE (Pelican Blood / Best of Bucheon) △Director Rose GLASS (Saint Maud / Best Director Choice) △Director Noah HUTTON (Lapsis / Jury’s choice) △Director Sam QUAH (Sheep without a Shepherd / Audience Award) △Director LIAO Mingyi (I WeirDo / NETPAC Award) △Joko ANWAR (Impetigore / MIFF Award for Best Asian Film)ㅣ

Katrin GEBBE’s Pelican Blood was the winner of this year’s Best of Bucheon award, which is given to a film in the Bucheon Choice: Features section. Other winners in the section include: Rose GLASS, director of Saint Maud (Best Director Choice); Lapsis, directed by Noah HUTTON (Jury’s Choice), and Sheep without a Shepherd, directed by Sam QUAH (Audience Award). This year’s NETPAC Award went to I WeirDo (Director: LIAO Minyi), and Melies International Festivals Federation (MIFF) Asian Award was given to Impetigore (Director: Joko ANWAR). During her acceptance speech for the Best of Bucheon award, director Katrin GEBBE said, “With things being difficult in the world of film due to COVID-19, this award is very meaningful. I’m sad that I can’t be there in person, but I will see you all next time with another film.” 

ㅣ(clockwise from top left) △Director KIM Lokkyoung (Festival / Best Korean Fantastic Film, Distribution Award) △Actor HA Jun (Festival / Fantastic Actor)∙Actor PARK Hasun (Go Back / Fantastic Actor) △Director CHANG Hyunsang (Zombie Crush in Heyri / Korean Fantastic Best Director, Distribution Award) △Director CHOI Eunjong (There is an Alien Here / Watcha’s Pick) △Director SEO Eunyoung (Go Back / Distribution Award) △Director BAEK Seungkee (Super Nova / Distribution Award)ㅣ

In the Korean Fantastic: Features section, the Techcross Environmental Services Best Korean Fantastic Film award went to director KIM Lokkyoung’s Festival, Korean Fantastic Best Director went to CHANG Hyunsang of Zombie Crush in Heyri, and the Fantastic Actor awards were given to PARK Hasun of Go Back and HA Jun of Festival. Actors GONG Minjeong, PARK Sojin, and LEE Minji, who put on an outstanding ensemble performance in Zombie Crush in Heyri, were given an honorable mention. In addition to its awards for Best Korean Fantastic Film and Fantastic Actor, Festival was also honored with the Distribution Award and the Korean Fantastic Audience Award. The newly-established Watcha’s Pick award went to There is an Alien Here.

Following the presentation of the awards, Honorary Organizing Committee Chairman JANG Deok-cheon (mayor of Bucheon) and Chairman JUNG Ji-young announced the closing of the festival. The screening of this year’s closing film and Best of Bucheon winner, Pelican Blood, immediately followed, for the grand finale of the 24th BIFAN. 

ㅣUntact closing party, “Contact with Untact”ㅣ

After the screening of the closing film, BIFAN closed things out with a bang with the “Contact with Untact” party. About 70 filmmakers and industry professionals met online from the comfort of their own offices and homes, as well as from cafes and restaurants. Festival Director SHIN Chul delivered a welcome speech, which was followed by a toast given by Chairman JUNG Ji-young.

Joko ANWAR (film director), Alexandre O. PHILIPPE (director), Christian SCHEURER (conceptual artist), Albert LEE (executive director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, Ltd.), Andrew HUNT (film director), and Annick MAHNERT (director of international programming at Fantastic Fest) were among the guests who joined the online party from abroad. Domestic guests included Jongsuk Thomas NAM and Ellen Y.D. KIM (BIFAN programmers), as well as the award winners of the 24th BIFAN. Despite the differences in time zones and locations, the guests in attendance were able to give each other updates on their lives and offer words of encouragement to one another via Zoom. They also expressed their disappointment at being unable to attend BIFAN due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then comforted each other by promising to meet next year. 

ㅣ24th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival closing ceremonyㅣ

The 24th BIFAN focused its efforts on realizing a “new normal” concept for international film festivals that diversify points of contact with the audience. The festival also committed itself to keeping safety a top priority and doing its part to help stem the spread of COVID-19. As a result, BIFAN was able to present a new model for international film festivals that are responding to the challenges presented by COVID-19. BIFAN will now be looking ahead to 2021 as it begins its preparations for the 25th edition of the festival.