The 27th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN, Executive Director Shin Chul) opened its doors to its Industry Program B.I.G (BIFAN Industry Gathering) today, June 30th. B.I.G consists of the NAFF Project Market, NAFF Fantastic Film School and Made in Asia. Like last year, B.I.G will be held offline and also online. 28 selected projects from 18 countries participate in the NAFF Project Market offline, showing a high participation rate.
The business meetings for the NAFF Project Market will take place at the Grand Ballroom on the 3rd floor of Bucheon Koryo Hotel. Additionally online meetings can be realized through the online platform b.square. Beside its main section It Project NAFF Project Market includes the sections Project Spotlight Japan, Nordic Genre Invasion, Blood Window, and Sitges FanPitch. This year, there has been a significant increase in pre-applications for business meetings, with over 500 meeting reservations confirmed.
It Project, the world's first genre film project market to discover Asian genre film projects, started in 2008 and since then has continuously discovered and supported new projects and young filmmakers. This year, It Projects will introduce 17 projects from 12 countries.
Project Spotlight is a program that selects one Asian country each year and focuses on introducing genre film projects from that country. This year, the chosen country is Japan, the last time was four years ago. Through collaboration with the Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO) of Japan, five projects will pitch during the Project Spotlight Japan Pitching and Luncheon in front of Korean and international film industry professionals.
Connected to NAFF since 2015, the "Nordic Genre Invasion" section “invades” NAFF this year for the first time after four years. The "Nordic Genre Invasion" is a non-profit platform for film marketing, distribution, and collaboration for Northern European genre film producers. The four selected projects this year will showcase the essence of the acclaimed Nordic genre cinema which has been gaining attention recently.
▲2022 B.I.G Closing Ceremony
Also this year, BIFAN will award and support selected projects of the NAFF Project Market to promote genre films and discover emerging filmmakers. The total amount of the prize money for the awards amounts to approximately KRW210 million (approx. US$160,000). New this year is the TAICCA Award, a cash prize offered by the Taiwan Creative Content Agency. The top prize, the Bucheon Award, along with other awards such as Korean Discovery Award, NAFF Award, Asian Discovery Award, NAFF Korean Award, TAICCA Award, VIPO Award, and DHL Award, will be handed out together with a total of KRW83 million in cash prizes (approx. US$63,000). In the post-production support category, a total of KRW90 million (approx. US$68,000) worth of awards will be given, including the Mocha Chai Award and SBA Award of the Seoul Business Agency.
The P&I Screening – press and industry screening – program allows Korean and international film industry professionals such as sales agents and buyers exclusively to watch completed films. The films can be watched on the online screening platform Shift72. The selected films include BIFAN official selections, completed NAFF films, and previous works of directors whose projects were selected by NAFF. This year, a total of 35 films, for which prior consent was obtained, have been registered in the P&I Screening Library. The P&I Screening program aims to boast the actual sales of BIFAN films and to attract investment forNAFF projects.
The NAFF Fantastic Film School is BIFAN's genre film education program, which will take place from June 29th (THU) to July 5th (WED). This year, Barry Sabath, senior lecturer at the American Film Institute (AFI), a renowned filmmaker, producer, and film historian, will serve as the dean of the school. Some of his notable works include No Way Out (1987), My Cousin Vinny (1992), Ghost in the Machine (1993), PCU (1994) and Flatliners (1990). This year’s mentors are Annick Mahnert, director of Frontières Coproduction Market, Chris Lee, founder and director of the University of Hawaii’s Academy for Creative Media, Jeong Youngbum, CEO of BEAM Studio, film director Shin Suwon, Todd Brown, head of International Acquisitions at XYZ Films and Yee Wei Chai, founder of Mocha Chai Laboratories will be mentors. These six industry experts will guide a total of 272 participants, mentors and mentees from 16 countries.
The students of this year's Fantastic Film School attended the Ari Aster Master Class on June 29th after watching Beau Is Afraid, the opening film of BIFAN where the director provided an in-depth insight in his cinematic world. The students will also attend the master class of Jeong Youngbum, CEO of BEAM Studio. Jeong is experienced in actor management, film and drama development an production, and is a leading figure in the field of digital humans. In his master class "Understanding Digital Humans and Utilizing them in Visual Content" he will share his expertise with the students.
Made in Asia was established to promote understanding, collaboration, and development of Asia's major film industry, and it is celebrating its 8th year this year. The annual publication of the Asian Film Industry Report has expanded its coverage from 12 to 17 countries, providing a comprehensive overview of the various Asian film industries with comparable statistic standards and key industry trends from each country. At the Made in Asia Forum, key players and policymakers from Asian countries come together to discuss common crises and opportunities, presenting new solutions and visions..
The 27th edition of BIFAN will run from June 29 to July 9. The festival’s main hub will be the Bucheon City Hall with the Main Stage, the Fantastic Cube and the Lawn Square. Screenings will also take place at the CGV Sopung, the Korea Manhwa Museum and the Megabox Bucheon Starfield City. Online screenings will be available on wavve. After the film screenings the Korean and international filmmakers will greet and talk with the audience I guest visits (GV), and many additional special programs have been prepared. Beyond Reality, BIFAN’s XR section will be held at the Bucheon Art Bunker B39. The special exhibition Master CHOI MIN SIK can be enjoyed at the Hyundai Department Store Jungdong. BIFAN’s industry program B.I.G, including the NAFF Project Market, the Fantastic Film School and Made in Asia will unfold at the Koryo Hotel and the Bucheon Art Bunker B39. From June 30th to July 2nd, the ‘Carnival in July’, a festivity to commemorate and celebrate Bucheon’s 50th anniversary as a city will unfold around Bucheon City Hall.