BIFAN 2024

Fact Sheet

Title

28th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival

Date

July 4 (THU) ~ July 14 (SUN), 11 days
Opening Ceremony - July 4 (THU), Bucheon Arts Center
Award Ceremony - July 12 (FRI), Bucheon City Hall Main Theater

Characteristics

Non-competitive international film festival with a few competition sections

Slogan

Stay Strange

Scale

255 films from 49 countries (112 Features, 99 Shorts, 15 AI Films 29 XR works)

  • 67 World Premieres (WP)

  • 9 International Premieres (IP)

  • 57 Asian Premieres (AP)

  • 66 Korean Premieres (KP)

Venues

  • Main Theaters - Bucheon City Hall, Korea Manhwa Museum, CGV Sopung, Bucheon Art Bunker B39

  • Events - Bucheon Arts Center, Webtoon Convergence Center

  • Online Screening Platform - wavve

Overview

The Age of Content Revolution, Rebrands as 'BIFAN+'

The 28th BIFAN rebrands itself by expanding the scope of the festival. 'BIFAN+' is a new brand that integrates the newly launched AI section, the current industry program B.I.G, the XR content project Beyond Reality, and the IP development project Goedam Campus. In alignment with the AI era, which has emerged as a significant topic in the global film industry, this year's 'BIFAN+' will introduce the first international AI film competition section in a Korean international film festival and host an AI conference that provides the latest information on AI film production and insights from pioneers worldwide. Additionally, a hackathon-style AI workshop will provide opportunities to explore the reality and potential of artificial intelligence and challenge existing limitations.

Opening Ceremony and Concert at Bucheon Arts Center

The 28th BIFAN will hold its opening ceremony on July 4 at the Bucheon Arts Center for the first time. Opened in May last year, the Bucheon Arts Center is a new landmark in Bucheon, equipped with top-tier architectural acoustics, featuring a pipe organ with 4,576 pipes, the first of its kind among classical music halls built by local governments. The British firm ARUP designed the acoustics, known for designing the Sydney Opera House, the Barbican Centre in the UK, and the Centre Pompidou in France. The opening ceremony, including the red carpet, reception, and other major events, will take place at the Bucheon Arts Center this year, and the Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra will host a film music concert, making the opening ceremony even more memorable.

AI Conference with Cannes Next and Curious Refuge

The 'BIFAN+ AI Conference' will take place at the Bucheon Arts Center's Arts Theater from July 5 to 7, focusing on the impact and potential of AI technology on the content ecosystem. The keynote speakers will be Sten Kristian Saluveer, head of 'Cannes Next' at the Cannes Film Festival, and Professor Jinjoon Lee, a pioneer in new media art, the first tenured art professor at KAIST, and the inaugural director of KAIST Art Museum. Additionally, renowned AI media artist Ferdi Alici, famous for his popular media exhibition Poetic AI at Ground Seesaw Myeongdong, will join the conference. Dave Clark, the representative director of 'Curious Refuge,' a prominent speaker at this year's Cannes Film Festival AI conference and a leading figure in AI film production in Hollywood, is set to lead mentoring and lectures at the AI workshop.

A Genre Film Festival Embracing Innovation and Legacy

The opening film of BIFAN 2024 is Love Lies Bleeding, and the closing film will be Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In. The official international competition section, Bucheon Choice, features a selection of 8 feature films and 9 short films. This year, there is a notable rise in genre films from various regions of Asia, and the newly established AI film international competition section showcases the current state of generative AI films, hinting at a paradigm shift in the filmmaking environment. Four Korean feature films, initiated through support programs like the NAFF Project and Fantastic 7, will premiere in the 'Korean Fantastic' section. In the sections mapping out the global genre film landscape, there is a significant presence of French and Scandinavian films, as well as the rapidly growing Indonesian genre film industry. Noteworthy are the works that bring global interest in AI to the screen with fresh sci-fi imagination and narratives. The increase in the 'Mad Max' section screenings, showcasing new works by veteran genre filmmakers from around the world, evidences the solid foundation of genre film creation. The screening of restored genre classics is gaining increasingly favorable reception from BIFAN enthusiasts each year. The special screening 'Celluloid Erotica,' which explores the intimate relationship between the screen and sex, offers precious opportunities to experience the enduring allure of cinema within today's ever-evolving film culture.

Johnnie TO, MITANI Koki, and KIM Sung-soo: With the Legendary Directors!

In 2024, BIFAN presents special encounters with Asian cinema masters whose names alone make movie fans' blood boil and hearts race. The masters are Johnnie To, a genre master and the embodiment of 'Hong Kong Noir,' and Mitani Koki, the king of comedy and a legend in Japanese cinema. Johnnie To's masterclass will accompany the screening of the 4K-restored Throw Down (2004). Mitani Koki's masterclass will feature screenings of his notable works, including A Ghost of a Chance (2011), offering a rare opportunity to meet the legend who has left an indelible mark on film history. Additionally, there will be a meeting with director Kim Sung-soo, who has been at the forefront of Korean cinema for 30 years since his legendary short film Dead End (1993). This event will include the premiere of 4K remastered screenings of Dead End, City of the Rising Sun (1999), and the ahead-of-its-time action epic Musa: The Warrior (2001). This year's roster of Japanese guests is also remarkable, including Hideo Nakata, the master of J-horror, who will unveil his latest work in a world premiere.

This Year's Special Actor: One and Only Son Yejin

Creating unforgettable moments each year with actors representing contemporary Korean cinema, BIFAN has selected Son Yejin as the protagonist of this year's edition, 'One and Only Son Yejin.' Since 2017, BIFAN has featured 'Special Actor' events highlighting contemporary leading actors in Korean cinema, with past honorees including Jeon Do-yeon, Jung Woo-sung, Kim Hye-soo, Sul Kyung-gu, and Choi Min Sik. This year's honoree, Son Yejin, has captivated audiences with her unique aura and charm across various genres and numerous characters. This special exhibition, with the title encapsulating her illustrious career in a single phrase, 'One and Only Son Yejin,' will celebrate her 23-year acting career with diverse events, including publishing a commemorative booklet, mega talk, and photo exhibition. Son Yejin, renowned for her elegant presence on red carpets, is also anticipated to grace the opening ceremony red carpet of this year's BIFAN.

Memorial Retrospective for the Master of American B-Movies, the Late Roger CORMAN

BIFAN holds a memorial retrospective for Roger Corman, the legendary master and godfather of American B-movies, who passed away last May at 98. The special class, titled 'The Auteur as a Company: What Roger Corman Left Us,' will delve deeply into his vast body of work and fascinating methods of filmmaking. The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) and The Terror (1963) will be screened consecutively, accompanied by an in-depth lecture on how Roger Corman's 'Company' paved the way for the 'flow' of cinema.

From Spot Tour to Fanterview ? Experience All the Fun Events!

For 27 years, BIFAN has provided a distinctive and varied genre film content platform for audiences to enjoy, stimulating genuine film-loving moments. This year, BIFAN is preparing even more diverse audience events with its brand 'Carnival in July,' a three-day outdoor event where anyone can participate and enjoy, transforming the area around Sohyang-ro near Bucheon City Hall into a festival site. Various entertaining events, including dance parties, water gun fights, interactive playgrounds, dressing rooms, and treasure hunts, will welcome everyone. Particularly notable is an interactive event called 'Spot Tour: Celeb Paparazzi,' where participants can visit various BIFAN spots, collect stamps, take photos, and experience being a celebrity. 'BIFAN Street: Fanterview' will offer opportunities to meet guests on an outdoor stage. Free screenings, 'Local Cinema on the Go' and 'A Midsummer Night's Fantasia,' will feature family-friendly films. The street event, 'Strange Shops,' will take place in stores around the film festival site, serving as a platform for mutual growth to boost the local economy.