BIFAN: Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival
The Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN), which launched in 1997, is the representative cultural festival of Bucheon, a UNESCO creative city of literature. Works by master filmmakers such as Peter JACKSON, Christopher NOLAN, Darren ARONOFSKY, Guillermo del TORO, JANG Joonhwan, and NA Hongin have been discovered and introduced at BIFAN. The festival called into question the topic of censorship through provocative special programs, such as the blue movie special program, and it built a fan community through a program dedicated to martial arts movies by the Shaw Brothers Studio and the Bollywood special program. BIFAN has experienced its share of ups and downs following changes in authority, but it has received endless love and support over the past 27 years from audiences and guests, for presenting new sensibilities, rich imagination, and unique programs. With “Stay Strange” as its motto, BIFAN strives to be a film festival that cheers for the nonmainstream, while discovering and giving courage to talents that are pushed to the margins.
The genre films and talents discovered and introduced by BIFAN become more amplified and can meet the world through the festival’s industry program, B.I.G. built upon the foundation of the Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF), which launched in 2008 to help with the production and development of genre films, B.I.G has developed into a platform that represents the genre film industry. Asian genre filmmakers have been discovered and nurtured through the world’s first genre film project market, It Project, and our film education program, Fantastic Film School. Through Made in Asia, we have accumulated data on popular movies in Asia and created a network of industry leaders.
Starting in 2016, BIFAN became the first film festival in the country to introduce immersive VR and XR content and trends in technology. Beyond Reality, which has grown into an independent category, shows the evolution of storytelling that comes from the fusion of technology and art. In 2020, the Scary Tales Campus was born for the discovery, collection, and creation of scary stories. As BIFAN’s signature program, the Scary Tales Campus believes in the power of stories, and it is currently creating an ecosystem of scary tales that focuses on the discovery, creation, and distribution of such stories.