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- Period :  June 27(Thu) ~ July 7(Sun), 2019, For 11 days
- Opening Ceremony: June 27(Thu),Bucheon Gymnasium
- Closing Ceremony: July 5(Fri), Bucheon City Hall Main Theater
- Screening Venues : Total 5 places, 16 venues
- Theaters : Bucheon City Hall Main Theater, Bucheon City Hall Fantastic Cube, Korea Manhwa Museum, CGV Bucheon, CGV Sopoong, total of 15 screens in 5 theaters
- Outdoor Screening : Lawn Square, Bucheon City Hall
- Screening Films : 284 films from 49 countries (166 features, 1188 shorts)
- Opening Film : The Gasoline Thieves / Director: Edgar NITO
- Closing Film : The 12th Suspect / Director: KO Myoungsung


A genre film festival that is remembered for genre expanding by narrowing down

This year, BIFAN is yet again focusing on staying loyal to its identity as Asia’s representative fantastic film festival. BIFAN’s official competition section, Bucheon Choice, is divided into feature films and shorts, and it comprises films with an outlook of the world that goes beyond common sense, have an original style, and show the progress and experimentation that is being done in terms of the grammar of genre. The Korean Fantastic section, which is divided into competitive and non-competitive subsections, also comprises feature films and shorts as it is a section that was created to express support for domestic genre films. . The World Fantastic sections, which feature a selection of genre films from all over the world, is classified into the “Red” section which has been optimized for film fanatics, and the “Blue” section which aim to suit the tastes of diverse audiences. The Forbidden Zone features outrageous films that touch on taboo subjects and are perfect for the most fanatical of film fans. The films in the Family Zone have been selected for the viewing pleasure of children and young adults - the future of BIFAN - and their families, and finally, the Fantastic Short Films section features a lineup of gemlike films made by the new directors who will be leading the future of genre films. This year, a total of 288 films from 49 countries were selected.

Special programs for film fanatics and citizens
This year, in celebration of 100 years of Korean cinema, BIFAN will be taking a look at 13 genre films from Korea that are not well-known. The “Robots: Future Beyond the Human Race” program that has been organized this year will feature classic robot movies that have been divided according to time period, and the selected movies will be presented along with a robot exhibition. This year’s “Earth is Mine: Original Beastly Creatures” program is the only place where audiences can check out Godzilla, Gamera, and other monster movies. Other special programs include the “Women in Comedy, Loud and Fabulous” program, which will be examining the image of women in comedic films, and a special program dedicated to a great Korean actor who has played a pivotal role in the history of Korean cinema.

B.I.G, the Asian hub of the global genre film industry
Now in its 12th year, the It Project is the world’s first genre film project market. The It Project discovers genre film projects from around Asia and provides opportunities for directors and producers of the selected projects to have one-on-one business meetings, which could result in co-production, potential investment, and distribution opportunities. The projects are also evaluated by a jury to decide which titles will receive cash awards and post-production support awards. Each year, one Asian country is chosen, and genre film projects are selected from said country for the It Project. The country that was selected to be highlighted this year is Thailand. The Nordic Genre Invasion, which was launched five years ago, introduces Northern European genre film projects. Blood Window, which was established three years ago, is a section that is done in collaboration with Ventana Sur - South America’s largest fantastic film market. At Sitges Pitchbox, which was created last year, a project from Europe’s largest genre film festival, Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, is introduced.
Fantastic Film School, the center of the cultivation of Asian genre film talents

Fantastic Film School is a professional training program for Asian genre filmmakers. It is renowned for offering a practical curriculum comprised of courses focused on topics such as screenplay adaptation, production, and distribution. The students in the program are divided into teams where they must develop and pitch a project, which is then commented upon by an instructor. Alexandre O. PHILIPPE has been invited to speak at this year’s master class, which invites a genre film master every year to give an in-depth lecture to the students in the program.
Production support for genre shorts, global distribution support for genre films,
and other diverse programs that have been specialized for BIFAN

A new support project from the Korea Film Council called the Film Festival Specialized Program has allowed BIFAN to pursue endeavors as a fantastic film festival, such as a training program for rising genre filmmakers and global distribution support for Korean genre films. Production support is given to winners of a screenplay contest via the production support program for short films, and priceless expertise is passed down to short-film directors from their predecessors in the industry through the provision of a film production master class. BIFAN also plans to hold a conference for short-film distribution and proceed with plans to get roadshow theatrical releases in Japan for Korean films screened at BIFAN through the cooperation between Korea and Japan.

‘Fantastic 7’, BIFAN’s genre film project selected by Cannes
This year, 7 fantastic film festivals from all over the world were selected by the Marché du Film - Festival de Cannes to take part in the newly-created “Fantastic 7,” which is a pitching program for new genre film projects. Starting from this year, a project will be selected by BIFAN every year to automatically be given the chance to be presented before genre film producers from all over the world via a pitching event at the Cannes Film Festival. The first project that BIFAN chose to endorse was SUPERGIRL by director KIM Soo-young. BIFAN aims to remain faithful to its role as a channel for new directors, who dream of making genre films, to become world-class masters.

The top VR curators in the world are gathering at BIFAN, the site of the first and largest VR zone in the country
BIFAN’s VR section, which developed from the existing New Media showcase, has strengthened its presence by becoming the most advanced of its kind in Korea in terms of scale and content. As a result, it has led to the gathering at BIFAN of film festival curators who are leading the VR industry globally. In particular, the VR screening and exhibition that go beyond XR and have been designated as being “Beyond Reality,” are aiming to reach people all around the world from Bucheon Art Bunker B39 - Bucheon’s new cultural center.

2. Program Trends
100 years of Korean movies, the root of genre films, and KIM Hye Soo
In celebration of 100 years of Korean cinema, the 23rd BIFAN will be looking back at the roots of Korean genre films by examining the Korean films that sought to find new conventions and alternatives throughout the history of Korean cinema. With the special program titled “A Crazy Chronicle of Korean Genre Cinema,” the goal is to rediscover the films that eluded Korean cinema history - films in the “fantastic” category that broke the firm authority of “realism” and experimented with various genres. Throughout the 100-year history of Korean cinema, horror films, musical films, monster movies, and more have been fiercely attempted to be made. We intend to traverse anew the history of Korean cinema along with the films that laid the foundation for Korean genre films, either through their failure or rare success, and the “Korean fantastic films” that were selected according to BIFAN’s unique perspective.
In addition, as a continuation of the programs that highlighted the works of JEON Do-yeon and JUNG Woo-sung in the past two years, another special program has been organized for this year that looks at the life and career of a contemporary actor that has helped make Korean cinema what it is today. This special program also looks at BIFAN’s reinterpretation of Korean cinema through the genre lens. This year’s special program will be dedicated to KIM Hye Soo, who has established a commanding presence on and off screen by becoming one of the best actors in Korea, both in name and reality. We will be taking a look at 10 of the most important films of KIM Hye Soo’s career, from First Love to Default, and we will also be reflecting on the current state of Korean cinema.

The identity of a fantastic film festival
The 23rd Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival will be presenting the genre films that are currently at the forefront of the industry. The identity of BIFAN as a fantastic film festival is something we always place an emphasis on. What is genre? What does “fantastic” even mean? With Marvel superhero movies being firmly placed at the center of Hollywood’s attention, we can not only talk about characters and conventions when we’re talking about genre films. The distinctions between fiction and nonfiction, reality and fantasy, and real and fake are already non-existent. The method of digging into the reality of everyday life in order to pluck out a new story is one that already typically follows one convention. The 23rd BIFAN features films that pursue a new style while staying faithful to standard genre conventions, as well as films that, although may be difficult to categorize as traditional genre films, have drawn out an original point of reality through the use of archetypal characters and plots.
Standout Southeast Asian horror films like Eerie from the Philippines, Dreadout: Tower of Hell from Indonesia, Walk with Me from Malaysia, and The Pool from Thailand would be examples of the former; while the road movie The Pool and the musical film We Are Little Zombies - both from Japan - along with the provocative thriller from Hong Kong, G Affairs, would be examples of the latter. The films from Latin America and Europe that stand out are the titles that criticize exploitation, civilization, and environmental destruction, as well as those that delve into topics such as the greed of the age of consumption, psychological pressure, and hysteria through the lens of genre. A large number of films that are sure to satisfy film enthusiasts have been invited. Also, genre films that show the perspectives of female directors/producers have become more substantial and seem to expand the existing genres. BIFAN has also organized a special program featuring movies which show robots that will either supplement or replace the future of humans, as well as a special program dedicated to beastly cinematic creatures such as Godzilla, Gamera, and Gappa, who appear as both destroyers and saviors in their respective movies.

Genre films and gender
A special program titled “Women in Comedy, Loud and Fabulous,” which will be taking a look at comedic actresses and the representation of women in comedic films, has been organized for this year. As a continuation of the 2017 special program dedicated to women in horror films and the 2018 program for women in sci-fi movies, the spotlight this year will be on the comedy genre. In particular, audiences will be given an opportunity to see actresses in comedic films, such as Marilyn MONROE, Ellen DEGENERES, NA Moon-hee, CHOI Jin-sil, and KIM Hye Soo in a new light, through conversations that are meaningful and offer new perspectives. There will also be a fan screening of Ghostbusters (2016) and an opportunity to analyze the romantic comedy genre. The organization of this year’s special program and the selection of the titles were completely taken on by feminist culture critic/guest curator SON Hee-jeong. In the future, BIFAN will continue to examine cultural issues through the study of genre films via a special program with an open format that invites the participation of both experts and the public.

BIFAN-specialized programs
A new support project from the Korea Film Council called the Film Festival Specialized Program has allowed BIFAN to pursue endeavors as a fantastic film festival, such as a training program for rising genre filmmakers and global distribution support for Korean genre films. Production support is given to winners of a screenplay contest via the production support program for short films, and priceless expertise is passed down to short-film directors from their predecessors in the industry through the provision of a film production master class. BIFAN also plans to hold a conference for short-film distribution and proceed with plans to get roadshow theatrical releases in Japan for Korean films screened at BIFAN through the cooperation between Korea and Japan.
Also, the Marché du Film - Festival de Cannes recently launched a project pitching program called “Fantastic 7” and selected seven fantastic film festivals from around the world to participate. As one of the selected festivals, BIFAN chose SUPERGIRL by director KIM Soo-young to be pitched. Furthermore, the BIFAN VR program, which developed from the existing New Media showcase, was able to be expanded and launched into a stand-alone program called “Beyond Reality” - the most advanced program of its kind in Korea in terms of content and scale.

3. Features of B.I.G
Government organizations and major film festivals from multiple countries
B.I.G currently operates a number of programs such as the It Project, which maximizes the potential for global co-productions via the official participation in the program of countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Spain, Finland, and Argentina. The Fantastic Film School is an educational program that brings together world-renowned genre film professionals and talented new filmmakers. The emphasis on the program was placed more on content than size. Korea Now consists of multiple programs that aim to further develop the Korean genre film industry. These include the Supporting a Short Film section, the SF Scenario Showcase, and the debate on the present state and policies of the film industries in Korea, Vietnam, and France.

The world’s top VR curators and artists take part in BIFAN, the site of the largest VR zone in Korea
BIFAN’s VR exhibition, which developed from the New Media showcase, will be making a leap forward this year in terms of scale and content. In addition to inviting a large number of VR films that currently hold the world’s attention for their innovations in terms of concept and quality, BIFAN has paid special attention to the organization of the exhibition spaces. In doing so, the exhibition goes beyond just playing a new type of media format. It becomes a space in which visitors can fully immerse themselves in the experience and discover new potential. Also, in order to create an agenda about trends and visions from a variety of perspectives, we intend to invite and speak with curators who are influential in the global film festival space. Also, after defining the game engine that allows for interaction and spatial experience based on real-time rendering as a next-generation creation tool, we intend to take time to explore the unity that is in charge of said axis, along with its potential and direction.
BIFAN also plans to invite and hold discussions with a number of producers and directors in order to share information with audiences and creators regarding the current state of immersive media, which is experiencing rapid growth and experimentation compared to last year.
Through this exhibition, we hope visitors will be able to learn about the successes and potential of extended reality (XR) and get a chance to experience virtual reality, which is starting to cross over into the domain of reality. The “reality” of the next generation that is in our imagination, lies just beyond the virtual concept that is the “reality” of today.


The two official posters for the 23rd BIFAN were inspired by the unicorn in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), which is considered to be a sci-fi masterpiece. The first poster, which shows a unicorn and Cells of Fantasy coming down from a spaceship and being scattered throughout the city of Bucheon, amplifies BIFAN’s identity. The gigantic unicorn in the second poster that seems to have seized downtown Bucheon sparks your imagination while also creating a sense of anticipation. The two posters promote the sci-fi genre, which is BIFAN’s concept for this year, and the visuals in both posters tell a continuous story.

Poster Design Design Studio PROPAGANDA
Bucheon Photo LEE Seung-hee
UFO & Unicorn 3D LEE Joong-hyuk, PARK Won-ju