The 27th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN), led by festival director Shin Chul, kicked off with its grand opening ceremony that took place at 7 p.m. on June 29th at the Bucheon City Hall Lawn Square.
The opening ceremony was attended by many international guests, including Ari Aster, director of the opening film Beau Is Afraid
, Choi Min Sik, the protagonist of this year’s actor retrospective, and the jury members including Kim Sunyoung, Kai Ko, Kier-La Janisse, Konaka Kazuya, Rich Cine and Lee Wonsuk. Among the Korean the guests were Ahn Sung-ki, Park Joong-hoon, Kim Sunyoung, Kim Sung-kyun, Kim Hye-na, Nam Yeon-woo, Pang Eun-jin, Sunye, Yea Ji-won, Yang Dong-keun, Jang Seo-hee, Cho Seong-ha, Jang Yeong-nam. From overseas Berant Zhu, Edison Song, Tsai Fan-Xi, Amanda Nell Eu, Robert Hloz, TEZKA Macoto, Sakaguchi Tak, and Yamaguchi Yudai and many more were present. Actress Park Ha-seon and actor Seo Hyun-woo lead the ceremony as the show hosts. The opening ceremony started with a live performance by guitarist Shin Daechul, and the presentation of the official festival trailer.
▲The hosts actor Seo Hyun-woo and actress Park Ha-seon (left), Festival Chairmen Cho Yong-eek and Chung Jiyoung
Then, the two chairmen Cho Yong-eek, the major of Bucheon City, and film director Chung Jiyoung officially declared the film festival open, marking the beginning of BIFAN. Chairman Cho Yong-eek stated: “The culture City of Bucheon is really proud of BIFAN, Asia's largest genre film festival. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bucheon City, I’m wishing for a successful festival where the citizens of Bucheon and the audience mingle and enjoy the many different programs together." Chairman Chung Jiyoung added: "Thank you to everyone who came to BIFAN despite all the difficulties the film industry is facing. I wish everybody to enjoy the 262 films from 51 countries that are playing at BIFAN’s edition this year."
▲Festival Director Shin Chul handing the Award to the team of D.P.
Next, Festival Director Shin Chul took the stage to explain BIFAN’s new keyword introduced this year, 'Cinema+': “BIFAN aims to be the most futuristic film festival, dreaming of the evolution of cinema. Last year, we started to hand out the world’s first "Series Film Award," and this year, BIFAN will focus on a new genre that combines films with webtoons in collaboration with the Korea Manhwa Contents Agency. In a rapidly changing film industry environment, BIFAN will always take the lead in embracing creative transformations.
Then the ceremony moved on to the presentation of the 2nd BIFAN ‘Series Film Award.’ Representatives of this year's winning film, D.P., including executive producer Byun Seung-min, director Han Jun-hee, producer Kim Dong-min and actor Kim Sung-kyun, appeared on stage to receive the award. Byun Seung-min, the CEO of Climax Studio, said:“ We will continue to challenge ourselves to make films that fit BIFAN’s character. We promise to continue making films that will push the boundaries. Subsequently, the jury members Kim Sunyoung, Lee Wonsuk, Kai Ko, Konaka Kazuya, and Kier-La Janisse were introduced.
▲▲ A visibly woved Choi Min Sik comments about the actor’s restropsective; Ari Aster introducing opening film Beau Is Afraid
The highlight of the opening ceremony was the presence of Choi Min Sik and director Ari Aster. Actor Choi Min Sik revealed how he feels about the retrospective: “Hearing that I was selected for this year’s actor’s retrospective made me looked back on my past life as an actor. There may be many embarrassing moments, just like revealing a personal diary, but I hope that this retrospective becomes a pleasant space for the audience to discuss my films and acting openly.”
Introducing the opening film Beau Is Afraid jokingly said: “I heard this is the festival for weird movies made by sick and lonely people, so I’m happy to kick it off with a movie about a sad and lonely man. As a fan of Korean movies, I sincerely thank you for selecting Beau Is Afraid as the opening film, and I hope you enjoy the film in your own way, which is sure to be liked or disliked.” The opening ceremony was followed by the screening of Ari Aster's masterpiece Beau Is Afraid, which embodies his unique vision at the Bucheon City Hall Main Theater.
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.