‘Stalin’ leads record Pusan slate

Fest to screen 315 movies in 8 days

South Korea’s 13th Pusan Film Festival will kick off Oct. 2 with Kazakh helmer Rustem Abdrashev’s “The Gift to Stalin” and close Oct. 10 with Korean helmer Yoon Jong-chan’s “I Am Happy.”

In between, the event will pack in a record 315 movies from 60 countries, exceeding even the puffed up 10th anniversary event. Fest claims 85 world preems, 48 international bows and 95 Asian firsts.

Gala screenings go to Wong Kar Wai’s “Ashes of Time Redux,” Zhang Yuan’s “Dada’s Dance” and first-time helmer Soopum Sohn’s Korean-U.S. co-production “Make Yourself at Home,” starring Korean beauty Song Hye-kyo.

The competitive New Currents section counts 14 titles, most of which are low-budget independent films.

Highlights include O. Nathapon’s Thai relationship drama “A Month in June,” Indonesian race drama “Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly” by helmer-scribe Edwin, Chinese helmer Yang Jin’s “Er Dong” and Korean titles “Member of Funeral,” by Seung-bin Baek, and “The Pot,” by Kim Tae-gon.

Most surprising is the number of world preems of films by major directors presented in the World Cinema roundup section, which the selectors oddly describe as leaning on U.S. and U.K. films.

Preems include Franco Brogi Taviani’s “Maybe God is Ill,” Peter Greenaway’s “Rembrandt’s J’accuse,” Raul Ruiz’s “Nucingen House,” Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s “Welcome Home,” Anna Chi’s “Dim Sum Funeral” and Anna Karina’s “Victoria.”

Section’s roundup of festival faves also includes Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky,” Paolo Sorrentino’s “Il Divo,” Christian Petzold’s “Jerichow,” Arnaud Desplechin’s “A Christmas Tale,” Ferzan Ozpetek’s “A Perfect Day” and Atom Egoyan’s “Adoration.”

Continuing the fest’s role as regional showcase, the Window on Asian Cinema counts 53 titles from the past 12 months and highlights the emergence of Indonesian cinema and resurgence of filmmaking in the Philippines.

Filipino titles include Joel Ruiz’s “Baby Angelo,” Adolfo Alix Jr.’s “Adela,” Ruel Dahis Antipuesto’s “Confessional” and Brillante Mendoza’s “Service.” List also includes foreign-language Oscar hopefuls “Captain Abu Raed,” from Jordan, and “Cape No. 7,” from Taiwan.

(Han Sunhee in Seoul contributed to this report.)

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