Bhutanese drama opens event but K-Pop stars pepper lineup

The Busan Intl. Film Festival – Asia’s biggest film festival with 300 films on tap — showed its commitment to the diversity of Asian films Wednesday night when it kicked off its 18th edition with Vara, A Blessing,” from Bhutanese helmer Khyentse Norbu, a Buddhist monk.

Fest will unspool 95 world premieres over the course of 10 days.

The opening night event, which has grown into one of Asia’s foremost events in the entertainment calendar, saw even more glitz than in years past thanks to three of K-pop’s biggest names, who all have films premiering at BIFF: Lee Jun of MBLAQ toplines  “Rough Play,” produced by Kim Ki-duk; Choi Seung-hyun of Big Bang, who stars in “Commitment”; and Taecyeon of 2PM with “Marriage Blue.”

The opening ceremony was emceed by Korean actress Kang Soo-yeon, and Hong Kong actor Aaron Kwok (pictured above).

BIFF will wrap with Kim Dong-hyun’s “The Dinner,” made with support from the festival’s Asian Cinema Fund, and the first Korean independent film to close the beachside event.

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