Festival director Lee Yong-kwan said that Kang has contributed to BIFF’s development since its early days. Kang has been on the festival’s executive committee since 1998.
The co-directorship was earlier proposed by Lee as a part of the reform plans that the city government had required of the festival after it failed to oust Lee from his position. The pressure on festival organizers from the city is understood as retaliation against Lee, who last year refused the city’s request to cancel the screening of a controversial documentary.
Industry professionals later criticized Lee for suggesting a co-directorship that would seem to also see Lee leave his position in February, 2016.
“Although there has been a fuss about the festival, we had better accept it as a process of reinforcement and join forces from now on,” said the Busan city mayor and the festival chairman Seo Byung-soo.
Lee Myung-shik, the former director of Busan E-FM, an English-language radio channel, was also appointed deputy director Monday. He is expected to bridge the festival and the local community.
The 20th Busan festival will run Oct. 1-10 with the Asian Film Market running Oct. 3—6.