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Pusan fest pops with fans, Hou pic

Fest celebrates 10th anni with 'Three Times' preem

Asia’s premier public and industry event, the Pusan Film Festival, celebrated its 10th birthday on Thursday with a celeb-heavy opening night screening of Taiwanese vet director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “Three Times.”

Outdoor projection, at Pusan’s Yachting Center in the beach enclave of Haeundae, featured fireworks and a perf by a Korean pop star before Hou’s pic.

The film was 2½ minutes longer than the 130-minute version that competed at Cannes in May, with a few, hardly discernible changes made to the third segment, set in modern-day Taipei.

Hou rushed to meet Cannes’ deadline and has been fiddling with the film all summer. At least two other versions (including one for distribution in France, which co-funded the movie) exist.

Pic also recently unspooled at the Toronto and New York fests, though Pusan claimed its version was a world preem of the definitive cut.

The 5,000 public tickets to the opening sold out in 10 minutes.

Audience was packed with Asian celebs, including Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan, in for today’s showing of his latest action vehicle, “The Myth.”

South Korean vet actor Ahn Sung-ki, the fest’s new vice director, greeted guests as they arrived at the Yachting Center.

Nine-day event has garnered an extra $1 million in government coin to celebrate its anni, and more guests and press than ever before are skedded to attend.

Fest is using an extra 10 screens at a multiplex nearby in addition to its usual 21 in Haeundae and downtown Nampo-dong.

Hotels are bracing for a massive influx of industryites this weekend for the three-day Pusan Promotion Plan (Oct. 10-12), a combo of confabs, market screenings and pitch sessions for development coin.

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