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PiFan taps Han to run festival

Head programmer upped to director post

The Puchon Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) in South Korea has elevated head programmer Han Sang-jun to festival director for three years.

Han — the third fest director appointed in as many years — will replace Lee Jang-ho, who has been named one of two vice chairmen on the event’s organizing committee under Puchon mayor Hong Geon-pyo.

The personnel changes mark an effort by the festival to repair its relationship with the local film industry after the controversial firing of popular fest director Kim Hong-joon in 2005. Han told Daily Variety that Asia’s biggest fantasy-themed film fest, scheduled for July 12-21, will be smaller in scale than last year’s 10th-anni edition.

“Our most important objective is to focus on quality, overcome some of the logistical problems of the past two years and to raise the overall level of service provided by the festival.”

Han said he also hopes to diversify the festival’s program beyond its focus on horror to science fiction, thriller and other such genres.

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