BUSAN: Festival to go Ahead With ‘Sink’ Documentary Screening

Busan International Film Festival organizers Sunday insisted that they would go ahead with Monday’s scheduled screening of a controversial documentary examining part of April’s Sewol ferry tragedy.

“The Truth Shall Not Sink with Sewol,” co-directed by Lee Sang-ho and Ahn Hae-ryong, focuses on the use of a diving bell, the proper use of which may have saved lives in the largely failed rescue efforts that followed Korea’s deadliest ferry disaster. At least 304 people were killed in the sinking. 

“In the 19 years of BIFF’s history, there has not been a single case of a screening being cancelled due to outside pressure,” festival organizers said in part of a four point statement.

The statement continued: “there is a clear difference between criticizing a film which has screened, and demanding the cancelation of a film.” It added that “Sink” has not yet had a public screening, and said that demands to remove a film from the line-up are a threat to the identity and existence of BIFF.”

The festival’s firm line is a slap in the face of the new city mayor, Seo Byung-soo, who has been foremost in calling for the film’s removal, citing its “biased content.” Seo is also chairman of the festival.

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