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Dark Arc For European Films at Busan Festival

Collapsing Worlds Take Focus

This year’s Busan Intl. Film Festival (BIFF) marks the 18th year of European Film Promotion (EFP) support, this time with a lineup centering on “stories about collapsing worlds (with) a false sense of security; or people on the edge of society, their fears and the power of hope,” says EFP’s Busan project director Andreas Struck.

Struck goes on to describe it as “an arc to encompass the many European films at this year’s festival. It was hard to find one overarching theme, but these are constant ones among the current trends and new patterns, especially with Eastern European works.”

SEE ALSO: Busan Festival: Competition Stretches From ‘Sex Appeal’ to ‘Sunrise’

Among the European films touching this theme is “Inferno,” a sociopolitical drama helmed by Vinko Moderndorfer, with Slovenian thesp Marko Mandic. One of EFP’s 2007 Shooting Stars, Mandic plays a laid-off worker fighting against the unseen authority in the capital.

Ognjen Svilicic’s Franco-Croation co-production “These Are the Rules” has a couple questioning everything they had believed in after their son is violently attacked.

A pair of films dealing with “isolation and estrangement; very universal themes,” according to Struck, are “X+Y” (Morgan Matthews), which follows an academically gifted teenager as he journeys from the U.K. to Taipei where he has to deal with the most irrational force in the universe, love; and “Kafka’s The Burrow,” from Jochen Freydank.

Joshua Oppenheimer, who directed 2012’s much acclaimed “The Act of Killing,” will discuss his latest documentary, “The Look of Silence.” Struck calls the Venice Festival hit “merciless in its look at murderous thinking and how inhuman people can be.”

A dress worn by the lead character of the Japanese series “Magical Girl Yukiko” becomes a life-changing dream in the hands of Spanish helmer Carlos Vermut.

Irish director Ivan Kavanagh makes another visit to Busan with his psychological horror-thriller “The Canal,” which also screened at this year’s Germany Fantasy Film Festival.

Bruno Deville’s Swiss-Belgian film “Chubby” depicts Kevin, aged 12, weighing in at 200 lbs and chowing down the fries and doughnuts until he changes — just not quite in the way you would imagine.

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