BUSAN – A truce has been called in the dispute between management of the Busan International Film Festival and city officials who have spent the past several days trying to oust festival director Lee Yong-kwan.
Lee said that he would not resign and now looks to have kept his job.
Things were thrashed out at a face to face meeting Tuesday between Lee and the festival’s executive programmer Kim Ji-seok and the city mayor Seo Byung-soo and culture and tourism bureau director-general Kim Kwang-hee.
Afterwards Lee issued a conciliatory statement “I will fix the aftermath of the recent controversy over my attitude as soon as possible, and get back to my duties so that it does not affect the upcoming 20th edition of BIFF,” he said.
Seo criticized the festival for screening the controversial documentary “The Truth Shall Not Sink with Sewol (a.k.a. “Diving Bell”)” at last year’s edition. He also said that the festival had not been efficient enough in terms of economic and industrial contribution to the local community.
“I respect the mayor’s opinion. But, at the same time, it is difficult to agree in its entirety,” Lee said in his statement. However, Lee mostly took an apologetic approach, and said that he will set a reform plan that he hopes can be widely accepted.
With both parties for now agreeing that he should continue as festival director, Lee now looks likely to be heading BIFF at its historic 20th edition in October.