×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Festival Divisions Visible at Funeral of Busan Programmer Kim Ji-seok 

Some 400 leading figures from the Asian cinema business attended a memorial service on Monday for Busan festival programmer and co-founder Kim Ji-seok. But the large attendance did little to mask the ongoing divisions in the Korean industry.

Kim died nearly two weeks ago in Cannes. His body was cremated in France and his remains returned to Korea ahead of a three-day funeral that started on Saturday. It concluded in a service held at the spectacular, downtown, Busan Cinema Center.

Festival chairman and co-founder, Kim Dong-ho led the proceedings. Ousted former festival director, Lee Yong-kwan, former Busan Film Commission head Oh Seok-geun, and Kim’s son were chief mourners.

Lee refused handshakes with Busan city mayor Seo Byung-soo, who precipitated the festival’s three-year crisis by censoring its program, and with Kim Dong-ho, who returned to the festival as a steadying hand after the crisis erupted. Lee also ducked out of the memorial and went directly to the burial site.

In an address, Oh called for a full investigation of the political pressures inflicted on the festival, in order to shed light on the ongoing issue of artistic freedom in Korean cinema.

“(Kim) died dramatically, like a movie, early on the day of (Lee Yong-kwan’s) last appeal court hearing,” said Oh. “Not a single person involved in the BIFF crisis can be free yet. Just as the blacklisting revealed the [evil deeds] of the former government, it is imperative to reveal the oppression of BIFF which stemmed from the ‘Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol’ screening. Not only those who it carried out, but also those who supported (the oppression) or kept silent, must take responsibility.”

Asian filmmakers in attendance included Malaysia’s Tan Chui Mui and Liew Seng Tat; Tsai Ming-liang and Yang Kuei Mei from Taiwan; Japan’s Kore-eda Hirokazu and Bangladesh’s Abu Shahed Emon. Wreaths were sent by other industry figures including Hong Kong actor Andy Lau, Iranian producer Shohreh Golparian and Thai filmmakers Anocha Suwichakornpong, Pampika Towira and Don Saron Kovitvanitcha.

More Film

  • The Top 10 Portrayals of Record

    The Dirt on Rock's Great Enablers: 10 Memorable Screen Portrayals of Record Execs

    In the Netflix biopic “The Dirt,” Pete Davidson of “Saturday Night Live” fame portrays A&R exec Tom Zutaut, the man who signed Motley Crue to Elektra and Guns N’ Roses to Geffen, while veteran character actor David Costabile (“The Wire,” “Billions”) is manager Doc McGhee. They follow in a long and illustrious line of label [...]

  • Korea Box Office: "Money" Wins Debut

    Korea Box Office: 'Money' Defeats 'Captain Marvel'

    Korean crime drama “Money” debuted on top of the South Korean box office, preventing “Captain Marvel” from topping the chart for three consecutive weekends. It is the story of a young stockbroker who dreams of riches but becomes caught in a stock market scam. Opening on Wednesday, the Showbox release earned $12.0 million from 1.54 [...]

  • Us Movie

    'Us' Cements the Box Office Power of Jordan Peele

    Given the breakout success of “Get Out,” it’s no surprise audiences were salivating to see the next nightmare from the mind of writer-director Jordan Peele. “Get Out,” which landed a screenwriting Oscar for Peele, became one of the most profitable movies of 2017 (grossing $255 million globally on a $4.5 million budget) after the horror [...]

  • Box Office Film Placeholder

    China Box Office: Taiwan's 'More Than Blue' Wins Second Weekend

    Taiwanese melodrama, “More Than Blue” held strong at the Chinese box office, to secure a second week of success. The film is a Chinese-language remake of a Korean film from 2009, involving Singapore’s MM2 and the filmmaking arm of Fox Networks. With little in the way of strong, new competition, “blue” scored $27 million, according [...]

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content