Oliver Stone to Head Jury at Busan International Film Festival

Oliver Stone, the ever-controversial American-French director, has been named president of the competition jury for the upcoming Busan International Film Festival, itself no stranger to controversy.

Stone heads an impressive panel including Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi (“A Time for Drunken Horses”), French cinematographer Agnes Godard (“The Dreamlife of Angels”), Philippines director Lav Diaz (“From What Is Before,” “The Woman Who Left”), and South Korean director Jang Sun-woo (“Lies”). They will judge a selection of Asian films in the New Currents section that represents the festival’s cornerstone.

Stone, who has credits including “Wall Street,” “JFK” and “Snowden,” has often criticized governments, greed, collusion and corruption. That matches the Busan festival’s stance.

The festival is still in turmoil nearly three years after it stood up to political interference from city authorities who acted as proxies for a nationalist and now disgraced right-wing South Korean government. The aftermath of the festival’s decision to screen a controversial documentary in its 2014 edition has caused two of its chiefs to be prosecuted and damaged the reputations of prominent figures who have tried to straighten out matters.

Last year a partial boycott of the festival by some members of the Korean industry left the 2016 program in tatters and caused audience numbers to drop. It is unclear whether the ill-feeling from inside Korea will again hit the 2017 edition.

The festival is this year scheduled to be held Oct. 12-21. The accompanying Asian Film Market runs Oct. 14-17.

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