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Busan Festival to Open With North Korea Drama ‘Beautiful Days’

South Korean filmmaker Jero Yun’s “Beautiful Days” has been announced as the opening title of the Busan International Film Festival, Korea’s biggest film festival.

Starring Lee Na-young, “Beautiful Days” depicts the story of a woman who abandons her husband and child to escape North Korea for a better life abroad. Martial arts drama, “Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy,” by Hong Kong’s Yuen Woo-ping will close the festival.

“‘Beautiful Days’ sees the dissolution and restoration of a family, and also that its subject is very timely,” said festival director Jay Jeon.

For its twenty third edition, the Busan film festival has selected 323 films from 79 countries. That includes 115 world premieres and 25 international premieres.

The festival’s Gala Presentation section screens only three films this year. They are world premieres of Stanley Kwan’s “First Night Nerves” and Zhang Lu’s “Ode to the Goose,” and Tsukamoto Shinya’s “Killing.”

The showcase New Currents competition will include:  “His Lost Name,” by Japanese newcomer Nanako Hirose; “House of My Fathers,” by Sri Lanka’s Suba Sivakumaran; “The Red Phallus,” by Bhutan’s Tashi Gyeltshan; “Gold Carrier” by Iran’s Touraj Aslani; “Savage,” by China’s Ciu Si Wei; “Vanishing Days,” by China’s Zhu Xin; and “Aurora,” by Kyrgyzsta’s Bekzat Pirmatov. It also includes three form Korea: “Clean Up,” by Kwon Man-ki; “House of Hummingbird,” by Kim Bora; and “Second Life,” by Park Young-ju. All ten are world premieres.

South Korean filmmaker Kim Hong-joon (“Im Kwon taek’s Moonlight”) will head the deciding the New Currents prizes.

The World Cinema section includes a selection of titles that debuted at festivals between Cannes and Toronto. They include Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” the Coen brothers’ “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Asghar Farhadi’s “Everybody Knows,” Damien Chazelle’s “First Man,” Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Cold War,” Jacques Audiard’s “The Sisters Brothers,” Terry Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” and Gaspar Noe’s “Climax.”

The Window on Asian Cinema section includes: Brillante Mendoza’s “Alpha, The Right to Kill,” Devashish Makhjia’s “Bhonsle,” Jafar Panahi’s ‘3 Faces,” Zhang Yimou’s “Shadow,” Nandita Das’ “Manto,” Rahi Anil Brave and Adesh Prasad’s “Tumbbad,” Huang Bo’s “The Island,” Rima Das’ “Bulbul Can Sing,” Ho Wi Ding’s “City of Last Things” and Zhang Wei’s “The Rib.” The section also contains all three of the “Ten Years” projects. “Ten Years Thailand” debuted in Cannes. “Ten Years Taiwan” will have its first screening outside Taiwan. And “Ten Years Japan” will have its world premiere in Busan.

With a Midnight Passion screening of the rebooted “Halloween,” producer Jason Blum is expected to attend the festival.

A new program named Busan Classic has been newly launched. The section is dedicated to films that are historically important.

The 23rd Busan International Film Festival will run October 4, 2018 to October 13, 2018. The Asian Film Market will run October 6, 2018 to October 9, 2018.

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