The Busan International Film Festival’s plans for outdoor populist events look set to be blown sideways – literally – again this year.
With the impending arrival of Typhoon Kong-Rey, Busan organizers have taken the precaution of moving some of the outdoor greetings, hand printing, and open talk events away from the BIFF Village location in Haeundae Beach, over to the Busan Cinema Center and Dureraum Square.
According to the weather forecasters, Kong-rey will move across the Ryukyu Islands and the East China Sea Thursday and Friday, then turn right, moving towards the vicinity of the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. It will be closest to Busan around mid-morning on Saturday 6 Oct.
The Korean Meteorological Administration and the Hong Kong Observatory issue typhoon probability warnings. These suggests that Kong Rey has an 80-90% chance of a direct hit on Busan.
The good news for the festival and weekend visitors is that the storm has been downgraded from “super typhoon” status, to merely that of a “typhoon.” By Saturday, it may be further downgraded to severe tropical storm.
The bad news is that heavy rains are still likely. And maximum sustained winds near the center are forecast as being 110 km/ h.
It would not be the first time that a typhoon has blown its way into the festival headlines. Two years ago, in 2016, Typhoon Chaba, hit the city one day before the festival started. It blew away the BIFF Village structures in Haeundae and damaged buildings. The festival was forced to shift more than 20 hand printing ceremonies, open air film conferences and fan events.
In 2003, Typhoon Maemi caused a cruise ship to overturn. The huge boat was thrown on to its side and beached near to where the Park Hyatt and upmarket condominiums now stand.