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Korea’s BiFan Fantasy Festival to Focus on Sci-Fi

Sci-fi will be center stage at South Korea’s Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, Asia’s largest genre film event. The ten-day film festival will run from Jun. 27 through Jul. 7.

Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” inspired the festival’s official artwork this year. The film will also play in special program ‘Robots: Future Beyond the Human Race’ along with Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” and Fred M. Wilcox’s “Forbidden Planet.”

The festival opens, a few weeks earlier than its traditional mid-July slot, with the Asian premiere of Edgar Nito’s “The Gasoline Thieves.” Korean period mystery drama “The 12th Suspect” by Ko Myoung-sung will close the festival, which packs in 288 films from 49 countries.

BiFan has decided to gear itself for the coming 100 years of Korean cinema, instead of looking back on the past 100 years. We will take the head in nurturing the next NaWoon-gyu, Kim Ki-young, Yu Hyun-mok, Im Kwon-taek and Bong Joon-ho,” said festival director Shin Chul at a launch event in Seoul on Thursday.

Nevertheless, the festival offers a retrospective section ‘A Crazy Chronicle of Korean Genre Cinema’ tracing the roots of Korean genre films. The section includes Park Chan-wook’s 1997 comedy “Trio,” Kim Tae-yong and Min Kyu-dong’s high school horror “Memento Mori,” and Kim Jee-woon’s stylish family horror “A Tale of Two Sisters.”

Other program themes include a focus on Korean actress Kim Hye-soo (“Default”), women in comedy, and one called ‘The Earth is Mine: Original Beastly Creatures.

BiFan’s industry sidebar, B.I.G’s project market NAFF presents a total of 19 genre projects. These include co-production “Hana,” a horror drama produced by Eric Khoo, Huang Juanxiang and Lee Jun-sang; China-Korea co-production “Hanging Island” produced by Deng Cilin; Indian horror “Sarah” produced by Mathivanan Rajendran; and the Adolfo Alix Jr.’s Filipino mystery horror “The Time that Remains.”

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