Asia's most prestigious film festival, the fifteenth Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) raised its curtains Thursday night in Korea's southeastern port city of Busan. Both domestic and international actors, actresses, and filmmakers attended the festival, such as Oliver Stone of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and South Korean-dubbed "Queen of Cannes" Jeon De-yeon.
Unlike previous Pusan festivals, this year's celebration of cinema featured 307 films from 67 countries with a record number of international and world premieres. Also noteworthy, festival director Kim Dong-ho, who had been at the helm of the festival since its inception, announced his resignation this year.
At this year's PIFF, 13 films are in the New Currents competition for emerging Asian directors. The jury to decide the prize is being headed by Japanese costume designer Wada Emi, who won an Oscar for her work on Akira Kurosawa's Ran.
Special programs have also been arranged to shed light on Kurdish cinema, along with retrospectives on South Korean cinema and tributes to its stars. The festival's annual Asian Film Academy will be led this year by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, who won the Palme D'Or at Cannes in 1997 with his critically-acclaimed Taste of Cherry.
PIFF has notably appealed to young people, both in terms of the large youthful audience it attracts and through its efforts to develop and promote young talent. In 1999, the Pusan Promotion Plan was established to connect new directors to funding sources.
The festival will last through October 15, 2010. To keep up with all the news from PIFF, click here.