BIFF 2011 Announces its Opening Lineup

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Editors Note: Zhang Ziyi has been taken off the guest list of the official invitees list. – Busan Haps
 
BUSAN, South Korea – A South Korean romance about a former boxer and a woman slowly going blind will open this year's edition of the Busan International Film Festival. The festival will open with South Korean director Song Il-gon's "Always" featuring Korean heartthrob So Ji-sub. The closing film is "Chronicle of my Mother" by Japanese director Masato Harada.
 

 South Korean director Song Il-gon's "Always" featuring Korean heartthrob So Ji-sub
 
Famed French director Luc Besson will be making an appearance at this year’s festival, which will feature over 300 movies from 70 countries. He will be showing “The Lady”, an inspirational film about Aung San Suu Kyi’s amazing fight for peace and events surrounding her life.

 
Two-time Cannes Film Festival Winner Isabelle Huppert will also be making an appearance at the festival, where she will be honored with the annual Hand Printing ceremony. Also included this year are Besson, Korean director Kim Ki-duk and Hong Kong director Yonfan for their contributions to film. Other headliners include Chinese actresses BingBing FanZhang Ziyi and Malaysian-born Michelle Yeoh.

 

 

Guide to BIFF 2011

The 16th version of the Busan International Film Festival is nearing its return, and we at Busan Haps are here to give you everything you need to know about what’s going on at the festival.  From ticket information, movie reviews, to where and what to see around the festival, we’ve got you covered.

This year also marks a few changes to the festival, mainly its new venue, as well as a new Director after Kim Dong-ho stepped down after 15 years last fall. This year, the reigns have been passed to new Festival Director Lee Yong-kwan, one of the festivals founding members. The festival has also been renamed the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) to coincide with the city’s official name change back in 2000.

The biggest change this year will be the festivals move to the brand new state-of-the art Busan Cinema Center in Centum City. The new 40,000 square meter home was designed by Austria’s Coop Himmelb(l)au, and the concept envisions an Urban Plaza of four overlapping zones including an Urban Valley, a Red Carpet zone, the Walk of Fame and the BIFF Canal Park. The zones are formed by highly recognizable building objects housing the project functions. These objects include the Cinema Mountain, the BIFF Hill, the concourse Double Cone and the outdoor amphitheatre bowl. Roof elements acting as a Virtual Sky connect the objects and zones into a continuous, multi-functional public urban space. The ceiling will also be covered with 42,000 LED lights, illuminating the sky with its 85-meter-long and 62-meter-wide roof, the world’s longest. The complex will also go by the nickname Dureraum, which means "a place where everyone can gather and enjoy themselves". The center will be used during the year as a cultural space as well.

 

 
Every year, around 200,000 film aficionados descend upon the city to the nine-day movie extravaganza. This year promises to be bigger and better, and we’ll keep you updated as the information comes in on the latest happenings on the festival.
 
The Busan Haps Guide to BIFF will be launched this weekend, so stay tuned for all the information you need on the festival!
 

Jeff Liebsch has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Eurobasket, Tribal Football and Yonhap News. He can be followed on Twitter at @chevybusan.

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