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sewol truth

Busan Mayor Wants Controversial BIFF Film Canceled

The mayor of Busan, Seo Byung-soo, is at odds with the Busan International Film Festival committee over the screening of the independent movie “The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol”, which is connected to the Sewol Ferry accident.

With the Busan International Film Festival set to begin in a week, a controversial film screening at this year’s BIFF is taking center stage as Busan mayor Seo Byung-soo expressed opposing views on the screening of the movie “The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol” at this year’s Busan International Film Festival. 

The 85-minute documentary film, co-directed by journalist Lee Sang-ho and journalist/filmmaker Ahn Hae-ryong has scheduled screenings which discusses a particular piece of diving equipment, a diving bell, which might have saved lives in the largely failed rescue attempt of the Sewol Ferry which caused 304 people to lose their life, the majority of them high school students. The film depicts this as part of a clash between public and private sectors according to Variety.

Seo, also the chairman of the organizing committee of Busan International Film Festival, said that the movie may harm political neutrality and is not advisable for the growth of the film festival through a telephone interview with the press.

“I don’t think screening something that can potentially feed political prejudice to the general public is good for the festival,” he said.

A group of Sewol victims family are also opposed to the movie and asked the festival organizers to cancel the screenings in a press statement today.

Ha Tae-kyung, a Saenuri party lawmaker in Haeundae, also said that the screening of the movie will cause families of the Sewol Ferry victims to grieve twice and should be canceled, while also demanding an apology from BIFF programmers.

The film is set to screen October 6th and 10th, and tickets are sold out for both screenings. Organizers fear the cancelation could tarnish the image of the festival, as no films have ever been canceled at the 19-year festival.


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About Jeff Liebsch

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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