BUSAN, South Korea – The Pusan International Film Festival is no longer – sort of. On Feb 24th, The Pusan International Film Festival committee confirmed the changes of the official name and the main venue of the festival to the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).
Busan, which officially changed its name in 2000, maintained the identity of Pusan for its film festival, though many visitors, tourists and film insiders often misunderstood that they were in a different city. Since the government switched to a new Romanization system, events such as the World Cup and the Asian Games back in 2002, have caused many foreigners around the country to ponder: where exactly am I? Busan or Pusan? Kyungju, Kyeongju, Gyeongju, or Gyung-ju?
To avoid the confusion as well as lose subsidies if the name didn’t change, the festival committee has decided to unite all the related names of the festival, such as event and facilities with the name of the city.
New name changes to the festival include:
- Pusan International Film Festival to Busan International Film Festival
- Cinematheque Pusan to Cinematheque Busan
- Pusan Promotion Plan to Asian Project Market
- The new cultural complex: Busan Cinema Center
- The official website address: www.piff.org to www.biff.kr
This year, the opening ceremony of the festival will take place at the Busan Cinema Center, which will be completed on September 2011. Also, the Asian Film Market previously held at Haeundae will be moving to BEXCO, the Busan Exhibition Convention Center at Centum City.
Busan Cinema Center will consist of four large screening venues including a multi-functional theater (with a seating capacity of 833), a 4000 seat outdoor screening facility, the Cinematheque Busan, and the festival’s main office. It will be exclusive venues for the screenings and events during the festival, and the cultural complex of Busan City, as well as a landmark for Korean film industry and culture, with a variety of programs and events all the year round.
The 16th Pusan International Film Festival also unveiled this year’s official poster, which is based on the photo ‘The Wall’ taken by the world-renowned film director Abbas Kiarostami and designed by the festival art director, Choi Soondae.
The 16th Busan International Film Festival is from Thursday, October 6th to Friday, October 14th and the Asian Film Market and Asian Project Market are from Monday, October 10th to Thursday, October 13th.
Oliver Stone speaking at PIFF 2010