Considering that most film festivals, large or small, aspire to one day be the world’s largest, the recent announcement that this year’s Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) seeks to cut down on exposure seems counter-intuitive.
Obviously, BIFF organizers want exposure, just not the kind that comes in the form of loose-fitting, low cut or transparent gowns worn by some Korean actresses over the past few years.
In short, please leave your skimpy outfits at home, ladies.
In what some might view as a tad puritanical, BIFF organizers announced that they will keep an eye on what female celebrities wear during the festival October 2-11. While most of the eye-catching gowns over the past few years have been on the red carpet, officials have decided to cancel the annual agency-sponsored “Blue Carpet” event, a venue for photo-ops of up-and-comers.
The reason for the Blue Carpet cancelation, and stepped up monitoring of the red, was packaged in a nice bit of PR prose saying it’s not simply about cutting out the sexy.
“We’ve decided to switch the atmosphere in order to shift the spotlight to the directors, actors and actresses instead of some female celebrities who are new and receive more attention because of their revealing dresses,” said BIFF public relations manager Kim Jung-yoon.
Organizer’s concerns spring forth from Kang Han-na, Han Su-ah and Oh In-hye, three Korean actresses (top-tier students of the Miley Cyrus school of marketing) who donned revealing red carpet attire that made them instant viral sensations.
This might strike some as overdone, considering the festival runs over 300 films, celebrity interviews and press conferences for 10 days straight, while the photo-ops and public ogling account for little more than a scattered few hours.
Whether this year’s attendees will test BIFF’s heightened sense of what is or isn’t appropriate remains to be seen. According to Kim, while they can cancel agency events like the Blue Carpet photo-op, they have little power over what happens on the red carpet–where the most revealing gowns have traditionally appeared.
“We can’t dictate to participants what to wear or what not to wear.”