Coronavirus outbreak pushes Busan International Film Festival 2020 by two weeks

The Busan International Film Festival will be reduced to a fraction of its usual scale with several sections moved online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Agence France-Presse September 15, 2020 13:49:58 IST
Coronavirus outbreak pushes Busan International Film Festival 2020 by two weeks

The Busan International Film Festival, Asia's biggest gathering of its kind, will be reduced to a fraction of its usual scale with several sections moved online because of the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said Monday.

The event normally sees a host of stars and industry figures from across Asia and further afield, including some from Hollywood, descend on the South Korean port city for 10 days of critical consideration and financial deal-making.

But South Korea — which largely overcame an early coronavirus surge with extensive tracing and testing — has seen several clusters in recent weeks, raising concerns of a second wave and prompting authorities to tighten social distancing measures last month.

Those curbs are being temporarily eased in the greater Seoul area, officials announced at the weekend, but Busan organisers said they had no choice but to cut back on the festival — which will also be delayed by two weeks.

"We agonised over whether we should go ahead with hosting the event," festival chairman Lee Yong-kwan told reporters.

And he hinted that it could still be cancelled altogether if Korea's traditional Chuseok harvest festival triggers a new surge in infections.

"There could be a situation in which we won't be able to host the event," he said.

Originally set for early October, organisers said it will be pushed back to 21-30 October and gave details of the cutbacks in a statement.

"All outdoor events are cancelled, including the opening and closing ceremonies," they said, "in order to prevent crowds from gathering".

"There will be no international invitations, nor will there be any receptions or parties hosted to provide networking opportunities for film industry professionals."

A total of 192 films from 68 countries will still be shown, but each movie will only be screened once, compared with two or three times last year.

All judging for the festival's prestigious awards will take place online, as will its film and project markets, and discussion forum.

The multi-director anthology Septet: The Story of Hong Kong, which pays tribute to the territory ranging from the 1950s to the present day, will open the festival.

The closing film will be Japanese director Kotaro Tamura's animated movie Josee, the Tiger and the Fish, centred on a reclusive, disabled young woman.

Updated Date:

also read

FIFA open disciplinary action against Argentina, Brazil over chaotic suspension of World Cup Qualifier
Sports

FIFA open disciplinary action against Argentina, Brazil over chaotic suspension of World Cup Qualifier

FIFA did not specify which regulations the football federations from Argentina and Brazil were being investigated for breaching.

Japan withdraw from hosting FIFA Club World Cup in December
Sports

Japan withdraw from hosting FIFA Club World Cup in December

The Club World Cup was last held in Japan in 2016, and the JFA had planned to host the 2021 edition as part of its 100th anniversary celebrations.

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain on how they achieved that chemistry in Scenes From A Marriage
Entertainment

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain on how they achieved that chemistry in Scenes From A Marriage

“Something connects us that’s stronger than any ideas of character or story or any of that,” says Oscar Isaac on the new HBO show. “There’s something else that’s more about like, a shared existence.”