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Top K-Movie Directors Lend Their Support To The Embattled Busan International Film Festival

BY Adrienne Stanley | Feb 05, 2016 12:11 PM EST


Leading Korean film directors Bong Joon Ho, Park Chan Wook, and Ryoo Seung Wan demonstrated their support for independence at the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) 

On February 5, the domestic outlet Joy News published reported the addition of the top K-movie auteurs to the #ISUPPORTBIFF movement.

The acclaimed directors, who are actively involved with BIFF and its organizing committee participated in a silent protest, where members of the creative community gathered to express their concerns regarding Busan City Council, which placed pressure on BIFF director Lee Yong Kwon, following his decision to screen "The Truth Will Not Sink With Sewol."  

"The Truth Will Not Sink With Sewol" is a controversial 2015 documentary that was the first film to analyze the circumstances surrounding the tragic April 2014 accident, which led to the deaths of 300 passengers. The majority of the casualties were school children and teens. 

"Shot in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the documentary's suggestion that government incompetence was partly to blame for the tragedy angered local Busan officials," said a representative for Rotterdam Film Festival spokesperson, Melanie Goodfellow, in an English-language treatise written in support of BIFF.  

Goodfellow continued to provide an explanation regarding the circumstances which have led to severe political backlash ranging from decreased funding for the festival, which is one of the preeminent events in Asian film to alleged financial investigations surrounding Lee Yong Kwon. 

"Busan City Municipality demanded BIFF to pull the film from the program after it was announced it would screen in the 2015 edition," said Goodfellow.  "Lee refused. Since then, he has been under constant pressure to quit as director of the festival." 

In addition to support from top Korean directors, Busan International Film Festival has received words of encouragement from leading members of the global cinematographic community. 

Bong Joon Ho continues to solidify his blockbuster Netflix-backed project, "Okja," as the esteemed director maintains the international momentum sustained by his French-Korean dystopian production, "Snowpiercer." 

Ryoo Seung Wan is following the meteoric run of his 2015 hit, "Veteran," with "Battleship," a monolithic war flick starring Hwang Jung Min, Song Joong Ki, and So Ji Sub. 

Park Chan Wook is slated to direct an adaptation of the Japanese science-fiction tome, "Genocidal Organ."

Meanwhile, the 2016 Busan International Film Festival is slated for October 6 through 15. 

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