Magazine article Screen International

BiFan Opens as Mers Scare Fades

Magazine article Screen International

BiFan Opens as Mers Scare Fades

Article excerpt

With South Korea's Mers scare fading into the past, the 19th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (July 16-26) opened today as originally planned.

Director Antoine Bardou-Jacquet was on hand to present opening film Moonwalkers. Starring Ron Perlman and Rupert Grint, the moon landing conspiracy action-comedy sold out in 8 seconds and screened to an enthusiastic audience of around 3,000 people in the Bucheon Gymnasium.

Hong Kong star Simon Yam, who has a retrospective at BiFan this year, was on the red carpet and blowing kisses to a cheering audience inside. He was joined by Korean stars Ahn Sung-ki and Kang Soo-youn. Recently appointed co-director of the Busan film festival, the latter walked the carpet arm in arm with co-director Lee Yong-kwan.

Actor Shin Hyun-joon and actress Lee Da-hee hosted the opening ceremony while Lee Min-ho and Moon Chae-won were presented with this year's Producers' Choice Awards.

The Fantasia Award went to Jeong Woo and Kim Go-eun. The It Star Award went to Oh Dal Soo who gave a shout out to The Thieves colleague Yam.

Jury onboard

Also on hand were the event's Bucheon Choice feature competition jury comprising actress Lee Jung Hyun (Juvenile Offender), filmmaker Alexandre O. Philippe (The Life And Times Of Paul The Psychic Octopus), critic Richard Kuipers, director Kim Tae Kyun (Crossing) and producer Pablo Guisa Koestinger (Here Comes The Devil).

Per concerns over Mers, BiFan festival consultant and Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) managing director Jongsuk Thomas Nam told ScreenDaily: "Initially, we had to consider either downsizing or delaying the festival to later dates. Having the opening and closing ceremonies at Bucheon City Hall park and cancelling receptions. Thankfully, everything's back to the original plan and it seems it was the right decision to insist upon having the original plan [move] ahead. …

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