Magazine article Screen International

Busan's New Co-Director Kang Soo-Youn Talks Censorship Controversy

Magazine article Screen International

Busan's New Co-Director Kang Soo-Youn Talks Censorship Controversy

Article excerpt

Putting to rest industry concerns over the censorship controversy that resulted in this new co-directorship, the iconic Korean actress voiced a categorical determination to keep BIFF's programming independent of censorship.

Having been on the BIFF executive committee since 1998, Kang said: "The Busan film festival from its first edition has been experiencing events like that.

"There have been filmmakers who had to go into exile because of their own country's politics and there are filmmakers that had their films banned.

"Whether they were affected by politics, economics, distribution or censorship, the Busan film festival showed these directors' films regardless, and this is how the festival has gotten to its 20th edition.

"It is no longer just a Korean film festival. It is the largest film festival in Asia and one that the world pays attention to. We keep showing films regardless of any sort of political censorship or other country's legal actions. This is something we've done every year, and will continue to do.

"Last year, we had a more serious and extreme situation than ever before, but we have always been able to get through that sort of thing and always will."

Is it over?

Lee said that in his talks with mayor Seo Byeong-soo and at a dinner with film industry professionals, it was understood that the power struggle between City Hall and the festival it helps to fund has been put behind them.

"It's not just fortunate that director Kang Soo-youn has joined us. I feel like we've gained 1,000 troops and 10,000 horses," he said.

"I am thankful to her for accepting the position and to everyone who has been concerned and interested in our situation. …

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