Magazine article Screen International

Berlin: Leading Industry Figures Show Busan Solidarity

Magazine article Screen International

Berlin: Leading Industry Figures Show Busan Solidarity

Article excerpt

Leading international film industry figures including Venice film festival chief Alberto Barbera, Cannes Critics Week artistic director Charles Tesson and Toronto film festival director Piers Handling attended the #ISupportBIFF event in Berlin yesterday.

The campaign is raising international support for the beleaguered Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), which has been under intense government pressure since it screened controversial documentary The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol in 2014.

Recently, Busan city government filed a criminal lawsuit against BIFF festival director Lee Yong-kwan over minor accounting mistakes and is trying to block his reappointment as festival director this year.

In addition to the international show of support, South Korea's other film festivals, including Jeonju, BiFan, and Seoul International Women's Film Festival, attended the Berlin event and issued a joint statement:

"We are seriously concerned about Busan city government's censorship and their attempt to expel Mr Lee by filing a criminal lawsuit against him, as it is nothing but a political retaliation from central and city government just because BIFF defended their artistic freedom and its role for public good. …

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