Magazine article Screen International

Busan Film Festival Reinstates Lee Yong-Kwan, Jay Jeon

Magazine article Screen International

Busan Film Festival Reinstates Lee Yong-Kwan, Jay Jeon

Article excerpt

The appointments follow years of turmoil and political pressure.

Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has appointed former festival director Lee Yong-kwan as its new chairman, along with former deputy director and Asian Film Market head Jay Jeon as its new festival director.

The appointments follow years of turmoil and political pressure endured by the festival after it screened The Truth Will Not Sink With Sewol in 2014. The documentary was critical of how former president Park Geun-hye’s government handled the Sewol ferry disaster in which hundreds were killed.

Lee and Jeon, along with two former secretaries general, were prosecuted for mishandling funds in 2016 in what was widely seen as a reprisal against BIFF for screening the film despite the conservative government’s request that it be cancelled. Busan City mayor Suh Byung-soo had already urged Lee to resign, and the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), a governmental agency, cut the festival’s funding. …

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