Busan film festival to kick off with ‘Paradise in Service’

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BUSAN, Oct. 2 Asia’s top film festival will kick off in South Korea’s largest port city of Busan on Thursday night with a Taiwanese drama about a boy who serves his military service in a frontline military brothel in Taiwan.

The world premiere of “Paradise in Service” will launch this year’s 10-day event for the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).

The fourth feature film by acclaimed Taiwanese filmmaker Chen-Zer Doze Niu is one of the 314 titles from 79 countries up for screening in the 19th edition of the festival. The number of movies to be screened this year is 15 more than last year’s 299.

The festival will close on Oct. 11 with “Gangster Pay Day,” a Hong Kong comedy-action flick about the boss of a gang ring who has feelings for his subordinate’s lover, directed by Chinese filmmaker Lee Bo-cheung.

Among the international guests to attend the festival are Chinese filmmakers Ann Hui, Peter Chan, and Zhang Yimou, Hungarian director Bela Tarr and Chinese actress Tang Wei.

Among Koreans, directors Bong Joon-ho and Im Kwon-taek, actor Ahn Sung-ki and actress Moon So-ri will visit Busan for the festival.

In addition to the 314 titles invited, the festival will present special programs highlighting works by South Korean filmmaker Chung Jin-woo–who led a wave of eroticism in the Korean film industry in 70s and 80s–Turkish indie films and the power of Georgian women filmmakers.

Founded in 1996, the BIFF has grown into Asia’s largest film festival.