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25th Busan International Film Festival opens under social distancing measures Updated: 2020-10-21 17:20:55 KST

It's been scaled down sharply and pushed back by two weeks, BUT, the 25th Busan International Film Festival is kicking off as we speak.
It's creating a new model for film festivals in pandemic times with strict virus restrictions.
Our Kim Bokyung is live on site.

Hi, Conn-young, right now I'm at Busan Cinema Center where most of the films are being screened.
The festival kicked off starting today, and will run until October 30th.
Usually, there are red carpets with lots of celebrities and bustling crowds, but due to COVID-19, this year's BIFF has been drastically scaled down.
None of outdoor events that would attract the crowds are taking place, including the opening and closing ceremonies.
Even the press are unable to cover every corner of the festival this year.
Social distancing measures are being strictly followed, with only 25-percent of the seats in theaters available.
Films are only screened once in six theaters, and visitors can purchase tickets only through the official BIFF website or the mobile application.
But directors are still encouraging fans to watch the movies.

"I'm especially proud of this year's BIFF for coming to audiences without change."

"Although we live in difficult times, I do not believe we will stay disconnected like this. Let's take heart."

Though scaled down, It's still great that the film festival is taking place. As there aren't many special events, I heard this year's BIFF is more focused on "presenting the movies". Is that right?

That's right. This year, a total of 192 films from 68 countries will be screened. Right behind me is the outdoor cinema where the opening film "Septet: The Story of Hong Kong," an omnibus by seven legendary Hong Kong filmmakers is about to start.
The anthology shows Hong Kong from 1950s to the present day.
The closing film is "Josee, the Tiger and the Fish", based on a short story of the same title.
It was made into a movie in 2003, but this animated version takes a fresh approach to the Japanese love story.
Although there are fewer screenings than last year, the program director says there is more to look forward to. Take a listen.

"We have selected sensational and important movies, all of them like jewels, so audiences will be satisfied. Adding to that are, 23 official Cannes-selected movies that could not be shown as Cannes wasn't held this year."

Those include "Minari" which won a prize at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
That's all from me for now, but I will bring you more on BIFF throughout this week. Back to you, Conn-young.
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