Care and feeding of a film festivalSeven years ago, when I was working as a magazine editor, I went to Busan to attend the international film festival, the first of its kind in Korea. The road from the airport to downtown was under construction, and the heavily congested traffic made me miss the opening ceremony. With only a few, cranky movie stars from Hong Kong in sight, most events were packed but not sold-out. And, no one remembers Korean movies as anything special at that time.
Since then, Korean films have emerged as the new, major force in Asian cinema. And the Busan film festival has improved a great deal ?sleek streets, efficient volunteers, convenient system for the press, not to mention the impressive VIP list and sold-out screenings via online sales.
To come this far, the co-founder and festival director, Kim Dong-ho, says he has been visiting numerous film festivals since the late '80s. What exactly does he do? He takes pictures using two cameras, a digital and a camcorder -- one in each hand. "Smile!" -- and he makes friends all over the world.