[EDITORIALS]Busan’s star performanceThe 8th Pusan International Film Festival is thriving. This year the event is so popular that most of the 243 movies from 61 countries were sold out in a few hours on opening day.
Among the estimated 200,000 visitors to the film festival many traveled from neighboring countries, such as China and Japan, and others from as far away as Europe and Australia.
Volunteers at the airport in Busan and at the city’s hotels and movie theaters are working to improve the event. All of this is evidence of the stature of the Pusan International Film Festival.
The festival has a short history of eight years, but it has transformed Busan. Many municipal governments in Korea have held festivals and cultural exhibitions, but most have failed to attract the interest of the international community or even the interest of Koreans. For that reason the success of the Pusan Film Festival further stands out.
We must not stop here. To further advance the film festival into a first class event, we must intensify our efforts.
First, we need to establish an identity. It is not enough that the Pusan Film Festival focuses mostly on Asian movies. From now on the festival should focus on artistic values. Only then will the Pusan International Film Festival outrun the competing film events from other Asian countries.
Second, the Pusan Film Festival needs its own exclusive space. Without exclusive movie theaters, improvement of the festival’s popularity may be hindered. The government has asked the National Assembly for 4 billion won ($3.5 million) to build a theater for the festival. The proposal is urgent.
Third, the executive committee of the Pusan Film Festival needs to secure its stability by turning the committee into a private foundation. The film festival will improve only if it has stable operations that is not under the influence of one individual.
The Busan government and the central government should cooperate so the Pusan International Film Festival stands shoulder to shoulder with the four major film festivals at Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Montreal.