Credits roll on 24th edition of BIFF

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Credits roll on 24th edition of BIFF

The 24th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) came to a close on Saturday, successfully keeping up with changing market trends and staying afloat after years of setbacks.

This year’s BIFF screened 300 films from 85 countries and drew a total of 189,115 attendees, slightly down from the previous year’s 195,081, according to organizers. Along with the opening film, “The Horse Thieves. Roads of Time,” 118 films had their world premiere at BIFF.

The top awards in the main competition category, the New Currents Award, went to “Rom” by Vietnamese director Tran Thanh Huy and “Haifa Street” by Iraqi filmmaker Mohanad Hayal.

“Rom,” the director’s debut, is the story of a boy who tries to raise money to find out where his parents are after they abandoned him. It depicts a world of desire on the back streets of buzzing metropolitan Saigon.

“The use of real, live locations impressed the jury greatly, and the open ending was very satisfying,” the jurors, led by British director Mike Figgis, said in a statement.

Korean actor Kim Jun-hyung and actress Mun Hye-in brought home the Actor & Actress of the Year Award for their roles in “Education.”

“By discovering and introducing talented directors and works from areas that are alienated from the world stage, such as Vietnam and Pakistan, the growth potential of Asian films has been enhanced,” BIFF organizers said.

They said the expanded horizon of the regional film industry helped the Asian Film Market, a marketplace for production houses and film investors, transform itself into a total content market.

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