BIFF is delayed for two weeks and might be canceled
The 25th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), originally scheduled for Oct. 7 to 16, is being pushed back another two weeks and scaled down considerably due to the pandemic.
The festival’s organizing committee held a meeting on Friday afternoon and made the decision that evening. The festival is now scheduled for Oct. 21 to 30, considering the possibility of another spike in coronavirus cases after the Chuseok holidays, which run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.
Offline events which require public gatherings will be canceled, including the opening and closing ceremonies, open panel discussions and outdoor sessions.
The festival will focus only on film screenings, which will be held at the Busan Cinema Center. Other programs, such as Asian Contents & Film Market, Asian Project Market and the BIFF Forum, will take place online.
The festival could still be canceled altogether if social distancing remains at Level 2 or above.
“We are aware that the safety of our citizens should come first, and we will host the festival accordingly to fulfill the BIFF’s purpose and direction,” the BIFF said in a statement.
Specific information about how the film festival is to be conducted this year and the list of invited films will be revealed at an online press conference at 3 p.m. on Monday.
The BIFF, which started in 1996 and is the largest international film festival being held annually in Korea, has never been canceled, although adjustments have been made to the dates before.
BY LEE JAE-LIM [firstname.lastname@example.org]