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26th Busan International Film Festival: Ceremony Date, Indian Films Premiere & More

The Busan International Film Festival, which is annually organized in Haeundae-gu, Busan (also Pusan), South Korea, is one of a kind film festival in Asia. The first festival was organized from 13 to 21 September 1996 and it was also Korea’s first international film festival.

Every year Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) aims to introduce new films and first-time directors, especially those from Asian countries. Another significant thing about this festival is how it appeals to the young generation, by the way, it attracts a largely youthful audience and how it promotes young talent.

The Pusan Promotion Plan was established in 1999 to connect new directors to funding sources. During the 16th BIFF festival in 2011, the festival moved to the Busan Cinema Centre in Centum City. The Busan Cinema Center is worth USD 150 million and it found its design by Austria -based architecture collective Coop Himmelblau.

The Cinema Center covers about 30,000 m², which includes an outdoor theatre with 4000 seats; an LED-covered roof with indoor screens; a media center; archive space; and conference rooms; where the festival includes industry forums and educational activities.

For their first edition in 1996 they invited 169 films from 31 countries, and this year (BIFF 2021), 223 films from 70 countries have been invited. The festival’s opening film would be  Heaven: To The Land Of Happiness by Im Sang-Soo and the closing film would be Anita by Longman Leung. Song Joong Ki and Park So Dam have been declared as hosts of the 26th Busan International Film festival.

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 A proud moment for Indian Cinema

A few Indian films are set for their world premiere on BIFF, This year the festival is going to be held from Oct 6 to Oct 15.

To begin with, Shoojit Sircar’s ‘Deep 6’, featuring actors Tillotama Shome and Chandan Roy Sanyal, is an extraordinary story of an ordinary woman. The film will be screened in ‘Out Of Competition section’.

Yet another Indian film to be premiered is the award-winning director, Aparna Sen’s ‘The Rapist’, where the story of three protagonists is entwined amid a horrifying incident. The film features Konkana Sen and Arjun Rampal.

Kannada cinema’s director Natesh Hegde’s maiden film ‘Pedro’ is all set to premiere at BIFF, featured under the ‘new currents’ section. The film stars Hegde’s own father Gopal Hegde. The story revolves around a lonesome, middle-aged electrician living in a forest village.

Having spent his years in Sirsi of Karnataka, Natesh has utilized his personal thoughts to coin the idea. Apart from this, Rajdeep Paul and Sarmistha Maiti’s Bengali film ‘Kalkokkho’ will also be premiered under the ‘new currents’ section. 

Deep 6

Directed by Madhuja Mukherjee and produced by Shoojit and Ronnie of Rising Sun Private ltd, Avik Mukhopadhyay, and Editfx studios, ‘Deep 6’ revolves around various themes like death, despair, and love. The movie is set in Kolkata in the year 2011.

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It stars Tillotama Shome as the lead actress protagonist Mitul and also Sumeet Thakur, Maya Ghosh, Sumanta Mukherjee, and Soumitra Chatterjee posthumously.

Madhuja calls the movie dual-natured which is portrayed from a woman’s point of view. Where on one hand, it is about only women, but on the other hand, it involves vulnerabilities and neighborhoods in the city. 

The Rapist

Produced by Applause Entertainment, a Quest Films Pvt. Ltd. production, the film features Konkona Sen Sharma, Arjun Rampal and Tanmay Dhanania. The film documents the journey of three protagonists, whose lives are intertwined because of one horrific incident. 


This Kannada movie revolves around the life of an electrician named Pedro living in a forest village deceptively and is entwined in a difficult situation. Busan Festival website states, “In addition to the vivid acting by non-professional actors, the film captures a moment in which every part of the forest transforms cinematically inside the frame”.

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‘Kalkokkho’ is set in the middle of a pandemic and revolves around an adept doctor and in order to ensure the safety of her family, a young woman takes him as a hostage. Captivated by three women in a desolate house — his abductor, a young girl, and an amnesic old woman — the doctor realizes that he could be trapped not only in space, but also in time. The makers of the film call it an experience of ‘time loop’.

Bangladeshi Movies to be Premiered at BIFF

The festival will also premiere three Bangladeshi films, namely, Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s ‘Rehana Maryam Noor’, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s ‘No land’s man’, and Mohammad Rabby Mridha’s ‘Paayer Tolay Mati Nai’.

Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki is also nominated for the Kim Jiseok Award for “No Land′s Man” starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The drama revolves around crimes based on race, religion, and nationality, features music by AR Rahman.

One of the most significant film festivals in Asia

The Busan International Film Festival is filled with a large number of audience members every year, as the count exceeds more than 220,000.

They are pure movie geeks, love watching films and delving into long movie discussions, more than viewers at any other film festival. And this is one of the reasons why the Busan International Film Festival is tagged as “the world’s most exuberant film festival.”

The festival will also honor Im Kwon-taek as the Asian filmmaker of the year award, followed by Lee Choon-Yun being honored with the Korean Cinema Award.

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