Female directors' works to bookend Busan Film Festival

Moon Geun Young (above) stars in Glass Garden.
Moon Geun Young (above) stars in Glass Garden.PHOTO: BUSAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Sylvia Chang (far left) and Lang Yueting in Love Education.
Sylvia Chang (far left) and Lang Yueting in Love Education.PHOTO: BUSAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

SEOUL • For the first time in its 22-year history, the Busan International Film Festival will open and close with works by female directors - South Korea's Shin Su Won and Taiwan's Sylvia Chang.

South Korea's Glass Garden, directed by Shin and starring actress Moon Geun Young, is set to open the festival, which will run in the south-eastern port city of Busan from Oct 12 to 21.

The film, straddling fantasy and reality, features Moon as a scientist who studies blood. After being betrayed by a lover, she seeks refuge in a secluded forest where she meets an ostracised novelist. He makes a shocking discovery there. "It was a character that I had not come across before," said Moon at a press conference in central Seoul on Monday.

Shin directed Pluto (2013), which received a special mention at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The closing film is Love Education by Chang, featuring three women from different generations and tracing women's history in China.

A total of 298 films from 75 countries will be screened this year, with 100 world premieres and 29 international premieres. Actors Jang Dong Gun and Kim Ha Neul will emcee the opening ceremony.

A large selection of this year's works are from China and Japan. Ten works - from South Korea, India, China, Hong Kong, Iran and Taiwan - will be screening in New Currents, the festival's competition for new Asian directors.

American director Darren Aronofsky and actress Jennifer Lawrence are among the international names attending the event, which is Asia's premier film festival. The two will be in Busan for their film Mother!.

American film-maker Oliver Stone is heading the competition jury, whose members include French cinematographer Agnes Godard and Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2017, with the headline 'Female directors' works to bookend Busan Film Festival'. Subscribe