Pusan International Film Fest

PIFF is one of the biggest film festivals Asia has ever seen. It’s on par with most popular film fests of the world such as Cannes and Toronto, yet I had never known this till I attended this film fest this year for the very first time.

This event is what puts Busan on the international map. This year it took place from October 8-18th and many guest appearances were had, including Josh Hartnett. The screenings take place in 2 main areas of Busan: Haeundae and Nampodong. Because I live right smack in the middle of the Haeundae action I was able to attend 4 screenings, 2 of which I was able to meet the director and the cast.

This was my first time attending a film festival even though I am quite the film fanatic. This is partly due to the fact that in Toronto it is very expensive for screening tickets along with long line-ups. Tickets for PIFF are 5,000 won (less than $5) and can be bought about 2 weeks in advance BUT the popular movies of course sell-out in about an hour. You can still wait on the day of screening since they reserve 20% of the tickets, and if you are a real film junkie, then you WILL watch the movies you really want to.
More than 300 films were screened so there were plenty of options, but at the same time this selection can also be overwhelming. Most of the featured films were Asian, promoting the Asian film scene which we don’t get most of in North America so it is quite refreshing. I got a chance to see a Bollywood movie, a Korean movie, a Japanese-Korean documentary and a Bangladeshi movie.

Reviews for the films I saw can be found at my personal blog:
Livejournal – Click HERE!

The Haeundae beach area fills up yet again with people from all over (not just Korea) with music and performances taking place as well. After beach season ends in August, this is the only time you would see it be busy again until the summer.
It’s really awesome to see such a huge event take place so close to (my new) home. I really look forward to next year and hopefully being able to catch more films.


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