South Korea’s Busan Film Festival adds streaming showcase – The Hollywood Reporter


The Busan International Film Festival, Asia’s premier film event, hosts the relentless rise of premium TV series produced for streaming services. The 26th edition of the event will feature the first ‘on-screen section’, showcasing “a highly anticipated drama series on streaming platforms.”

“As the BIFF welcomes not only traditional theatrical releases but also OTT drama series with the new addition of the on-screen section, it is able to present to the public more diverse and better works, including the fan lineup is widening, ”the festival said in a statement.

So far, the on-screen section is simply a platform rather than a competition for the streaming series. But all new shows on display at the festival will be either world premieres or Asian premieres.

In a blow to the US streaming giants, the section’s first edition will feature just three series – two from Netflix and one from HBO.

Netflix’s highly anticipated supernatural thriller series Hell, by Korean director Yeon Sang-ho (Train to Busan), will make its Asian premiere at BIFF after being screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Based on a popular Korean webtoon co-created by Yeon, the series tells the story of supernatural events in which people are suddenly given hellish condemnation, prompting the creation of a religious group called the New Truth Church, which wins an audience in the midst of chaos. The series stars Yoo Ah-in, Park Jeong-min, Kim Hyun-joo, Won Jin-a, Yang Ik-june, Kim Do-yoon, Kim Sin-rock, Ryu Kyung-soo and Lee Re.

Netflix’s second series to bow to Busan will be My name by Kim Jin-min, whose previous Netflix series Extracurricular attracted a strong regional clientele. Making its world premiere at the festival, the series is a black action with a female-led narrative following a protagonist (played by Han So-hee), who infiltrates the police using a fake name to reveal the secret of her death. father and to seek revenge. Co-starring are Park Hee-soon, Ahn Bo-hyun, Kim Sang-ho, Lee Hak-ju and Jang Yull.

HBO Asia’s contribution to the new section is Prohibited, co-directed by Thai director Anucha Boonyawatana, winner of the Busan Kim Jiseok Prize in 2017; and Korean-American director Josh Kim, who is the 2015 film How to win the ladies (every time), was the best international film submitted by Thailand to the Oscars that year. A twisted horror, Forbidden tells the story of four friends who travel from Bangkok to a remote mountain village for one of their father’s funeral, where supernatural events take place. The show stars Thai actor-singer Kritsanapoom Pibulsonggram. The screening in Busan will be the world premiere of the show.

The Busan International Film Festival runs from October 6 to 15. Organizers have yet to announce to what extent the festival will be a physical event or an online function.

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