x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Busan film festival spotlights Asian cinema

The Hong Kong action movie Cold War and the Bangladeshi film Television will open and close this year's festival.

A Hong Kong action-thriller and a rural drama from Bangladesh will open and close Asia's top film festival next month. Korean films have typically bookended the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), but organisers of the 17th annual event said they were keen to underline the diversity of Asian cinema.

The October 4-13 festival will feature 304 movies from 75 countries. Launched in 1996, the festival has developed into the largest of its kind in Asia with a focus on discovering new movies and first-time directors. More than 90 of the films being screened in the southern South Korean city of Busan will be world premieres.

Among them is the Hong Kong police action movie Cold War, also the festival's curtain-raiser, directed by Longman Leung and Sunny Luk. "With its realistic approach about police waging a war on crime, this film opened a new chapter in Asia's movie industry," said the festival's director, Lee Yong-Kwan.

The closing film is Television, a satirical drama directed by Mostofa Farooki, a leading force in a new wave of Bangladeshi filmmakers who lend a documentary feel to movies that explore themes such as guilt and atonement in the Islamic world.

Other highlights include a special programme titled Afghanistan National Film Archive: the Rise from the Ashes, featuring films the archive's employees dramatically hid and saved from the Taliban.