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26th BIFF holds closing ceremony on Friday

Actors Lee Jun-hyuk (left) and Lee Joo-young pose before entering the Busan Cinema Center to host the 26th Busan International Film Festival’s closing ceremony on Friday night. (Yonhap)
Actors Lee Jun-hyuk (left) and Lee Joo-young pose before entering the Busan Cinema Center to host the 26th Busan International Film Festival’s closing ceremony on Friday night. (Yonhap)

The 26th Busan International Film Festival wrapped up its 10-day run on Friday at the Busan Cinema Center, with the closing ceremony hosted by two Korean rookie actors -- Lee Jun-hyuk and Lee Joo-young.

This year‘s BIFF, which opened Oct. 6, screened 223 films from 70 countries offline at six selected theaters in Busan. This change was significant as the BIFF organizer held a much scaled-down event last year in light of COVID protocols. Each film was also screened only once at the Busan Cinema Center in 2020.

During the closing ceremony, the New Currents Award were presented to two films -- “Farewell, My Hometown” by Chinese director Wang Er Zhuo and “The Apartment with Two Women” by Korean director Kim Se-in.

“Farewell, My Hometown” consists of three episodes, each presenting the story of a woman from a different generation. “The Apartment with Two Women” is a film about conflicts between a mother and daughter duo.

BIFF’s New Current Award is given to the two best feature films by new Asian directors presenting their first or second feature, in the New Currents section. The two winners each received $30,000. Eleven films competed in the section this year.

The Kim Jiseok Awards went to Indian film “The Rapist” by Aparna Sen and Filipino film “Gensan Punch” by Brillante Mendoza. The award is named after BIFF’s late executive deputy director, who contributed to the development of Asian film and filmmakers.
 
Kwon Daham poses before entering the Busan Cinema Center to participate in the 26th Busan International Film Festival’s closing ceremony on Friday night. He won BIFF’s best actor of the year award for his role in “Through My Midwinter.” (Yonhap)
Kwon Daham poses before entering the Busan Cinema Center to participate in the 26th Busan International Film Festival’s closing ceremony on Friday night. He won BIFF’s best actor of the year award for his role in “Through My Midwinter.” (Yonhap)

Kwon Daham won the best actor of the year award for his role in “Through My Midwinter” and Im Jee-ho won the best actress award for her role in “The Apartment with Two Women.”

After the closing ceremony, ”Anita,“ a biopic film on Hong Kong star Anita Mui directed by Longman Leung, was screened at 8 p.m. on Friday. 

Im Jee-ho poses before entering the Busan Cinema Center to participate in the 26th Busan International Film Festival’s closing ceremony on Friday night. She won the best actress award for her role in “The Apartment with Two Women.”
Im Jee-ho poses before entering the Busan Cinema Center to participate in the 26th Busan International Film Festival’s closing ceremony on Friday night. She won the best actress award for her role in “The Apartment with Two Women.”

Meanwhile, according to BIFF, only one infection was reported during the 10-day festival, without further transmission. Earlier this week, a staffer from an actor’s agency had tested positive for COVID-19 when returning to Seoul, the BIFF said.

”Especially due to the COVID-19 situation, I know that many people showed concerns about our festival. Fortunately, we overcame the difficulties and reached the last day of the festival. I would like to thank movie fans, Busan citizens and the city government for their cooperation,“ BIFF Chairman Lee Yong-kwan said in an online press conference on Friday morning. ”I am especially grateful to all the filmmakers in Korea and abroad for participating.”

There were more than 76,000 visitors this year at BIFF, up from the 18,000 last year.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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