The 36th Busan International Short Film Festival Opening
The 6 days of the 36th Busan International Short Film Festival (BISFF) kicks off with fanfare with an opening ceremony on Wednesday, April 24.
BISFF is the oldest short film festival in Korea, boasting a history of 36 years. In 2017, it was designated an Academy Awards Qualifying Film Festival, taking a stand as one of the leading short film festivals, not just in Korea and Asia, but in the world. With the goal of becoming the short film hub of Asia, BISFF has again worked hard to plan for a culturally diverse program.
The 149 short films from 41 countries will take you on a journey to reflect on the present of short films around the globe, as well as the past and future of film art.
Record number of submissions for International Competition and Korean Competition
A record number of entries were submitted in this year’s competitions. The International Competition saw 5,795 entries from 131 countries and the Korean Competition had 872 entries. Those that passed the preliminaries amount to 39 films from 25 countries for the International Competition and 18 films for the Korean Competition. The films were judged on how they reflect “issue awareness” within the government, social and economic status quo, as well as in how “short film”-like they are. Their creative and artistic merits will thus bring to fore current social issues.
This year’s guest country – Switzerland
The “Guest Country Program” is BISFF signature program that selects one country each year to take a closer look into its society, culture and arts through its short films. This year’s selected country is Switzerland, home of the world-renowned pioneer of the French New Wave film movement, Director Jean-Luc Godard, as well as where a variety of genres are actively produced in various languages. The Guest Country Switzerland program is made up of “Swiss Panorama” for an overview of the current trend in Swiss short films, “Swiss Mosaic” to discover the linguistic and cultural identity of Switzerland with 4 national languages, and “Swiss Rainbow” to examine the coexistence between the Swiss and the immigrants from around the globe.
The newly revamped “World Shorts”
“World Shorts” maintains the existing backbone while revamping the specifics with a new theme and films. The “Prism” section poses a question to the essence and illusion of film through the very first films in history, which were experimental films. The “Asian Shorts” section gives a complete view of the best Asian films and is made up of the following subsections: “AFiS Special”, a collaboration with Busan Asian Film School (AFiS); “Kaohsiung Shorts: LGBTQ+ Stories”, introducing short films made through “Kaohsiung Shorts”, a support program from the Kaohsiung Film Archive; and “#ThemToo: Iranian Women Directors”, created in collaboration with Director GhasidehGolmakani. Awaiting the audience are also the sections “Curtain Call”, comprised of last year’s best award-winning short films featured in major international film festivals, and “Short Letter from New Zealand”, with films from last year’s guest country.
Past, Present and Future of short films all in one place – the 36th BISFF
This year’s BISFF slogan is “The Origins of Cinema and Its Future.” A performance using the magic lantern, a 19th century’s projection machine, gives the audience a chance to experience the origins and the history of film. Short films from around the globe are a vivid presentation of the present time we live in that only shorts can provide. The “3D Special Screening” will give a glimpse of the future of film, that is, another possibility of film production. This year’s official trailer is also an expression of the conflict and fusion of VR and traditional cinema, providing the audience with an opportunity for a renewed perception of film and cinema. Lastly, the keywords for this year’s forum are “illusion, reality, virtual reality, and innovation.” It will prove to be a valuable time to listen to the opinions of film researchers from around the world about the past, present, and future of film.
April 24-29 – Short films at the Busan Cinema Center and the Moonlight Cinema
Upgraded from last year with diversely themed sections, the 36th BISFF will be held at the Busan Cinema Center and the Moonlight Cinema between April 24 and 29. Filmmakers and audience alike will join together with short films during these 6 days of shorts.