Stars of Asia gather for Busan Film Festival

Stars of Asia gather for Busan Film Festival

BUSAN, South Korea - Agence France-Presse
Stars of Asia gather for Busan Film Festival

South Korean actress Han Soo-ah poses at the opening ceremony. REUTERS photo

Fireworks lit up the night sky and movie stars graced the red carpet as Asian’s biggest film festival kicked off Oct. 4 in the South Korean city of Busan.

Japanese heartthrobs Joe Odagiri and Maeda Atsuko brought wild cheers from the thousands of fans gathered outside the Busan Cinema Center for the opening of the 18th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) while Hong Kong’s Aaron Kwok was joined in front of the cameras by South Korean actress Kang Soo-Yeon.

Oscar-winning Irish director Neil Jordan and his compatriot and six-time Oscar nominee Jim Sheridan led the international contingent, with perennial favorites of the European art house circuit.

The 10-day BIFF opened with the world premiere of Bhutanese musical drama “Vara: A Blessing,” a surprise selection that organizers said demonstrated the event’s commitment to unearthing gems of Asian cinema.

More established stars of Asian film will be attending the festival, including Academy Award-nominated Japanese actor Ken Watanabe, and director Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

The event aims to showcase new Asian talent, with more than 300 films to be screened over 10 days, including 95 world premieres.