The 25th Busan International Film Festival kicks off on Oct. 21 at Busan Cinema Center in the port city's seaside district of Haeundae-gu.
The COVID-19 pandemic means that this year's edition will focus primarily on the screening of films, while all other offline events have been canceled including the opening and closing ceremonies and Q&As with overseas guest speakers.
Running until Oct. 30, the festival will showcase 192 films from 68 countries.
"Septet: The Story of Hong Kong," a collaborative omnibus film about the modern metropolis by seven leading filmmakers from the city, will open the festival. Directed by Sammo Hung, Ann Hui, Patrick Tam, Yuen Wo Ping, Johnnie To, Ringo Lam and Hark Tsui, the seven-part anthology pays tribute to Hong Kong from the 1950s to the present day told in 10-minute episodes.
The closing film is the Japanese animated feature "Josee, the Tiger and the Fish" directed by Kotaro Tamura; this is an adaptation of the original live-action film by director Isshin Inudo.
"Josee" is set in a more hopeful world of fantasy in telling the story of a university student who befriends the wheelchair-ridden young girl Josee. With soft and delicate lines and warm pastel colors, the film explores the girl's love and courage to face the world.
Audiences can also watch 23 films selected by this year's Cannes Film Festival, which was canceled due to the pandemic. A selection of works from the Berlin and Venice film festivals will also be screened.
These films include "Peninsula" by Korean director Yeon Sangho (official selection at this year's Cannes); "Days" by Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang (Teddy Award winner at the Berlin festival) and "Wife of a Spy" by Japanese director Kurosawa Kiyoshi (Best Director honoree at the Venice festival).
The Asian Film Awards celebrates excellence in Asian cinema and was previously held in Hong Kong and Macao. Though scheduled to be held in Busan during the city's festival period, the event will instead announce the award winners online due to COVID-19.
The Asia Contents Awards, which were launched last year to recognize outstanding dramas from Southeast Asia, will announce winners in 10 categories in an online ceremony.
Tickets for the Busan festival can be purchased until Oct. 30 on the event's official website and mobile app.
More information can be found on the festival's official website: www.biff.kr/eng.
By Xu Aiying and Lee Hana
Photos and video: Busan International Film Festival