Bucheon International Fantstic Film Festival (BIFAN), Asia’s largest genre fest, has just released the lineup for its 21st edition, running from July 13 to 23. And, boy, is it mouth-watering!
The festival will open with the world premiere of the Korean thriller comedy Room No. 7, award-winning director Lee Yong-seung’s second film after 2013’s 10 Minutes. The film stars Shin Ha-kyun as the boss of an ailing DVD store and K-pop star Doh Kyung-soo as an employee who finds a dead body in one of the rooms.
The closing ceremony of the festival, scheduled for the 21st of July, will feature Fukuda Yuichi’s Gintama, the live action samurai sci-fi pic based on the popular manga by Sorachi Hideaki.
BIFAN plans to screen 289 films from 58 countries, with 109 films from just Korea. Its 63 world premieres will include that of Jeon Kyuhwan’s film The End.
One of the special programs at the fest will be “Terrible Women: Monsters and Villainesses”, featuring films with strong female leads, such as Kim Ki-young’s 1977 mystery Ieoh Island, and Brian De Palma’s cult classic Carrie.
The Korean Fantastic: Features competition will cover a wide range of cinema from the peninsula, including the hot favorite The Villainess, North Korean women refugees film Ryeohaeng and Choi Seung-ho’s new documentary Criminal Conspiracy.
Other highlights include the World Fantastic Red category of films, featuring the best in action, horror and thriller genres from across the world, and a spotlight on the 17 works of actress Jeon Do-yeon, including her debut The Contact, and her Cannes Best Actress Award winning film Secret Sunshine. The fest is also planning to become more audience-friendly this year, with film classes and screenings of niche films.