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'Host' Director Embarks on Whirlwind World Tour

2006/08/03 Source

The director of blockbuster The Host Bong Joon-ho is on track to become a star in the global film industry. After making a spectacular debut on the global stage at Cannes this May, the movie enjoyed an explosive response from viewers at home and is continuing to do so beyond Japan and other Asian countries to Europe and North America. Bong received an unprecedentedly ardent welcome in Japan when he started his three-day visit to the nation on Monday. During this short period, he was asked for interviews with as many as 50 newspapers and TV networks including major media outlets there such as Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, Kinema Junpo, Movie Magazine, MTV and Kansai TV --even more than the movie's star Song Kang-ho.

He is to stay at the Cerulean Hotel in Tokyo until Thursday to continue his interview Marathon. Right after coming back to Korea, he is to start a hectic schedule visiting a variety of global film festivals. First of all, he takes the film to the Hong Kong International Film Festival, which serves as a beachhead into the Asian movie market despite its non-competitive nature. Then comes the U.K. on Aug. 14 for the Edinburgh International Film Festival's competition section.

In September, he will start his tour of the North American market. The Host has been invited to the 31st Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness section, which is to be held from Aug. 7 in Canada, along with nine other movies. In terms of market size, the Canadian film festival outstrips Berlin, Cannes and Venice and also serves as a springboard into the North American film market. Bong also is to take part in the Vancouver International Film Festival which starts on Aug. 19. Then he moves to Europe in October.

Bong's European tour begins with the 39th Sitges International Film Festival, which starts in Spain on Oct. 6, one of the three leading fantastic film festivals along with the Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film and Fantasporto in Portugal.

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