One of Asia's largest film events, the Pusan International Film Festival, which is simply known as PIFF, kicked off this evening in the southeastern city of Busan.
We are going to go live to Busan where our Sohn Hee-kyung is standing by.
AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: Hello Hee-kyung.
SOHN HEE-KYUNG, REPORTER: Hello Chak-hee.
AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: This must be an exciting night there in Busan. Tell us what's happening there.
SOHN HEE-KYUNG, REPORTER: Well, just a few hours ago, the curtains went up for the 10th Pusan International Film Festival, and right now, people are watching the end of the opening film "Three Times" by Taiwanese director Heou Hsiao Hsien, which deals with reincarnation and love. It premiered earlier this year at the Cannes film festival, but it has been re-edited for the event. This new version is being shown here. Tickets to this show sold out in 13 minutes. Let's take a look at what the director had to say:
RECORDED: "I'm grateful that "Three Times" has been chosen as the opening film. I have reworked my film, in particular the third segment. I hope you enjoy it. This is already my fourth year participating at PIFF. This year, I can feel that the scale of the event has become larger. There's no doubt that the festival is the biggest in Korea".
SOHN HEE-KYUNG, REPORTER: The number of screens has increased to 31.
That's a huge jump from 17 screens last year.
And more than 180,000 film fans are expected to attend the festival, which will run for nine days, showing more than 300 movies from 73 countries.
So it's going to be the biggest yet.
Earlier this evening, the guests began arriving for the glittering opening ceremony, with some 80 Korean actors including Ahn Sung-ki
, Park Joong-hoon
and Ha Ji-won
The Korean movie stars Kang Soo-yeon
and Han Suk-kyu
helped launch the opening of this year's festival.
But heartthrob Bae Yong-joon
of Winter Sonata fame will not be attending the festival as anticipated.
Among the big names here is the renowned French director, Jean-Jacques Annaud, who made "Seven Years in Tibet with Brad Pitt and also "The Lover".
Also here is the alternative British filmmaker, Peter Greenaway, who made "Pillow Book" with Ewan McGregor.
There's also international movie stars like Jackie Chan
, and Chang Chen
and Vivian Hsu from Taiwan.
Soon many of the celebs will be leaving the cinema to head on to after-screen parties, while others are likely to hit the hot spots of this port town.
Over the next week at PIFF will be a program of nine sections, and this year in the Korean Cinema Retrospective, the work of Korean director Lee Man-hee-I
will be showcased.
For the first time audiences will be able to view 10 of Lee's finest films such as "Holiday - 1968" which was banned by the government in the 1960s.
Many films are already sold out, but anyone still interested may book by visiting the PIFF website.
Also the festival will feature an "APEC Special Program" in recognition of the importance of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, to be held in Busan come November.
For this 20 of the 21 APEC member economies, excluding Brunei, have each chosen a film to represent their country.
"Cages" with many Singaporean actors, which is by American director Graham Streeter, has been selected as Singapore's screening for APEC.
RECORDED: "So Singapore seemed to be, keep it in English".
SOHN HEE-KYUNG, REPORTER: The closing film of the festival is "Wedding Campaign
" by Korean director Hwang Byung-gook
Many are looking forward to this heart-warming melodrama about two single male farmers looking for wives in Uzbekistan.
And this year even more special efforts have been taken to ensure access for all at the festival, including the disabled.
For instance, almost all the films have Korean subtitles to aid those with hearing difficulties, which should also help foreigners with some language skills, who want to watch Korean films.
Back to you Chak-hee.
AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: Alright. Thanks for the report Hee-kyung. That was our Sohn Hee-kyung reporting live from the Pusan International Film Festival.
OCT 06, 2005