Asia’s largest movie festival kicked off Thursday at a time when the region’s influence on the global movie industry is on the rise.
Entering its 20th year in the South Korean port city, the Busan International Film Festival has seen its influence and size expand in stride with the growth of box office sales in the region.
Asian countries fueled growth in the global film industry last year, while box office sales in the US and Canada declined. With box office sales of US$12.4 billion in 2014, the Asian region is the biggest and fastest-growing movie market in the world, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.
Despite the growing influence of Asian cinema in the world, the non-competition movie festival has kept its bar of pretense and hierarchy low, unlike the historic yet hierarchical Cannes Film Festival, which turned away some women in flat shoes from a premiere this spring.
Busan cinemagoers — in flats or heels, part of the media or not — do more than just gaze at award-winning directors, K-pop stars and Hollywood celebrities gracing the red carpet. They happily stay in queues from the wee hours to get tickets, ask questions to filmmakers and actors after screenings, and join public talk shows with them on the beach. Read More