Former Busan International Film Festival curator Darae Kim, and film scholars Dina Iordanova and Chris Berry engage in a discussion of the Busan International Film Festival. BIFF’s nineteenth edition was held in October 2014 and screened 312 films from 79 countries to 226,473 audience members. Despite such outward signs of success and continued growth, the festival is now undergoing a crisis that is threatening its future, on the eve of its twentieth anniversary. Are such difficulties specific to Busan, or do they indicate a more general trend that results from new configurations in the public space of cinema and new managerial approaches to culture at large? This dossier combines a report on the Busan International Film Festival crisis with larger questions regarding film festivals. Three short essays consider the Busan festival situation from different perspectives, followed by a conversational exchange that aims to spur further thinking.
The Busan International Film Festival in Crisis or, What Should a Film Festival Be?
Dina Iordanova is Professor of Global Cinema and Creative Cultures at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She has edited a number of books on film festivals, including Film Festivals and East Asia (St. Andrews Film Studies Publishing, 2011), edited with Ruby Cheung, and The Film Festival Reader (St. Andrews Film Studies Publishing, 2013). She attended the Busan International Film Festival in 2011 and 2013 for the Busan Film Forum and served on the BIFF's New Currents Jury in 2014.
Chris Berry is Professor of Film Studies at King's College London. His publications include Postsocialist Cinema in Post-Maoist China: The Cultural Revolution after the Cultural Revolution (Routledge, 2004), edited with Janet Harbord and Rachel Moore; Cinema and the National: China on Screen (Columbia University Press, 2006), with Mary Farquha; The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement: For the Public Record (Hong Kong University Press, 2010), edited with Lu Xinyu and Lisa Rofel; and Public Space Media Space (MacMillan, 2013).
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Darae Kim, Dina Iordanova, Chris Berry; The Busan International Film Festival in Crisis or, What Should a Film Festival Be?. Film Quarterly 1 September 2015; 69 (1): 80–89. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2015.69.1.80
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