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Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival to kick off

The 23rd annual Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival will commence later on Thursday with the opening ceremony in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, kicking off 11 days of festivities that will showcase 288 films from 49 countries.

Under the theme of “Love, Fantasy and Adventure” and with a focus on science fiction, Korea’s largest genre film festival will continue until July 7. A total of 170 feature films and 118 short films will be screened at theaters across the city just west of Seoul.

The opening film for the festival will be the Asian premiere of “The Gasoline Thieves” by Mexico’s Edgar Nito, which depicts the tragic story of a man in the Latin American country plagued by fuel theft. 

“The Gasoline Thieves” (BIFAN)
“The Gasoline Thieves” (BIFAN)

Wrapping up the event will be Korean director Ko Myoung-sung’s “The 12th Suspect,” a mystery thriller that takes place just after the 1950-53 Korean War at a coffeehouse in Myeong-dong, Seoul.

The focus on science fiction was apparent from the concept of the opening ceremony and the official poster, inspired by 1982 sci-fi dystopian classic “Blade Runner” by Ridley Scott.

Bucheon Choice will see 12 features and 12 short films face off in their respective categories, including Ant Timpson’s “Come to Daddy” and Talal Selhami’s “Achoura.” Seven films will compete in the Korean Fantastic section, including “Abyss: The Girl’s Eyes” by Chang Hyun-sang, “Fanfare” by Lee Don-ku and “Film Adventure” by Lee Sang-deok.

Special events will take place during the festival as well.

Kim Hye-soo, a veteran actress of 33 years, will be the featured star of the festival’s special section. The section will screen her top 10 works, including “Tazza: The High Rollers,” “The Thieves” and “Default.”

The Robots: Future Beyond the Human Race program will screen beloved sci-fi films starring our mechanical friends, ranging from black comedy “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and drama “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” to the family-friendly animation “Wall-E.”

A robot event zone that takes place from Friday until July 7 at Bucheon City Hall Lawn Square will present hands-on experiences, performances and displays for visitors of all ages.

In commemoration of the Korean film industry’s 100th anniversary, A Crazy Chronicle of Korean Genre Cinema will screen 13 Korean genre movies, spanning musical, sci-fi, horror and monster films.

By Yoon Min-sik