Asia's largest film festival has begun in Busan, South Korea. The event will feature 10 days of screenings highlighting the region's young talent and its rich heritage.
Hundreds of people, braving heavy wind warnings, filled the Busan Cinema Center for the opening ceremony of the 20th annual Busan International Film Festival on Thursday.
Among those celebrating the opening were Taiwan's Hou Hsiao-hsien and other legendary Asian filmmakers including movie stars Jeon Do-yeon, the winner of the 2007 Cannes Best Actress award, Korean heartthrob Jung Woo-sung, and Chinese actress Tang Wei.
The festival's opening film was an Indian coming-of-age musical drama, "Zubaan," directed by Mozez Singh. It is Singh's debut feature and is about a man who is obsessed with success until he sets on a journey to find his true fate through music.
Co-producer Shaan Vyas described the work as "a mainstream film in Bollywood with songs but without the cliches."
Kim Jiseok, the festival's executive programmer said the festival's organizers selected the Bollywood film hoping it would give the audience a chance to reflect on what South Korean society may have lost in its pursuit of wealth and success.
Veteran South Korean actor Song Kang-ho, the star of "Snowpiercer," and Afghani actress Marina Golbarhari, who returned to Busan for the first time since her 2003 role in "Osama," shared the spotlight on stage.
The Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award will be awarded to Japanese animator Studio Ghibli for its contribution to the development of the Asian film industry and Asian culture.
After screening about 300 movies from 75 countries, the festival will close on October 10 with the Chinese drama "Mountain Cry."
av/jm (AP, AFP)