Park Kwang-su Nominated as Busan Film Festival Chairman

Veteran filmmaker and industry administrator Park Kwang-su has been nominated as the next chairman of the Busan International Film Festival, following a period of behind-the-scenes turmoil. The event, however, has not yet begun the process of selecting a new festival director.

The new chairman will take the place of Lee Yong-kwan, who was wrong-footed and resigned following a series of events in early summer last year that also saw the exit of festival director Huh Moonyoung and market chief Oh Seok-geun.

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Park, who was an early pioneer of the Korean New Wave Cinema in the 1990s as producer and director, before shifting into more academic and industry administrative roles, was named as the sole candidate for the role of chairman by a sub-committee of the Busan festival’s Innovation Committee.

He was part of the Busan festival’s early years and was involved in the festival’s establishment indie film financing platform then known as the Pusan Promotion Plan and now known as the Asian Project Market. He was also on board for the establishment of the festival’s Asian Contents & Film Market.

Park is also the founding director of the Busan Film Commission and professor of the School of Film, TV & Multimedia at the Korea National University of Arts.

“The qualifications provided by the committee for the next chairperson include the ability to manage the organization and its administration, present the future vision and direction of the film festival, willingness to innovate the organization, political neutrality, and affection for Busan. The committee has concluded that candidate Park Kwang-su possesses such qualifications, and made a unanimous decision for his nomination,” the committee said in a statement. His appointment is expected to be formalized at a meeting on Feb. 1.

With a new chairman on board, Busan will be able to move ahead with filling two other crucial positions, festival director and market director.

On Monday, the festival said that it would field applications for festival director, ACFM director, board directors and auditors over the next three weeks to Feb. 13. Appointments are likely to be made at a March board meeting.

Last year’s festival was operated by film selector Nam Dong-chul, acting in an interim capacity.

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