Busan Postpones Appointment of Festival Director

The Busan International Film Festival has postponed the appointment of a permanent festival director. A new leader may be appointed after this year’s edition in October.

Pak Dosin, a former senior programmer, has been appointed as co-deputy director in a dual-leadership structure, alongside co-deputy director Kang Seung-ah.

That means that this year’s festival will be held under the leadership of chairperson Park Kwang-su, the recently appointed ACFM director Ellen Y. D. Kim, and the co-deputy directors Kang and Pak.

“This decision aims to allocate resources effectively by reducing the administrative processes and time needed to elect the festival director and enabling undivided attention towards successfully organizing the 29th Busan International Film Festival. After this year’s event, BIFF will select its next festival director, allowing ample time to seek the most suitable candidate,” the festival said in a statement on Thursday.

Pak previously held various positions including the head of the program department, the head of the PR department, senior programmer and head of the Jiseok Film Institute.

Pak will be expected to oversee film selection and planning for this year’s events. Kang will oversee the corporate operations and budget management.

“The BIFF executive recommendation committee was established [in December] to formulate the new executive committee and elect new board members. However, after the second round of open recruitment, the committee announced the absence of sufficient candidates and consequently submitted a statement to the secretariat notifying their dissolution,” the festival said.

“Although many individuals who have achieved outstanding works in various fields, including the film industry, participated in the first and second rounds of recruitment, given the Busan International Film Festival’s aspirations for a new leap and strategic direction, it has been challenging to identify suitable candidates at this time.”

The festival’s statement made no mention of highly regarded programmer Nam Dong-chul, who last year headed the festival operations in an interim or acting position.

In mid-2023, the festival underwent a series of personnel crises that led to the resignation of chairman Lee Yong-kwan, festival director Huh Moon-young and market chief Oh Seok-geun.


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