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HEAVEN: TO THE LAND OF HAPPINESS to Open 26th Busan Film Festival

Sep 06, 2021
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
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BIFF Announces New Currents and Vision Programs 



Ahead of its official unveiling later this month, the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has started revealing several sections of its upcoming 26th edition, such as the New Currents and Korean Cinema Today-Vision programs, as well as this year’s opening film. Kicking off the festival on October 6 will be the world premiere of Im Sangsoo’s Heaven: To the Land of Happiness. 


A road movie featuring Choi Minsik and Park Haeil, Heaven: To the Land of Happiness was featured in the special Cannes Film Festival selection last year, but the film has yet to screen until now. Previously, director Im featured in the Cannes main competition with his films The Housemaid (2010) and The Taste of Money (2012).


BIFF’s signature New Currents program, a competitive section reserved for debut or sophomore works by Asian filmmakers, will feature 11 competitors this year. Among the titles on offer will be the Japanese film Missing, the sophomore film from director Katayam Shinzo, who served as an assistant director on Shaking Tokyo, director Bong Joonho’s segment in the 2008 omnibus Tokyo!, as well as Bong’s Mother (2009). The program will also feature two local films, Kim Sein’s The Apartment with Two Women and Park Kang’s Seire.


The Korean Cinema Today-Vision, which is reserved for new discoveries by new local filmmakers, has been expanded this year from its usual ten selections to 12. The section is responsible for introducing outstanding works such as O Muel’s Jiseul (2012), Lee Sujin’s Han Gongju (2013), and Jeon Gowoon’s Microhabitat (2017) to the world.

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