The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF, previously Pusan International Film Festival, PIFF), held annually in Haeundae-gu, Busan (also Pusan), South Korea, is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia. The first festival, held from 13 to 21 September 1996, was also the first international film festival in Korea. The focus of the BIFF is introducing new films and first-time directors, especially those from Asian countries. Another notable feature is the appeal of the festival to young people, both in terms of the large youthful audience it attracts and through its efforts to develop and promote young talent. In 1999, the Pusan Promotion Plan (renamed Asian Project Market in 2011) was established to connect new directors to funding sources. The 16th BIFF in 2011 saw the festival move to a new permanent home, the Busan Cinema Center in Centum City. The Busan Cinema Center is an about USD 150 million structure designed by Austria-based architecture collective Coop Himmelblau. The about 30,000 m² Cinema Center includes a 4,000-seat outdoor theatre; four indoor screens under an LED-covered roof; media centre; archive space; and conference rooms; allowing the festival to include industry forums and educational activities.
The 23rd Busan International Film Festival was held from October 4 to 13 October 2018 at the Busan Cinema Center. A total of 324 films from 79 countries were screened at the festival, including 115 world premieres and 25 international premieres.
Two new awards were created in 2018 to promote Korean independent films. KTH, a renowned film investor and digital content distributor, will award the KTH Award and a cash prize of 10,000,000 KRW to two Korean films from the Korean Cinema Today–Vision and the New Currents section. While Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), which broadcasts independent films KBS Independent Cinema, will award the KBS Independent Film Award and cash prize of 10,000,000 KRW to one best film from the same section. The KBS Independent Film Award-winning films will also be screened on KBS Independent Cinema within one year after release with a separate broadcasting rights contract from the award.
The DGK Award was also reinstated after it was boycotted by the Director's Guild of Korea in 2016 and 2017.
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