Bong is not slated to appear at BIFF this year as he tours the world promoting his latest work, but the spotlight will shine on an impressive collection of acclaimed international award winners.
“Call Me By Your Name” star Timothee Chalamet and Indian Oscar winner A.R. Rahman of “Slumdog Millionaire” are expected to either grace the red carpet during the opening gala on Thursday or make an appearance in the days that follow.
“Leaving Las Vegas” director Mike Figgis will head the jury for the festival’s main awards, while Japanese auteur Kore-eda Hirokazu will be in town to collect the Asian filmmaker of the year award and to present his latest feature, “The Truth”.
The Korean star parade will be led by opening night co-host Lee Hanee, fresh from the success of her actioner “Extreme Job”, now the second-highest grossing in Korean cinema history.
Local films will take pride of place with 20 world premieres in the Korean Cinema Today section alone.
There’s a nod to the rising influence of streaming platforms with four Netflix original productions on the programme, along with the world premiere of the much-anticipated Malaysia-HBO co-production “The Garden of Evening Mists”.
Thursday’s opening film is acclaimed Kazakh director Yerlan Nurmukhambetov’s “The Horse Thieves. Roads of Time”, starring 2018 Cannes best actress winner Samal Yesleyamova.
His last appearance at BIFF saw him awarded the prestigious New Currents prize for early career directors with his drama “Walnut Tree” in 2015.