#ISUPPORTBIFF_Edward Paciano Delos Santos Cabagnot (Film Critic / Philippines)
My first experience of BIFF (then PIFF) was in 2008.
I was invited to be one of the judges for the best Korean film from the New Currents and Korean Cinema Today sections.
But secretly I was on a personal reconnaissance mission for our own fledgeling festival called Cinemalaya -then barely three years old.
I wanted to "steal only from the best", as Coppolla said in one interview.
And the Busan International Film Festival is certainly the best treasure trove of ideas in the whole of Asia.
I saw, first hand, how the festival CARED genuinely for the films they featured.
It wasn't just the screening space they provided to let these oeuvres fly - it was The Whole Package.
From the giant banners for each title that lined up the gorgeous Heaundae Boulevard, to the rabid Q&A sessions they held if the filmmaker was present.
From the many, almost endless socials that allowed filmmakers to breath AND learn from one another in an informal, warm setting.
To the Asian Film Academy that honed the talents of young Asian film hopefuls.
The list can run for days... It was then I realized THAT was the reason for BIFF's continuing success: the folks behind it -from its officers
(then the ever-gracious Mr. Kim Dong-Ho), to its battery of learned programmers (who I count as dear friends -that's YOU, Mr. Kim Jiseok, Ms. Cho, et al!),
and all the way to the army of youthful volunteers who were ready to be of service to all of us,
grateful and awed guests- were all True Lovers of Cinema! "Busan International Film Festival - the Hub of Asian Cinema".
Tough claim, but these guys are the REAL THING.
I pray for your continued success.
Edward Paciano Delos Santos Cabagnot
Film Critic, Philippines