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Pusan International Film Festival runs October 8th - 16th, 2009

This year, the Pusan International Film Festival provides a wonderful opportunity to experience present and future Hong Kong cinema through the Special Program (Johnnie To: The Hood in the City) on the cinematic icon of Hong Kong, Johnnie TO. This program offers a close look at his vision, which combines classical elegance with modern sophistication, as well as the evolving aspect of romantic masculinity in his movies. Ten of TO's films will be shown in the program, which also includes a seminar to illuminate his cinematic works and a Master Class for the audience to meet the passionate director.

Johnnie To refused to join the exodus of Hong Kong film talents following the transfer of sovereignty in 1997. While the stars of 80’s and early 90’s, including John Woo, Tsui Hark, Peter Chan, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-Fat, Jet Li, moved their base to Hollywood, Johnnie To worked hard to revive the battered film industry of Hong Kong. His experience bears lessons to everyone in Asian film industries that are suffering from the current economic crisis. Johnnie To is a world-renowned director, a maestro of quality films, and a successful producer with deep knowledge in mass culture. He founded Milkyway Image Production in 1996 that he used as a vehicle to deliver his artistic expression and to support promising cinema kids.

Johnnie To became an icon of Hong Kong film industry through his tireless efforts to lead others beyond status quo and we are pleased to highlight his filmography at the Pusan International Film Festival. Johnnie To’s world in screen is that of familiarity. He confessed his insistence to follow the tradition of Hong Kong urban noir from the 60’s and 70’s. His movies are melting pots of inspirations from not only Hong Kong Noirs, but also Japanese Samurai, French gangster, and Spaghetti Western movies that rarely confer awe and novelty. Still, aesthetics of Johnnie To’s movies are so powerful that it silences audiences.

A few facts and figures on the Festival

Screening Venue
13,740 seats and 36 screens at 6 theaters (total 269,332 seats)
Haeundae: Suyeong Yachting Center Outdoor Theater, Megabox, CGV, Lotte Cinema
Nampo-dong: Daeyoung Cinema, Cinus (Busan)

Pusan IFF will screen a total of 355 films from 70 countries (record number)
143 World & International Premieres (record number)
97 World Premieres (72 feature films, 25 short films)
46 International Premieres (41 feature films, 5 short films)
All New Currents and Fast Forward screenings are World & International Premieres.
5 Post-production Fund projects and 11 AND Fund projects selected by the Asian Cinema
Fund (ACF) will be screening.


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