What to Expect at This Year’s Busan International Children and Youth Film Festival

The 19th Busan International Children and Youth Film Festival (BIKY) is set to return with a robust program focused on community engagement and cinematic diversity.

The festival will take place from July 10 to 14 at the Busan Cinema Center, Jung-gu Yurari Square, and BNK Busan Bank Art Cinema Corner Theater.

This year’s BIKY will feature 113 films from 34 countries, including 30 feature films, 83 short films, and 80 premieres.

A key change this year is the reorganization of section names, now categorized as ‘BIKY Kids’, ‘BIKY Youth’, and ‘BIKY Youth Plus’.

The flagship program ‘Ready ~ Action!’ retains its structure but includes more films.

The festival will offer a range of interactive experiences, including food trucks from Ottogi and Papa John’s, block bots from Ilsamgongti, and performances by bands, dancers, and magicians at Dureraum Plaza. Korean films will feature more prominently, and animations with impactful short runtimes will be evenly distributed across sections.

A notable addition is ‘BIKY Classic’, a special exhibition dedicated to influential directors in children’s and youth cinema. The first honoree is Japanese director Shinji Somai, whose films ‘Moving’ and ‘Typhoon Club’ will be showcased. These films, known for their unique portrayal of children, teenagers, and families in the 1980s and 1990s, will also feature post-screening discussions.

The ‘Moonlight Theater’ will offer free outdoor screenings of recent family-friendly films on summer nights. This year’s selections include Robot Dream (Pablo Berger, 2023), Super Kid Haley (Rasmus A. Silbersen, 2023), and Argo Expedition: Little Hero Patty’s Great Adventure (David Allu, 2024).

The BIKY Forum on July 12 will host Marguerite Cornelius from the Amsterdam iFilm Museum, who will discuss the process of organizing a world-class archive. Jo Jun-hyung, a senior researcher at the Korean Film Archive, will join the discussion.

For aspiring filmmakers, ‘The Magic of Light: Youth Media Art Projection Mapping Workshop’ will be held on July 6-7, teaching participants aged 16-24 various projection techniques using beam projectors. Additionally, the director’s mentoring program on July 13 will feature directors Shin Yeon-sik, Jang Woo-jin, Kim Dae-hwan, and Yoon Ga-eun.

The opening film for the 19th BIKY is ‘Echo of the Stars’ by Patrick Boabin from Canada. This film, which was invited to the Schlingel International Children and Youth Film Festival in Germany, tells the story of a boy who believes his missing brother was taken by aliens and embarks on a quest to find him.

Tickets for the festival can be purchased on YES24, Naver, Interpark, and the Busan Cinema Center website.

For more details, visit the official BIKY website or follow their Instagram.

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