Mozez Singh’s coming-of-age musical drama, Zubaan, starring Vicky Kaushal of Maasan fame, will tonight open the prestigious Busan global Film Festival 2015 in Korea.
The stars did not disappoint them with the likes of Chinese actress Tang Wei and Japanese actress Masami Nagasawa braving what had threatened to become a decidedly slippery surface.
Festival co-director Kang Soo-Yeon paid tribute to the resilience of those who had gathered, both inside and out.
But festival organizers believe the real reason was their refusal past year to pull the premiere of “The Truth Will Not Sink With Sewol” (original title “Diving Bell”), a documentary that was highly critical of the government’s handling of the 2014 sinking of the Sewol ferry in which more than 300 people died.
Lee says that many individual and corporate donors stepped up to address this year’s funding shortfall, including Ko Eun-ah, a former actress and chief executive of Seoul Cinema, one of the country’s oldest and best-known theater complexes, who made a personal donation of 100 million won (a little more than $84,000).
The star-studded gala was also celebrated with a reenactment of the King’s procession along with traditional music in commemoration of the festival’s 20th year.
Mozez had said in a statement, “It is the ultimate honor for “Zubaan” to have its world premiere as the opening film for the Busan worldwide Film Festival”. It was the first time a Bollywood offering has opened BIFF.
Veteran South Korean actor Song Kang-ho, the star of “Snowpiercer”, and Afghani actress Marina Golbarhari, who returned to Busan for the first time since her 2003 role in “Osama”, shared the spotlight on stage.
“This is a super platform for any filmmaker and I wish all of us luck and the opening of many exciting new cinematic doors”, he said. The festival will close with Chinese director Larry Yang’s “Mountain Cry” based on the award-winning novel of the same title.
Much of that was down to China, where box-office takings surged 38 percent from 2013 to 4.8 billion.