I'd also like to welcome and thank you, film enthusiasts and filmmakers from in and out of Korea, for visiting 'Busan', the UNESCO Creative City of Film. This year, BISFF saw the largest number of entries since its beginning: 5,921 films from 129 countries. It has truly become the hub of Asian shorts. In December 2017, we were also selected as an OSCAR®-qualifying festival, an accomplishment that allows us to work shoulder to shoulder with other major film festivals of authority, and paves the way to bring out outstanding short films from Korea and abroad to the world. For the next 6 days, a total 169 films from 49 countries that passed an intense selection process will be screened, including 61 films for competition. Please have your fill of the passion and spirit of the best short films from around the world at the 35th BISFF. Thank you very much.
Thanks to the perseverance and efforts of many people, to the support and encouragement of the audience, and to the creative spirit of filmmakers from all over the world, our festival has grown and developed. Last Christmas Eve, we received a nice gift: our festival has been designated as an OSCAR®qualifying festival by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, joining a list of prestigious festivals such as Cannes Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival or Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. Another visible result of BISFF's growth is the number of submissions, our largest to date, which totalled 5,921 entries from 129 countries. However, there are still many aspects to improve in order to continue this growth and become an always more meaningful film festival. A wide range of empathy for the aesthetic possibilities and values of short films, the rational working environment of festival staff and the distribution of short films are essential. For a more mature BISFF, it is time for audiences, filmmakers and festival staff to move forward, 'Now, All Together'. This year, you can watch a great variety of programs such as the 'International and 'Korean Competition', more intense than any other year, 'Guest Country New Zealand', 'Prequel of Switzerland', 'Curtain Call' (winner of the world's most prestigious film festivals), 'Prism' (with experimental films), 'Landscape of Asian Shorts', and 'Shorts for Family'. There are also the 'BISFF-Forum 2018', which now combines the Busan International Transmedia Forum with the Asian Shorts 태m Open Talk, 'Operation Kino' which welcomes its 7th edition, and 'Moonlight Cinema' on Sanbokdoro (hillside road), which is a representative program of Busan the UNESCO Creative City of Film. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all the filmmakers from all over the world who sent us great works and to the whole staff who worked day and night with passion in order to prepare the festival. I also sincerely thank all of you for your encouragement and support.