The Busan International Short Film Festival (BISFF) began its long journey 40 years ago in Busan, which is located at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, in order to introduce Korean short films to the citizens of Busan. One century has finished and another has begun over the course of 40 years, and Korean films and video content have appealed to a wide audience all over the world. The festival, which started in 1980, has made significant contributions to the growth of Korean cinema by assisting in the discovery and promotion of Korean films. Korean films, which were previously considered only as third-world cinema, are now judged on a par with major international cinema at prestigious international film festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, the Venice International Film Festival and the Academy Awards, which was made possible in part thanks to the Busan International Short Film Festival's 40 years of dedication.
The year 2023 began with a significant advancement in Korean cinema. In commemoration of its 40th anniversary, the festival's theme this year is “Cinema & Heritage” with the goal of creating a venue in which audiences may examine current films and consider future films based on cinema heritage from the past. This year's festival will feature short films that push the boundaries of short films while retaining its fundamental characteristics. A selection of films from the United States will be screened in the “Guest Country” section. Films that highlight new media features of cinema, such as 3D films and experimental films, will be presented alongside traditional 2D films. The audience will experience a range of Korean and foreign short films that display the unique perspectives of filmmakers on the world and history via a prism of “films that surpass the limitations of short films” at the festival this year.
The main programs of the 40th Busan International Short Film Festival are as follows. First, a range of American short films will be screened in the “Guest Country” section, including silent shorts created by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, two of the most significant comedy actors and filmmakers in the early history of cinema. In addition, in the “Hub of Asia” section, audiences will be able to watch films on diaspora and analyze the current state of cinema. A variety of Korean short films will be featured in the “Korean Shorts” section, providing audiences with the chance to consider current trends and visions of Korean short films in a range of contexts. The “Beyond Shorts” section will showcase a selection of short experimental films that go beyond the confines of their frames as well as 3D films that demonstrate the most recent developments in 3D filmmaking. The “Special Screening” section, which is being prepared to commemorate the festival's 40th anniversary, will feature short films that have won awards at previous BISFFs and at prestigious international short film festivals, as well as works chosen for the BISFF's Short Film Project.
The 40th Busan International Short Film Festival has planned a variety of programs and short films for audiences to get in touch with cinema's heritage, as well as its present and future. We hope you will be able to attend and enjoy the festival.