The 15th annual Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (July 14-24) in Korea opened with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, the Bollywood documentary celebrating Indian musicals. The film made its world premiere at the Festival de Cannes out of competition and made the Asian premier at PiFan this past July. Mehra, who is most well-known for Rang De Basanti (2006), attended the festival's opening ceremony with an ensemble of Indian and international cast to celebrate this special screening occasion.
Bollywood movies, films created in the popular style representative of India's cinema industry, now stand firm as one of Asia's major cultural resources with sufficient ripple power to reach all corners of the globe. In Korea, several Bollywood movies have been shown with much heated response. The genre is now being combined with fantasy and science fiction, increasing entertainment value, and the Greatest Love Story Ever Told pleased the eyes and ears of the viewers for the entire 81 minutes, displaying dazzling scenes with the charms of the songs.
The Asian films in Puchon Choice featured competition including Mongolia's Operation Tatar, Malaysia's Resurrection, Hong Kong's Revenge: A Love Story, Japan's Slapstick Brothers and South Korea's The Yellow Sea. Also, this year's lineup had a strong selection of Southeast Asian horrors, including Indonesia's The Perfect House, Thailand omnibus Four and, from Malaysia, Claypot Curry Killers and Limah Goes Home. Also from Thailand, the festival screened Friday Killer and Saturday Killer, the first two parts of Yuthlert Sippapak's multi-genre hitman series.
Other highlights in the World Fantastic Cinema section included the award-winning Invasion of Alien Bikini, Dante Lam's The Stool Pigeon and Hong Kong-set thriller Red Nights, directed by Julien Carbon and Laurent Courtiaud. The Vision Express section explored the boundaries of Asian genre films with Singapore's Forever, Japan's Hospitalité and Ringing in Their Ears and, from Taiwan, Honey Pupu and Make Up.
Ever since PiFan's 7th hosting in 2003 included a special section for Bollywood movies, PiFan has introduced new Bollywood movies every year with special affection. By opening the 15th festival this year with a Bollywood movie, PiFan attempted to more actively showcase Bollywood films to Asian and international moviegoers.
The festival screened 221 films (127 features and 94 shorts) from 34 countries, including notable Bollywood films such as Abhinav Kashyap's Dabang, S. Shankar's Robot, and Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om, of which approximately 78 percent of screenings were sold out completely. Top-sellers were Gantz: Perfect Answer, Detective Conan: Magician of the Silver Key, while the top selling Korean film was PiFan's closing choice, The Blind.
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