[Photo Pop!] BIFF, a testing stand for 'with COVID-19'

연합뉴스 / 2021-10-14 14:42:45
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▲ This photo shows disinfecting BIFF theaters. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 


▲ This photo shows the red carpet for BIFF. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 


▲ This photo shows BIFF and its red carpet which have been waited for 2 years. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 


▲ This photo shows the unmasked actors greeting the audiences. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 


▲ This photo shows the opening of BIFF. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 


▲ This photo shows the audiences sitting in distances. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 


▲ This photo shows the audiences entering Busan in distances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 


▲ This photo shows the social distancing measures indicated with the films' posters. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 


▲ This photo shows the signs saying "Mask even during movie screening," (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 


▲ This photo shows disinfecting the BIFF theaters. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 


▲ This photo shows temporary screening clinic installed in BIFF. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


▲ This photo, provided by Suyeong-gu, shows movie screening on paddleboards. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 




BUSAN, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- “I missed this so much and wanted to see this so much. What more is there to say.”

Star actor of BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) opening film, Choi Min-sik, stepped across the red carpet to climb up the opening stage for the festival in 2 years to share his greetings sounding overwhelmed with his shaky voice.

This year’s BIFF, the largest Asian film festival, is the 26th. The festival has finally come back to meet the audiences in 2 years amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike last year’s openingclosing-omitted event, this year’s festival has spread out the red carpet for the opening and closing ceremonies and has cautiously prepared an offline event as well.

Worries rose as much as anticipation.

While Busan City was relatively well taking care of the pandemic recording less than 50 confirmed cases a day, the entire country’s daily confirmed cases have been marking four digits for almost 100 days.

As BIFF is the first large-scale cultural event to held in Korea under the pandemic crisis, some has viewed it as a testing stand for “with COVID-19.”

This year, directors and stars stepped on the red carpet in 2 years and about 1,200 attendees watched it. And screen can hold 50% which is more compared to last year’s 25%.

All audiences, guests, staff and reporters must be past 2 weeks after second vaccination shot or carry a negative test result for COVID-19 infection to attend the opening and closing ceremonies.

“The quarantine manual for the festival is 50 pages. We have put a lot of effort into preventing the infection from spreading and have come up with plan B as well. Some audiences who watched our films can be tested positive for the infection, but it is not fearsome. We have prepared for measures for that too,” explained Huh Moon-young BIFF executive director.

“We are well aware that there are criticisms against holding large events, we couldn’t afford to cut the festival’s scale again. Not only the immediate reduction of profit, we also had to take the further future into account such as the sustainability of the current sponsors as well.

Actually, there were confirmed cases during the festival.

An entertainment manager who visited the site was tested positive for the infection on the 11th, but no additional confirmed cases have been reported yet.

The film industry directly suffered from COVID-19.

Under the pandemic, filming had to stopped and releases were postponed to who-knows-when. Number of moviegoers significantly decreased as well.

Meanwhile global OTT (over-the-top) platforms such as Netflix have gained popularity.

To the film industry workers suffering, this year’s BIFF would have been a ray of hope.

We wish for the day when many mask-free people can sit in front of the large screen with popcorns and beverages to feel the movie together to come in the near future.



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