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Ken Watanabe to cohost Busan film fest

Veteran Japanese actor Ken Watanabe will open this year’s Busan International Film Festival, the event’s organizers said Tuesday.

Watanabe has been chosen to cohost the festival’s opening ceremony on Oct. 2 along with South Korean actress Moon So-ri, they said.

He will be the third foreign national to open the festival following Chinese actress Tang Wei and Hong Kong actor Aaron Kwok. 
Ken Watanabe (center). (Yonhap)
Ken Watanabe (center). (Yonhap)

He is one of Japan’s most-loved actors and has also carved a place for himself in the international film industry.

He appeared in several Hollywood films, such as “Batman Begins” (2005), “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2006), and “Inception” (2010). Most recently, he starred in “Unforgiven” (2013) by the Korean-Japanese filmmaker Lee Sang-il.

Since her screen debut in “Peppermint Candy” (1999), directed by Lee Chang-dong, Moon gained international fame by winning the Best New Actress award at the 2002 Venice International Film Festival with “Oasis” (2002) by the same director. She has since appeared in numerous commercial and art-house films, including “A Good Lawyer’s Wife” (2003), “Family Ties” (2006), “Hahaha” (2010) and “The Spy: Undercover Operation” (2013).

This year’s BIFF is set to run on Oct. 2-11 in the southern port city of Busan. (Yonhap)