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Italian directors, actors join list of BIFF guests

Organizers of the 24th annual Busan International Film Festival added more names to the list of international guests on Thursday for the upcoming event, including up-and-coming directors and actors from Italy.

Francesco Di Leva and Adriano Pantaleo, two actors from “The Mayor of Rione Sanita,” will be making an appearance at the festival. The film, directed by Mario Martone and based on the 1960 play of the same name, was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 76th Venice International Film Festival.

The two actors will speak about the film during the 10 a.m. screening at the Busan Cinema Center on Oct. 6 and the 1:30 p.m. screening at CGV Centum City on Oct. 7. 

“The Mayor of Rione Sanita” (Busan International Film Festival)
“The Mayor of Rione Sanita” (Busan International Film Festival)

Director Carlo Sironi, whose first feature film, “Sole,” premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival, will be in Busan to talk about it. He will be an invited guest at the 4:30 p.m. showing at CGV Centum City on Oct. 5 and the 8 p.m. showing at Lotte Cinema Centum City.

Director Maura Delpero will also be making an appearance. Her film “Maternal,” which deals with the issue of maternal instincts through a story that unfolds at a convent-run sanctuary for single mothers, was selected for a special mention in the international competition section at this year’s Locarno Film Festival.

Delpero will be invited to speak at the 2:30 p.m. showing on Oct. 6 at the Busan Cinema Center and the 4:30 p.m. showing at the CGV Centum City.

All guest appearances will take place after the films, and the audience will be free to ask questions about each film.

Earlier this month, it was announced that stars of the 2019 Netflix historical drama “The King” would be attending BIFF -- one of the largest film festivals in Asia, set to take place in South Korea’s southern port city. Actors Timothee Chalamet, who plays the young king, and Joel Edgerton, who plays his trusted knight Falstaff, will visit along with director David Michod to represent the film, which had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

The first Korean showing of the film has been hotly anticipated here, with the organizers announcing Wednesday that tickets had sold out just one minute after online sales opened.

This year’s BIFF will feature 303 films from 85 countries, with world premieres of 97 feature films and 23 short films. Thirty films -- 29 features and one short film -- will be shown for the first time outside their countries of origin.

Opening BIFF 2019 is “The Horse Thieves. Roads of Time” by Kazakhstan’s Yerlan Nurmukhambetov and Japan’s Lisa Takeba, and the closing film will be “Moonlit Winter” by Korea’s Lim Dae-hyung.

The festival will take place Oct. 3-12, across 37 screens at six theaters in Busan: Busan Cinema Center, Lotte Cinema Centum City, CGV Centum City, Megabox Haeundae, Sohyang Theater Centum City and Lotte Cinema Daeyoung.

By Yoon Min-sik