The Korea Herald


BIFF executive chair suddenly resigns five months before film festival

By Kim Da-sol

Published : May 12, 2023 - 16:56

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Busan International Film Festival’s former Executive Chair Huh Mun-young (BIFF) Busan International Film Festival’s former Executive Chair Huh Mun-young (BIFF)

Huh Mun-young, the executive chair who had been appointed in March 2021 to lead the country’s largest and one of Asia‘s most significant film festivals, the Busan International Film Festival, has decided to resign from the post less than five months before this year’s festival, raising concerns about the event proceeding as planned.

This year’s BIFF will kick off on Oct. 4.

Market insiders said Huh resigned to show his frustration over the recent transformation of the BIFF executive committee‘s structure into a co-chair system. In an emergency general meeting of the executive committee on May 9, the BIFF introduced a new position, executive committee co-chair -- a post directly appointed at the meeting.

At the meeting, Cho Jong-kook, former editor in chief of local film magazine “Screen” and former director of the Korean Film Council, was appointed to co-chair the executive committee with Huh.

Some said that Huh had not been aware that Cho would be appointed to the co-chair role before the meeting occurred.

However, a BIFF official denied this saying that Huh had been in the position to confirm the co-chair system and Cho‘s appointment, so he must have known about the appointment, adding that Huh may return to his position after changing his mind.

BIFF said they will wait for Huh’s response and that it’s too early to talk about Huh’s next moves.

Huh, a film critic, was the editor in chief of Korean film magazine “Cine 21” and previously worked as BIFF‘s Korean film programmer for five years from 2002. He also participated as a member of the International Critics’ Week jury at the 75th Cannes Film Festival.