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PiFan Opens with Homage to Bollywood

Rain fails to dampen opening ceremony.

BUCHEON, South Korea -- The 15th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) kicked off Thursday with a glitzy ceremony.

The monsoon rain, which has never failed to hit during the annual event, did not deter some 2,000 guests and fans from gathering at the Gyeonggi Province city.

Bucheon mayor-cum-PiFan chairman Kim Man-soo and festival director Kim Young-bin were seen repeatedly thanking VIPs and government officials at Bucheon Arena, a new and larger venue than previous editions.

Occasional heavy showers did little to muddle the red carpet processions featuring esteemed director Im Kwon-taek and other elder statesmen of the Korean film industry such as actor Moon Sung-keun. Also in attendance were actresses Kang Soo-yeon and Ye Ji-won, who co-starred in Im’s latest film Hanji.

Meanwhile sitcom starlets Choi Daniel and Shin Se-kyung accepted Fantasia Awards, which Bucheon citizens give to their favorite actors.

“PiFan has grown to become Asia’s foremost event for audiences and cineastes to mingle together,” Park Bo-young, the young heroine of the 2009 sleeper hit Scandal Makers and spokesperson of this year’s festival, said.

As PiFan has long designated a special section for Bollywood films, this year’s edition opened with Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, a documentary co-directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Jeff Zimbalist.

PiFan, featuring a lineup of 221 films from 34 countries, runs through July 24.