Busan Festival Braces for Typhoon on Opening Weekend

Busan city view - Getty H 2016
Courtesy of Getty Images

The South Korean film festival’s signature beachside events have been moved indoors with the impending arrival of Typhoon Kong-Rey.

Busan International Film Festival organizers are bracing for a rather splashy opening weekend with the impending arrival of a big typhoon.

The 23rd edition of the South Korean cinema event kicks off Thursday for a 10-day run until Oct. 13.

According to weather forecasts, Typhoon Kong-Rey is expected to move toward the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, where Busan is located, over the weekend. It is expected to cross over the Ryukyu Islands and the East China through Friday, then turn right, moving towards South Korea.

Kong-Rey is expected to be closest to Busan around mid-morning on Saturday. The Korea Meteorological Administration has suggested an 80 percent-90 percent chance that the typhoon will directly hit Busan.

The opening weekend usually draws the largest festival crowds. Organizers have thus moved some of the outdoor events, including appearances of top Asian stars and filmmakers on a beachside stage at BIFF Village, indoors. The talk and meet-and-greet sessions have been moved from Haeundae Beach to the Busan Cinema Center, the festival’s main venue where the opening and closing events are held.

This is not the first time that the weather would be dampening the mood at Asia’s largest film festival.

In 2016, Typhoon Chaba arrived on the eve of the fest’s opening, damaging BIFF Village structures, including several buildings, outdoor stage and automated ticket machines. Over two dozen of the festival’s signature events, including hand-printing ceremonies, had to be shifted.