Kazakhstani Western 'The Horse Thieves' to Open Busan Film Festival

World Architecture Festival/Sipa USA/NEWSCOM
The Busan Cinema Center

Korean romance film 'Moonlit Winter' will close Asian's largest movie event, which will see 303 films from 85 countries screened in total.

The 24th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) will open with Kazakhstani western The Horse Thieves, Roads of Time organizers announced on Wednesday.

Co-directed by Kazakhstan’s Yerlan Nurmukhambetov and Japan’s Lisa Takeba, The Horse Thieves stars 2018 Cannes Film Festival best actress Samal Yeslyamova and tells the story of gangsters who murder the father of a young family and steal the herd of horses that belonged to the village.

Korean romance film Moonlit Winter, directed by newcomer Lim Dae-hyung, will close the festival. Both opening and closing film directors have previously won the New Currents Awards at Busan. 

The selection includes 120 world premieres and 20 international premieres. In all, organizers say they will screen 303 films from 85 countries. 

The festival also announced global streaming giant Netflix’s original film The King has been selected as a gala presentation with lead actor Timothee Chalamet set to visit Busan for the first time. Chalamet confirmed his visit with the Korean flag emoji on his official twitter account on Wednesday. 

Busan festival will run Oct. 3-12. The Asian Film Market will run Oct. 5-8 in conjunction with the festival.