'The Host' Producer Choi Yong-bae to Head Bucheon Fantastic Film Fest

Choi Yong-bae H 2015
Courtesy of Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival

The South Korean producer will head Asia's largest genre film festival for three years, from 2016-2019.

South Korea's star producer Choi Yong-bae has been appointed the new director of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BiFan).

Choi will step into his new position on Jan. 1, 2016, ahead of the big 20th-anniversary edition of Asia's largest genre film festival due to kick off in the summer. His tenure will last three years.

The 52-year-old is one of Korea's leading executive producers, investors and distributors with more than 50 features under his belt. His signature work include The Host, one of the country's top-grossing films of all time, directed by Bong Joon Ho, as well as art house classics such as Kim Ki-duk's 3-Iron and Hong Sang-soo's Night and Day.

More recently, Choi made headlines for backing the politically charged film 26 Years through crowdfunding.

Cho is also reputed for spearheading the launch of Little Big Pictures, a distribution firm formed by 10 small- and medium-sized companies including his own production company, Chungeorahm Film, in response to the major conglomerates monopolizing the local film market.

The 19th edition of BiFan earlier this year ran from July 16-26, and featured 235 films from 45 countries. Dates for the 2016 edition of the festival have not yet been fixed but is expected to take place in July.