PiFan to feature more than 200 films

Korean event now Asia's largest genre fest

SEOUL -- This year's Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival will feature 205 films from 39 countries, the debut of a three-day project market and other new industry events, organizers said Tuesday.

PiFan will open July 18 in the Seoul suburb of Puchon with the Asian premiere of Ari Forman's "Waltz With Bashir" and close July 25 with the world premiere of Kwak Jae-yong's Korean-Japanese co-production "Cyborg She."

Started in 1997, last year's PiFan attracted more than 70,000 visitors, making it the largest film festival in Asia dedicated to genre films.

Lee Dooyong will lead the jury for the Puchon Choice competitive section, along with Philip Cheah, Ron Holloway, Roy Lee and Miroljub Vuckovic.

This year's PiFan will see the debut of the Network of Asian Fantastic Films on July 19-23, a five-day industry section running alongside the festival that will feature a project market, classes, workshops and more than 50 industry screenings.

Japanese director Takashi Shimizu ("The Grudge") will serve as the head of the NAFF jury, selecting six outstanding projects to receive cash prizes and postproduction assistance. Also on the jury are producer William Teitler ("Polar Express") and Roger Garcia.

Festival organizers said that the creation of NAFF is part of a five-year plan to develop PiFan, which also will include the establishment of a Cinematheque Puchon and a production/distribution service company for incubating new film professionals.