Bhutanese monk’s film to open Busan film festival

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A Bhutanese monk’s movie about a South Indian dance will open the Busan International Film Festival next month. Officials say it’s the first time the continent’s showcase film festival has chosen a movie from Bhutan for the red carpet event usually taken by a Chinese or Korean feature.

Festival director Lee Yong-kwan said Tuesday that “Vara: A Blessing,” the dance drama about Bharatanatyam South Indian dance, will be shown Oct. 3. The movie has interesting themes the festival wants to showcase, he said.

Filmmaker Khyentse Norbu is a Buddhist monk and cannot attend the glitzy showing of his third feature film because of a scheduling conflict with religious training.

The 10-day festival will end with “The Dinner,” a South Korean movie about an ordinary family’s misfortunes after screening 300 movies from 70 countries.

Among them are two movies from Mongolia and many from Kazakhstan. There are three single-shot movies, while more than 50 films are being premiered at Asia’s largest film festival.

Other highlights include Kim Ki-duk’s controversial “Moebius” and Bong Joon-ho’s “Snowpiercer,” a box office hit in South Korea, which will give movie fans a chance to see the director’s cut version before its global distribution.

A retrospective of South Korean veteran filmmaker Im Kwon-taek will feature dozens of movies from his career spanning more than five decades.

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