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Busan & Cannes

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If you are a movie buff, the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of Busan might be the image of Busan as a “city of cinematography.” With a beautiful and authentic cityscape, it has, indeed, been featured as a backdrop in countless movies. Busan also hosts the premier film festival in Korea, the internationally acclaimed Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). As one of the largest film festivals in Asia, along with the Tokyo International Film Festival and Hong Kong International Film Festival, BIFF is celebrating its 24th annual festival this year (the inaugural festival was held in 1996).
Today, BIFF screens most films inside or near the Busan Cinema Center in Centum City, Haeundae. The Cinema Street in Haeundae, created by the municipal government in Busan for its cinema industry, features three different zones - “10 Million Audience Film Zone,” “Animation Zone,” and “Film with Haeundae backdrop Zone” - under the overarching theme of “Play and have fun with film.” It gives visitors a chance to check out the list of top-grossing movies in Korea over the years, and enjoy a variety of attractions, including photo zones, trick arts, and sculptures. In particular, the Santorini Square in front of Park Hyatt Busan Hotel looks almost like a movie set because of the sea and its magnificent surroundings. Once the sun sets, the entire Marine City in Haeundae lights up, offering a surreal nightscape. It might remind you of a futuristic city in a sci-fi movie. Busan has the perfect blend of old town charm filled with memories from our past and metropolitan appeal with the image of a brand new city of the future. That is why both the city and cinema are considered a match made in heaven.

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Even if you are not a movie fan, you probably know that Cannes in France is famous for its film festival. Along with the Berlin International Film Festival and Venice International Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival is one of the three major film festivals held around the world. Cannes, an internationally renowned holiday destination in the Alpes-Maritimes province (southern France), hosts the Cannes Film Festival each year. Located further south of Nice, Cannes became a tourist attraction at the turn of the 20th century because of its temperate Mediterranean climate and beautiful, azure-colored waters.
The Cannes Film Festival began as a government-funded project in the late-1930s to compete against the Venice International Film Festival, which had become more politically inclined in its screenings. This year, the Cannes Film Festival turns 72. Winning an award in Cannes means that the film world has acknowledged and recognized the cinematic quality and significance of a particular entry. This is the reason “Parasite,” which was directed by Korean film director Bong Joon-ho, gaining the center of attention at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, became particularly exciting news. When the Cannes Film Festival gets underway in May, the otherwise tranquil coastal city of Cannes becomes packed with visitors from all over the world. If you are a genuine cinema fan, the Le Palais des Festivals et des Congrès and Le Chemin des Étoiles, featuring handprints of world-famous film directors and celebrities, are “can’t miss” attractions.

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