By Kim Boram
BUSAN, Oct. 3 (Yonhap) -- The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) will open its 24th edition in the southern port city of Busan on Thursday, filled with more than 300 worthwhile movies and various intriguing programs.
Starting with the opening ceremony to be held at the Busan Cinema Center in the city, located 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul, the festival will kick off its 10-day run. The ceremony will be co-hosted by South Korean actor Jung Woo-sung and actress Lee Hanee.
"The Horse Thieves. Roads of Time," a Kazakh horse opera co-directed by Yerlan Nurmukhambetov from Kazakhstan and Lisa Takeba from Japan, will be the first film to be screened at this year's BIFF.
The Kazakh director, Nurmukhambetov, was awarded the New Currents prize, given to up-and-coming Asian directors, at BIFF for his feature "Walnut Tree" in 2015.
Along with the opener, 303 films from 85 countries will jazz up the festivity and cinematic vibe in Busan during the festival until Oct. 12.
The festival will close with "Moonlight Winter," a melodrama by South Korean director Lim Dae-hyung, the 2016 winner of BIFF's New Currents award for "Merry Christmas Mr. Mo."
In this year's New Currents competition section, 14 films from 10 countries, including "John Denver Trending" by Philippine director Arden Rod Condez and "An Old Lady" by South Korea's Lim Sun-ae, will vie for the prize.
British director Mike Figgis will lead the jury for the New Currents competition along with Karel Och, a Czech filmmaker; Samal Yeslyamova, a Kazakh actress; Lee Sinje, also known as Angelica Lee, a Malaysian actress; and Suh Young-joo, the CEO of a South Korean film distributor.
"The Truth" by Palme d'Or-winning Hirokazu Kore-eda and three other movies, including Netflix-made David Michod's "The King," will be shown in the Gala Presentation section for screening the latest works from contemporary master directors.
There will be a special screening program to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Korean cinema. Ten masterpieces by renowned Korean directors, including "The Housemaid" (1960) by director Kim Ki-young and "Old Boy" (2003) by Park Chan-wook, will be screened under the slogan "The 100 Year History of Korean Cinema, 10 Great Korean Films."
This year's festival will also present a retrospective screening of seven films by prominent South Korean filmmakers. The lineup includes Kim Ki-young's "Woman of Fire" (1971), Kim Soo-yong's "Late Autumn" (1981) and Bae Chang-ho's "Hwang Jin-ie" (1986).