USA

Busan Builds Actors House as Monument to Thespian Craft

The Busan festival has experienced its share of fandom in previous editions, with everything from frenetic crowds at guest visits in Haeundae, an overflowing BIFF Square in Nampodong, through to star-struck teenagers camping in the entrance to the Grand Hotel. None of these are particularly appropriate in the age of COVID and social distancing.

With that in mind, the festival has built what it calls an ‘Actors House,’ a slightly more respectful and arms-length series of encounters between on-screen stars and their public. The series consists of six, more in-depth conversations with successful, younger talent.

They will be sharing stories that have never been heard before, including their acting philosophy and their most memorable scenes, organizers say. The sessions are moderated by Una Beck, the head of Una Labo Actorology.

Highest profile participants are actress Uhm Junghwa (“Insadong Scandal,” “Haeundae,” “OK! Madam”) and actor Cho Jinwoong (“Roaring Currents,” “The Handmaiden”), who have established their filmographies across the silver screen and television. The two, also form part of the jury judging the actor and actress of the year award at this year’s BIFF.

Han Yeri earned recent acclaim for her portrayal of Monica, a caring mother leading her family’s way in a foreign country, in the Oscar-nominated film “Minari.” Jun Jong-seo launched her career with director Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning”and followed up in “Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon,” which was seen at the latest edition of the Venice International Film Festival.

Lee Je-hoon, who has recent credits including “Time to Hunt” and “Collectors,” doubles up as director of a segment of the omnibus film Unframed, which is part of the Korean Cinema Today – Panorama section. Byun Yohan has been present on screen recently in recent hits “Book of Fish” and “On The Line.”

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