Busan Film Festival Faces Management Crisis As Chairperson Lee Yong-Kwan, Executive Director Huh Moonyung Both Resign
17th May 2023

Lee Yong-Kwan has submitted his resignation as Chairperson of South Korea’s Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), the second high-profile exit in a week, after Executive Director Huh Moonyung tendered his resignation last Friday. 

The moves come after BIFF announced last week that Cho Jongkook had been appointed as Managing Director to oversee the budgeting and administrative operations of the festival, serving alongside Huh. 

BIFF’s next edition is scheduled to be held October 4-13, 2023, with the Asian Contents and Film Market (ACFM) running at the same time from October 7-10. 

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Huh has not stated his reasons for resigning, but Korean press have speculated that he was frustrated with the festival’s decision to split the management role between two appointments. 

Speaking at a BIFF press conference, Lee told local media: “We see Huh’s return to the committee as the only solution to mend this situation. Myself and Huh will meet on May 31. I’ll persuade him [to return] through dialogue.”

However, Lee said he would also step down after “quickly wrapping up the current situation.” Lee is a founding member of BIFF who has held the role of chairperson since 2018. 

BIFF has been through internal management struggles before, most notably when the festival was targeted by the Korean government following its screening of the documentary The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol, about the 2014 Korean ferry disaster, which was critical of government policy. 

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