Busan Film Festival Director Huh Moonyung to Depart: Report

Huh Moonyung is set to step down from the position of director of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in South Korea, according to reports.

Huh had been announced as director of the festival in 2021, following the departure of Jay Jeon, with the term expected to run until March 2024.

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The news of Huh’s departure arrives just days after Cho Jongkook, who had previous stints as secretary general of Busan Film Commission and Korean Film Council, being named managing director of the festival.

While announcing the appointment of Cho, the festival had said that Huh would continue to oversee the official selection of films and festival events and discovery of prominent directors and films in Korea and Asia, while in the new MD position Cho would oversee the operation of the organization, such as corporate operation, general affairs, administration and budgeting. “The appointment of the MD will not only secure global competitiveness for BIFF as a worldwide film festival, but also focus its efforts on accomplishing its mid-to-long term vision and strategic task of becoming an ‘Asian film hub festival’, as announced last year,” the festival had explained in its announcement.

“We are highly anticipating the changes that this new appointment will bring,” a festival source had told Variety of the new position.

The Korea JoongAng Daily reported on Friday that Huh had conveyed his intention to continue working only until the end of the month and then leave the position, during an internal meeting last week.

“Director Huh expressed his intention to resign,” a spokesperson for BIFF told Korea JoongAng Daily. “But as he did not specify why he is resigning, we cannot clarify the reason. His resignation has not been processed yet.”

Huh is a film critic and had been program director of the Busan Cinema Center prior to being appointed as the festival director. He was previously a Korean cinema programmer at the Busan festival for five years from 2002 after having built his journalism career at current affairs magazine JoongAng Monthly and film magazine Cine21.

This year’s festival will run Oct 4-13, 2023.

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