The Pusan International Film Festival, South Korean Cinema and Globalization


SooJeong Ahn

ISBN : 978-988-8083-58-9

Film, Media, Fine Arts TransAsia: Screen Cultures

January 2012

232 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$395.00
No longer available

Also available in Paperback HK$195.00

This book provides a political and cultural exploration of the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea since its inception in 1996. By paying a particular attention to the organizers’ use of an Asian regionalization strategy, SooJeong Ahn reveals how the festival staked out a unique and influential position within a rapidly changing global landscape.

Very little primary empirical research has been conducted to date on non-Western film festivals, though PIFF and Tokyo and Hong Kong have swiftly grown more exciting and influential as testing grounds for global cinema innovations. The initiation, development and growth of PIFF should be understood as resulting from productive tensions in the festival’s efforts to serve local, regional and national constituencies. The book also reflects the complexities of rapid transformation in the South Korean film industry as it has reached out to the global market since the late 1990s.

SooJeong Ahn worked for the Pusan International Film Festival between 1998 and 2002 and has completed a Ph.D. on film festivals at the University of Nottingham. Her recent publications include “Re-imagining the Past: Programming South Korean Retrospectives at PIFF,” in Film International (Vol. 6, 2008), “Placing South Korean Cinema into Pusan International Film Festival: Programming Strategy in the Global/Local Context,” in What a Difference a Region Makes: Cultural Studies and Cultural Industries in North-East Asia (2009); “Re-mapping Asian Cinema: The Tenth Anniversary of PIFF in 2005” in Cinemas, Identities and Beyond (2010).

“In only a decade, the Pusan International Film Festival has gone from its first edition to becoming not only the leading film festival in East Asia, but also one of the world’s most important. SooJeong Ahn tells this exciting story for the first time in her groundbreaking book. Her detailed analysis of the reasons for PIFF’s success and the direction it has taken is full of fascinating insight and pioneers a new direction in East Asian Cinema Studies.” —Chris Berry, Goldsmiths, University of London

“Ahn’s work on the Pusan International Film Festival is the first and the definitive scholarly monograph appearing in English on this key film festival in the East Asian region. With hands-on knowledge and through extensive interviews, Ahn illuminates the dynamics of the national, the regional and the global. Like the great films shown at the festival, this book is not to be missed!” —Jinhee Choi, King’s College London