Film blog BZFilm recently met Prof. Nam Lee to discuss the upcoming Busan West Film Festival we’re hosting here at Dodge College.

An excerpt from the interview with Prof. Lee:

The festival is being staged by Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts in partnership with South Korea’s Busan International Film Festival – the biggest film fest of Asia.

Busan West is expanding its program, and even expanded its program for this year. The 2013 Busan West program features a special opening night event and a martial arts retrospective, all designed to showcase Korean and Asian culture through food, music, and decor.

Q & A sessions led by notable film scholars will guide the audiences in conversation with several of Asia’s top film directors and talents who have committed to participate at Busan West and personally introduce their films.

BZFilm talked to Professor Nam Lee, an expert in Pan-Asian film, who spoke about the upcoming festival, and revealed what is to be expected from the upcoming event.


Dr. Lee, why has it been decided to host the 2013 Busan West Film Fest at Chapman University?

In 2009, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University established a partnership with Busan International Film Festival to create and organize annual Busan West Film Festival at Chapman. It was part of Dodge College’s effort to expand international relationship with Asia and Asian film communities and to introduce new films from Asia to our students and American audience. Busan West is a window to contemporary Asian cinema and a bridge between Hollywood and Asia.

The first Busan West was held in Nov. 2009 with 6 Korean directors invited to present their new films. Park Chan-wook was the first Busan West Icon Award recipient and Kim Jee-woon was also there to present his work Bittersweet Life.

The second Busan West was held in Nov. 2011 with Korean director Bong Joon-ho as the Icon Award recipient. Park and Bong, as award recipients, offered a masterclass to our film students. This year, we are moving the dates to March and the festival will be held annually.

This year’s festival expands, by adding short films nomination. Why was such idea considered in the first place?

The idea had been there from the beginning, however, it did not materialize until this year. Busan West, as a bridge between the US and Asia, should encourage and support Asian American filmmaking because Busan West is American version of Busan International Film Festival which is well known for fostering regional filmmaking and emerging directors.

One of the goals of Busan West is to to encourage Asian-American filmmaking and to introduce their films to Busan International Film Festival by giving the winners opportunity to screen their films at BIFF. It is a way to support local filmmakers. Also a short film festival is a great way to discover new talents across the nation.

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