f(x)'s Krystal, actor Jang Dong-yoon to host Bifan opening ceremony

Singer and actor Krystal from girl group f(x), left, and actor Jang Dong-yoon [BEAST AND NATIVES ALIKE, BH ENTERTAINMENT]

Singer and actor Krystal from girl group f(x) and actor Jang Dong-yoon will host the 28th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (Bifan) opening ceremony, the festival organizer said Tuesday.

The festival’s opening ceremony is slated to be held on July 4 at 7 p.m. at the Bucheon Art Center in Gyeonggi.

The festival also revealed the same day that director Park Chan-wook’s latest black comedy HBO series, “The Sympathizer,” will be screened during the festival.

All episodes of the HBO series, which were exclusively released on streaming platform Coupang Play in Korea last April, will be screened, the festival organizer said.

Park directed the first three episodes of the series, which is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Vietnamese American author Viet Thanh Nguyen.

The TV series follows the story of the Captain, who is a spy for North Vietnam and has been planted in the South Vietnam army. The spy is forced to move to the United States near the end of the Vietnam War but continues to report back to the Viet Cong. However, while living in the United States, he struggles to juggle his original loyalties with his new life.

A still from director Park Chan-wook's latest black comedy series ″The Sympathizer″ [COUPANG PLAY]

The special screening of “The Sympathizer” was Bifan’s effort to redefine film and discuss the newly built future of the film industry by closely linking it with the festival’s programs, according to the festival.

“The special screening of all the episodes of ‘The Sympathizer’ was a plan, in part, to break down the boundaries between media and respond to the needs of diverse audiences by introducing the series to the audience once again on the screen,” the festival said in a press release.

This year’s Bifan will run from July 4 to 14, with various films screened at theaters in the region. It also launched an AI section this year, aiming to recognize films using AI technology and discuss its impact on the film industry.

Detailed information, such as Bifan's programs and the film lineup, is available on the official site.