Cover South Korean actress Kim Gyu-ri walks on the red carpet during the opening ceremony of the 26th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) at the Busan Cinema Center in Busan on October 6, 2021. (Photo: Jung Yeon-je / AFP)

Find out which of your favourite celebrities attended the opening ceremony of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)

The Busan International Film Festival is back in full swing from October 6–15. While attendance is limited due to the pandemic, the opening ceremony’s red carpet is still attended by various celebrities and directors.

The star-studded attendees are comprised of celebrities who are starring in movies and series that are screening this year including My Name, directors whose work are also part of the lineup or special guests that were invited due to their growing popularity in recent years.

Find out which celebrities were present at one of Asia’s most prestigious film festivals.

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1. Han Soo-hee

Actress Han So-hee is starring in Netflix’s My Name, one of three K-dramas that will premiere at the film festival. Han is most known for her role as Yeo Da-kyung in The World of the Married and Yu Na-bi in Netflix’s Nevertheless.

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2. Choi Min-sik and Park Hae-II

Veteran actor Choi Min-sik arrives with his co-star, Park Hae-II in the movie, Heaven: To the Land of Happiness, which will be screened as the opening film of the festival.

Choi is one of the most sought-after and well-known actors in South Korea. Among his roles and movies, he is most known for the 2013 cult movie, Oldboy.

Meanwhile, theatre actor turned movie star Park is most known for Memories of Murder and A Muse.

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3. Byun Yo-han

Byun Yo-han is starring in The Book of Fish which is screening at the festival. The black and white film took home the Daesang (grand prize) at the Baeksang Arts Awards and is nominated for Best Film at the 2021 Asian Film Awards. Byun was also nominated for Best Actor at the Baeksang Arts Awards.

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4. Cho Jin-woong

Actor Cho Jin-woong is most known for his movie roles while he also gained success in the Korean crime drama, Signal. Among his long career, Cho’s most memorable movies include The Handmaiden, Deep Rooted Tree, Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time, A Hard Day and Assassination.

5. Jeon Yeo-bin

Jeon Yeo-bin, one of the rising actresses today, is one of the leads of Night in Paradise which is screening at the festival. She recently starred in Netflix’s Vincenzo and will be the lead in another Netflix series, Glitch.

Jeon gained prominence in the movie, After My Death for which she won the Actress of the Year Award at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival. For her K-drama debut in Be Melodramatic, she earned a Best New Actress for Television nomination.

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6. Lee El

Lee El is one of the most familiar faces when it comes to Korean dramas, whether she’s playing supporting roles or lead roles. She’s starring in Heaven: To the Land of Happiness opposite Choi Min-sik and Park Hae-II which is the opening film of the festival.

Lee is best known for Inside Men, It’s Okay That's Love, What a Man Wants, When the Devil Calls Your Name and Matrimonial Chaos.

7. Yoo Ah-in

Yoo Ah-in is undoubtedly one of the best actors of his generation. He’s starring in the Voice of Silence for which he won numerous Best Actor awards for including the Blue Dragon Film Awards, Baeksang Arts Awards, Buli Film Awards and Fantasia International Film Festival. He’s also nominated for his performance at the Asian Film Awards.

Yoo is known for many films and shows that received acclaim including Burning, The Throne, My Secret Love Affair, Veteran, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Chicago Typewriter and Six Flying Dragons. Yoo will be seen next in Netflix’s Hellbound, which recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and is also screening at this year’s Busan International Film Festival.

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8. Ahn Bo-hyun

Ahn Bo-hyun gained prominence when he starred as Jang Geun-won in Itaewon Class after numerous supporting roles. The show garnered praise for its portrayal of friendship, gender, class divide and representation. The actor is also starring opposite Han So-hee in My Name. He’s currently in the K-drama, Yumi’s Cells opposite Kim Go-eun.

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9. Im Kwon-taek

Im Kwon-taek, one of South Korea’s most renowned directors, is receiving The Asian Filmmaker of the Year at the Busan International Film Festival. From his debut film in 1962 with Farewell Duman River to his 102nd work in 2014, Revivre—Im is a true living legend.

He remains an iconic Korean director who has contributed to the promotion of Asian movies around the world. Besides his award this year, Im has received numerous accolades throughout his 60-year career including the Geumgwan Order of Cultural Merit in 2002, the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival and the Honorary Golden Bear award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

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10. Lee Seol

Lee Seol might be a new name to many but the actress is definitely one to keep an eye out for. After starring in Less Than Evil for which she earned a Best New Actress for Television nominated at the Baeksang Arts Award, she subsequently landed her first lead role in When the Devil Calls Your Name.

She will be seen next in One Ordinary Day opposite Kim So-hyun and Cha Seung-won.

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11. Bong Joon-ho

Bong Joon-ho, the renowned South Korean director behind Parasite swept the Academy Awards in 2020, propelling Korean cinema to greater heights and making history. Bong is attending the Busan International Film Festival this year as a guest at the special talk.

Besides Parasite, Bong has worked on other award-winning films including Memories of Murder and The Host. Bong’s upcoming project is a Korean animation film that's been in the works since 2018.

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12. Kim Gyu-ri

Kim Gyu-ri is an actress best known for her debut movie, Memento Mori for which she won a Best New Actress for Film award at the Baeksang Arts Award. Her other notable movies include Portrait of a Beauty and the My Dear Girl, Jin-young.

13. Ki Joo-bong

Veteran actor Ki Joo-bong boasts a stellar portfolio of movies under his belt during his 44-year acting career. He most recently starred in The Spy Gone North—for which he took home a Best Supporting Actor award at the Korea Culture and Entertainment Awards—Hotel by the River, Grass and The Soup—all in 2018.

14. Park So-yi and Choi Hee-seo

Choi Hee-seo will soon be gracing our screens in Now We Are Breaking Up. The actress is most known for Anarchist from Colony where she set a record-breaking 11 acting accolades in a single award season.

Joining her on the red carpet is child actress Park So-yi who received recognition for her role in Deliver Us from Evil, which earned her a Best New Actress award in film at the Baeksang Arts Awards.

Both Choi and Park are starring in the anthology movie, Unframed which will screen at the Panorama section of the film festival.

15. Shogen

Okinawan-born actor Shogen is starring in the Brilliante Mendoza-directed film, Gensan Punch which will screen at the film festival. The model-actor will play a boxer with a leg impairment, based on the true story of boxer Nao Tsuyama. Shogen is notable for his roles in Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, Death Note and Stay.

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16. Park So-dam

Actress Park So-dam, who is also this year’s opening ceremony host, is best known for her role in Parasite. But the actress has been acting for a long time with numerous acting awards under her belt.

Other than Parasite, she is also known for The Priests, The Silenced, Cinderella and the Four Knights and Record of Youth.

17. Lee Ki-hong

You might recognise Korean American actor Lee Ki-hong from the Maze Runner movie franchise as Minho. But long before, the actor has starred in several TV shows such as Victorious, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, New Girl, and Modern Family. He most recently seen as Dong Nguyen in the Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

18. Song Joong-ki

Song Joong-ki is attending this year’s festival as one of the opening ceremony hosts alongside Park So-dam. Viewers recently saw Song make his K-drama comeback with Vincenzo and he will soon star in Chaebeol Family's Youngest Son.

Song is one of the high profile and sought-after actors today as well as one of the highest-paid Korean celebrities. He’s most known for Descendents of the Son, The Werewolf Boy, The Innocent Man and Sungkyunkwan Scandal.

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19. Kim Hye-yoon

After numerous supporting roles, Kim Hye-yoon got her big break in Sky Castle, the second highest-rated Korean cable TV series ever. Following the success of the drama, Kim nabbed her first leading role for Extraordinary You for which she received a Best New Actress award at the MBC Drama Awards.

Kim will be seen next in Snowdrop with Blackpink’s Jisoo and Jung Hae-in and Inspector Joy with 2PM’s Ok Taec-yeon.

20. Go Min-si

Actress Go Min-si recently starred opposite Lee Do-hyun in Youth of May and will be seen next in Jirisan together with Jun Ji-hyun. The actress rose to prominence after Secret Boutique for which she won a Best New Actress award at the SBS Drama Awards. She also appeared in Netflix’s Sweet Home and is definitely one of the rising actresses to watch.

21. Kim Sung-ho and Tang Joon-sang

Director Kim Sung-ho made his TV debut with Move to Heaven, where actor Tang Joon-sang stars. The South Korea-Malaysian actor gained recognition for his performance in Crash Landing on You. Move to Heaven is his first lead role and was shortly followed by Racket Boys—all Netflix series.

22. Uhm Ji-won

Uhm Ji-won boasts a career that started back in the 1990s, ranging from film to television. Her performance in Hong Sang-soo’s Tale of Cinema was met with praise and her later works earned her numerous acting nominations and awards. Most recently, she starred in The Cursed and Birthcare Centre—she was nominated for Best Actress at the Baeksang Arts Awards for the latter.

23. Kim Do-yoon, Ryu Kyung-soo and Won Jin-ah

Kim Do-yoon, Ryu Kyung-soo and Won Jin-ah are all part of the upcoming Netflix series, Hellbound which is premiering at the Busan International Film Festival and recently at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Kim is a relatively unknown actor but his acting work includes The Wailing, Peninsula—the sequel to Train to Busan and the TV show, Cursed. Meanwhile, Ryu is best known for his supporting roles and is perhaps best remembered as ex-gangster Choi Seung-kwon in Itaewon Class.

Actress Won Jin-ah made her acting debut in Rain or Shine (alternative title: Just Between Lovers) for which she beat out 120 other actresses who auditioned for the role. Her performance earned her a Best New Actress nomination at the Baeksang Arts Awards and she has since starred in blockbuster movies and a number of TV shows.

24. Kim Yong-ji

Kim Yong-ji caught the attention of views for her role as Yoo-ri in the fantasy drama, Tale of the Nine-Tailed. But the actress has actually starred in a number of blockbuster dramas including Mr. Sunshine where she made her debut and The King: Eternal Monarch. Since her notable role as Yoo-ri, many are waiting to see where the actress will appear next.

25. Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Ryusuke Hamaguchi, dubbed as “Japan’s director for the next generation” is definitely gaining prominence in recent years, especially after winning the Silver Bear - Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival with Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy.

His other movie, Drive My Car, which is screening at this year's festival, won the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival 2021. Hamaguchi is also a guest for the special talk with Bong Joon-ho.

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