The Busan International Film Festival has unveiled a selection of nine series for its On Screen section, a program launched last year that highlights innovative series created by TV producers and streaming platforms.

This year’s selection, which has grown from three titles to nine, will include original series from Disney+, Netflix and TVING, the streaming service run by Korean entertainment giant CJ ENM — all of which will screen as either world premieres or Asia premieres. 

Netflix’s Somebody (2022) is the first drama series from veteran Korean filmmaker Jung Ji-woo. A mystery thriller, it follows four women and a man whose lives become entangled through a social media app. Glitch, also a Netflix original comedy-thriller, is the latest collaboration between Korean director Roh Deok, who is known for such works as Very Ordinary Couple (2013), and screenwriter Gin Han-sai, famous for the acclaimed series Extracurricular (2020).  Glitch revolves around a woman who seeks out members of the UFO community to track down her missing boyfriend. 

Indonesian director Kimo Stamboel’s Blood Curse and Connect by the Japanese director Miike Takashi will also be shown in Busan, both produced and distributed by Disney+. Connect is Miike’s first production featuring an all Korean cast, and it is based on the Korean webtoon of the same title. Stamboel, who was invited to Busan’s Midnight Passion section in 2016 with his film Headshot, will return to Busan with his new series, which portrays a sudden curse fallen upon a peaceful family. 

Yonder, a much-anticipated drama series by TVing, is the latest work by the veteran Korean director Lee Joon-ik known for hits such as The King and the Clown and Sunny. The film is Lee’s first sci-fi series, exploring themes of life, death, memory and happiness. 

Bargain, also from TVing, is the director Jeon Woo-sung’s adaptation of a short film by Lee Chunghyun of the same title, about an earthquake that hits a town, leaving a small group of survivors trapped in a building. 

Wavve, another Korean streaming giant run by local mobile carrier SK Telecom, will bring Weak Hero Class 1, directed by You Su-min, to Busan’s series section. The show is a coming-of-age action drama with an unpredictable storyline, featuring Han Jun-hee, the director of D.P (2020), as its creative director. 

The final Korean series to premiere, Recipe for Farewell (2022), directed by Lee Hojae, is a delicate human drama telling a story of a husband who prepares special meals for his wife after she is diagnosed with cancer.

Lastly, the section will showcase the great Danish auteur Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom Exodus (2022), the final edition of his popular TV series from the mid-90s, The Kingdom (1994). Noted for his aesthetic rigor and occasional controversy, von Trier returns will again satirize social norms with a horror comedy saga set in a Copenhagen hospital. 

“We’re still grappling with the question of ‘what is the definition of a film,’” said Huh Moon-young, the festival director, in a selection launch press conference. “This may be the core topic of BIFF Forum, which will be resumed after three years this year. We think the notion of cinema should be viewed more broadly, and for that purpose, a new section called ‘On Screen’ was launched last year.”

The 27th Busan festival will kick off on Oct. 5 and closes Oct. 14. 

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