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Beijing Festival Says Lack of Korean Films ‘Not a Political Decision’

Getty Images Beijing

Getty Images Beijing

“The collection of films is oriented to the whole world, without preference for any particular countries,” says a member of the organizing committee.

The lack of South Korean films at this year’s Beijing International Film Festival has nothing to do with politics, one of the organizers said Friday, as relations between China and South Korea continue to plummet over Seoul’s deployment of an anti-missile system opposed by Beijing.

Yonhap news agency cited unidentified South Korean entertainment industry sources in March as saying that Chinese authorities had revoked invitations for some South Korean films to show during the festival.

Now in its seventh year, the Beijing festival starts Sunday and concludes April 23. Korean films have been shown in all previous years. In 2016, Korean actors appeared at the opening and closing ceremonies. This year, 15 films are competing for the Tiantan prize, and the festival says a further 500 “outstanding global films” from multiple countries will be screened. None is from South Korea.

beijingFest-fe

When asked why, Ai Dongyun, vice secretary general of the festival organizing committee, told The Associated Press that movies were picked on merit without regard to where they came from.

“The collection of films is oriented to the whole world, without preference for any particular countries. So it is a collection and presentation of excellent films from the world,” said Ai, adding: “It was not a political decision.”

China’s furious objection to Seoul’s deployment of the anti-missile system known by its acronym, THAAD, has brought relations between the two countries to their lowest point since they established diplomatic relations in 1992. While Seoul and Washington say … (read more)

via AP/Hollywood Reporter

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