NEW DELHI: The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has introduced a new section "On Screen", which will showcase highly anticipated drama series that will be streamed over online video streaming platforms, the organisers said on Wednesday.
The upcoming 26th edition of Asia's leading movie gala will take place in Busan, South Korea from October 6 to October 15.
Yeon Sang-ho's "Hellbound", Kim Jin-min's "My Name", and "Forbidden", which was co-directed by Anucha Boonyawatana (Thailand) and Josh Kim (US) are the three dramas that have been invited to launch the platform, according to the festival's official website.
The development is a timely step with as South Korea continues to cement its position one of the most sought after countries for its local streaming content courtesy popular Netflix shows like period zombie horror series "Kingdom", cross-border love story "Crash Landing on You", among several others.
"As BIFF accommodates not only traditional theatrical releases, but also OTT (over-the-top) drama series with the new addition of the On Screen section, it is able to present more diverse and higher-quality works to the audience, whose range of fandom is expanding.
On Screen section will be a swift and preeminent entrance into a new area of cinema," the organisers said in a statement.
The On Screen section plans to showcase highly anticipated drama series on OTT platforms as either world premieres or Asia premieres.
The section aims to precisely reflect the current state of the market, which is expanding multi-directionally, while embracing the extended flow and value of cinema.
"Hellbound" and "My Name" are Korean dramas, also called K-dramas, on Netflix, while "Forbidden" is HBO ASIA's original series.
Based on the eponymous popular webtoon, "Hellbound" is the story of supernatural events in which people suddenly receive a hell-bound condemnation.
The events lead to the establishment of a religious organization called the New Truth Church, which gains a following in the midst of the chaos, and those who try to reveal the truth of the situation become involved with each other.
Yeon, known for blockbuster films like "Train to Busan" and its sequel "Peninsula", serves as director on the series which will have its first screening at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.
"Hellbound" stars popular South Korean actors Yoo Ah-in, Park Jeong-min, Kim Hyun-joo, and Won Jin-a.
"My Name" comes from director Kim Jin-Min, whose recent work was the popular Netflix series "Extracurricular".
The new series is described as "a powerful and captivating action noir with a female-led narrative that depicts the harsh truth of the protagonist, played by "Nevertheless" star Han So-hee, who infiltrates the police using another name to reveal the secret of her father's death and to seek his revenge.
Park Hee-soon, Ahn Bo-hyun, Kim Sang-ho, Lee Hak-ju, and Jang Yull also round out the cast of "My Name", which will have its world premiere at the BIFF.
Lastly, "Forbidden" follows four friends who travel from Bangkok to a remote mountain village for one of their father's funeral.
The series features one of Thailand's rising stars, actor-singer Kritssanapoom Pibulsonggram.
At the world premiere of the series, the two episodes to be screened at this year's edition were directed by Boonyawatana, who won the Kim Jiseok Award at BIFF 2017.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BIFF was held on a minimal scale last year.
Previously, festival director Huh Moonyung said the gala "seeks to launch itself as a festive playground where films and filmmakers of the world can create an uproar this year within the scope permitted by preventive health measures".