The chairman and executive director of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) will resign from their posts at end of the festival slated for October 12-21 in Busan, South Korea.
Chairman Kim Dong-ho, and executive director and actress Kang Soo-youn will give up their posts amid criticisms that they failed to implement reforms at the festival, which has been plagued with infighting in the last two years.
"Out of the conviction that the festival must be held in any case, we decided to do our best for this year's festival that is less than two months away and leave following the closing ceremony on Oct. 21. We ask for unchanged support and participation from the film scene and all the people so the event can be held successfully," the said in a statement, according to Yonhap News.
In 2014, the BIFF issue began over the screening of "The Truth Shall Not Sink with Sewol," a documentary about the Sewol ferry sinking that happened that year. The documentary criticized the government under then President Park Geun-hye.
The Sewol ferry sinking on April 15, 2014 resulted in the death of close to 300 people mostly students of Danwon High School. The ferry left Incheon on its way to Jeju Island.
The screening was supported by festival director Lee Yong-kwan but opposed by Busan Mayor Suh Byung-soo.
Kang was appointed BIFF co-executive director in 2015 while Kim replaced Suh as chairman last year.
Last year, attendance at the festival dropped by 27.4 percent to 165,149 from 227,377 in 2015, the news report added.
Kim and Kang's announcement came after the BIFF secretariat called for the return of Lee.
"We ask for the return of Lee to normalize the BIFF to hold the 22nd edition of the festival successfully and uprightly," according to the statement, which also scored Kang for her "lack of communication and dogmatic actions."