Girls' Generation Yoona will replace actress Kim Ha Neul as the co-host of the ceremony for this year's Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). Ha Neul stepped down after learning about her pregnancy. The actress revealed that she would like to focus on her health completely and had to opt out of the event.
The organisers of the event confirmed on October 10 that singer-actress Yoona will take over as the host. "Kim recently gave notice that she cannot attend the event because of her recent pregnancy. Kim's agency says the decision followed her doctor's advice not to stand for a long time," The Koreabiz Wire reported. Ha Neul married her businessman husband back in March 2016, after a year of dating.
The 22nd Busan International Film Festival will kickstart on Thursday, Oct 12 at Busan. The nine-day event will feature 298 films from 75 countries around the world. Yoona will be hosting the event along with Jang Dong-gun.
The annual festival is one of Asia's most prestigious event supporting independent films. However, for the past few years, there has been high dramas and controversies around the event. This year, the festival has attracted many international guests including two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, Darren Aronofsky, John Woo, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda and China's Jia Zhangke.
The opening ceremony will be followed by the screening of Korean director Shin Su-Won's revenge thriller "Glass Garden." Taiwanese director Sylvia Chang's historical drama "Love Education" will close the event (first for a women director).