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Bhutanese monk's film to open Busan film festival

Associated Press
Lee Yong-kwan, director of the Busan International Film Festival, speaks during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. The festival will be held at the Busan Cinema Center and seven other movie theaters in the southern port city of Busan from Oct. 3-12.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A Bhutanese monk's movie about a South Indian dance will open the Busan International Film Festival next month. Officials say it's the first time the continent's showcase film festival has chosen a movie from Bhutan for the red carpet event usually taken by a Chinese or Korean feature.

Festival director Lee Yong-kwan said Tuesday that "Vara: A Blessing," the dance drama about Bharatanatyam South Indian dance, will be shown Oct. 3. The movie has interesting themes the festival wants to showcase, he said.

Filmmaker Khyentse Norbu is a Buddhist monk and cannot attend the glitzy showing of his third feature film because of a scheduling conflict with religious training.

The 10-day festival will end with "The Dinner," a South Korean movie about an ordinary family's misfortunes after screening 300 movies from 70 countries.

Among them are two movies from Mongolia and many from Kazakhstan. There are three single-shot movies, while more than 50 films are being premiered at Asia's largest film festival.

Other highlights include Kim Ki-duk's controversial "Moebius" and Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer," a box office hit in South Korea, which will give movie fans a chance to see the director's cut version before its global distribution.

A retrospective of South Korean veteran filmmaker Im Kwon-taek will feature dozens of movies from his career spanning more than five decades.

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