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Monday, 29 February 2016

Busan IFF Update - An letter from the Festival Directors to Supporters around the world

Dear Friends of BIFF,

First of all, we would like to say that we are very grateful for your huge supports for us and it has been an enormous help for us during this crisis.

As the situations are rapidly changing now, so we would like to update you the current developments and explain our plans, aims, and stands with this letter.

On Feb 18th, Busan city Mayor had an emergency press conference and made an announcement that he would step down as a chairman of the festival committee and hand over his position to a non-government person. In his announcement, he also said that he promised the festival the guaranty of its autonomy and independence. But we are not sure if his promise will be kept until it is officially confirmed by revising the festival’s articles of association since he didn’t mention any specific details about how he would do it.

We came to conclusion that our fight should be more focused on revising the articles of association than requesting the reappointment because without changing the current articles of association which is favorable to the city government than to the festival itself, we are not able to win our independence back even if the reappointment is made.

On Feb 25th, the general assembly where important matters such as annual budget get approved for the preparation of the festival of that year took place. At the general assembly, a special general meeting for the revision of articles was requested by the majority of assembly members (106 out of 152). According to BIFF’s regulations, the special assembly must be called within 27 days form the day it was requested. The city mayor who is also a chairman of the assembly refused the request saying it needs more time than a month to be revised. As the members disputed about his refusal, he hurriedly ended the session and walked out.

Now, we are even unsure if he will keep his words. We are beginning to suspect that he made a public announcement of his own resignation just to eliminate the festival director (Lee Yong-kwan), not to guarantee the festival’s autonomy and independence as he promised. No matter what it is, we won’t stop until we get what we are fighting for so there will be no outside interference for any political reasons damaging freedom of expression again. We will find a way to win our rights so we can move on.

We strongly believe that is how we repay out debts to the supporters like you. We want you to keep your eyes on this situation continuously because the fight isn’t over. It is just a beginning.

Once again, thank you very much and we will keep you posted on this matter.


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