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Cannes: Busan Festival Programmer Kim Ji-seok Dies at 57

Variety logo Variety 5/19/2017 Patrick Frater

Kim Ji-seok, executive programmer of the Busan Film International Film Festival, died on Thursday while attending the Cannes Film Festival. He was 57.

In a statement the Busan festival said that he was killed by a heart attack.

“In undying efforts, contribution and devotion in discovery of Asian films, Kim led Busan International Film Festival to be the center of Asian cinema and one of world-class film festivals,” Busan said.

Sources close to the festival said that Kim had reported chest pains on Thursday and decided to remain at his shared Cannes apartment rather than going out with colleagues. When they returned later in the evening, the colleagues found Kim’s lifeless body.

The other Busan festival staff in Cannes have suspended their scheduled activities.

Kim’s family and the festival are taking administrative and legal steps to return his body to South Korea. Funeral plans will be announced later.

Kim had been one of a triumvirate of co-founders of the Busan festival in 1996. He remained with the festival throughout its 21 years and until of late held the title of deputy director.

Kim was born in the city in 1960 and studied at Busan University, before studying for a masters degree at Joong Ang University.

Asian film makers including Adolfo Alix Jr and Boo Junfeng posted messages of condolence on Kim’s Facebook page.

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