BUSAN, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has launched a program to screen films at various outdoor places in the host city of Busan in an effort to reach a wider audience despite COVID-19 limitations.
The "BIFF in the Neighborhood" program allows people to watch films invited to the festival in the past on screens set up at 14 signature tourist destinations of the city without having to visit theaters, according to BIFF and the city government.
At the Gwangalli Beach over the weekend, visitors saw films sitting on paddleboards as part of the program. It marked the first time in the festival's history films have been screened for visitors on the sea.
Japanese animation "Ride Your Wave" (2019) and "The King of Jokgu," a Korean film drama invited to the festival in 2013, were shown on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, according to the authorities.
Visitors also had time to attend conversation sessions with movie directors and actors before the screenings.
"We suggested this idea to BIFF as this can be a chance to enhance the people's awareness of Gwangalli, famous as a place for paddleboarding, and Busan, the city of the ocean and cinema," an official at the city's Suyeong Ward Office that has the beach under its administrative jurisdiction.
Among other screening places were a lawn plaza of a public park, a harbor and a tourist information center overlooking a large sea bridge and ships. A local street band took the stage before the screening of a film in one event, adding to the festive mood of the program.
"People rarely go to movie theaters these days due to the coronavirus. It was a special experience to watch movies at an outdoor location while keeping a distance from others and enjoying a beautiful landscape," a 26-year-old participant in the program told Yonhap News Agency.
The 26th edition of BIFF is set to close its 10-day run Friday.