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BIFF Kicks Off With Opening Ceremony

Rating Rating more One Star

2011.10.07 08:59 Mwave Lee, JinHo

Let the festivities begin! The 16th Busan International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet on Thursday for the star-studded opening ceremony.

The ceremony was held at the Cinema Center in Busan’s Centum City on October 6 at 7 p.m. (local time). Chairman Heo Nam Sik opened the festival proclaiming, “Help make this the world’s best film festival by sending your love and support” to a packed crowd of cheering movie lovers.

There’s no other person who understands the phrase ‘Life has its ups and downs’ like Epik High’s Tablo. In the last few years, he has gone through so many incidents that have put his music on hold. But now, he’s slowly making his way back to his rightful spot.

Even after the hard and long process, Tablo and the friends who stuck by his side have come back with new music. Going back to 2003, when they knocked on the door of the music industry full of dreams, DJ Tukutz, Mithra Jin, and Tablo have gathered together again.

With the name Epik High, the three men are back where they began with their seventh album, 99, their first album in three years.

BIFF Kicks Off With Opening Ceremony

BIFF Kicks Off With Opening Ceremony

In addition to the unveiling of the festival’s brand new Cinema Center, Jang Dong Gun, Fan Bingbing and Joe Odagiri were among the top stars who heat up the red carpet as fans and film aficionados became one at the festival.

Following the opening ceremony, film director Hark Tsui was awarded the Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award and the festival’s opening film Always was introduced. The festival was off to a fiery start with the one-hour red carpet event and the opening ceremony, which reflected on the meaning and future of cinema, left a lasting impression on the attendants.

A total of 305 films from 70 countries will be represented at this year’s nine-day festival from October 6 to 14.

Why the number 99?

As avid fans of the number 9, Epik High will also be celebrating its 9th anniversary in the business. It also refers to the music that is made for not the top 1 percent but the 99 percent. After recovering from all of its hardships, Epik High and its new music can be quite relatable to a good majority of the public, and they’ll be able to bask in the music.

“After deciding to come back with a new album, we made a very clear rule," said Tablo. "We decided that we’ll take a break from creating anything heavy or very serious and return to the starting point, to become a child. We wanted to make music that makes us just enjoy music without thinking and makes us dance, just like children. Since it’s our ninth anniversary, we’re letting ourselves go right before our tenth anniversary. (Laughter)"

It’s Epik High’s honest intention and desire to just play excitedly on the stage. It’s a return to a time when they purely enjoyed the music now that they’re able to dust off all the difficulties.

“We wanted to return to the stage with as many smiles as there were hardships. We hope that people who are struggling can see and say, ‘If they’re smiling, so can I.’ That’s why we decided to make fun and exciting music.”

It’s also the reason why Epik High included the sentiments of Fly, when the group used to jump around on stage, in its seventh album. Tablo’s solo album, Fever’s End, may have been full of emotions, but right now is a time to laugh and run. That is why Epik High’s two main tracks, Up and Don’t Hate make you want to dance.

More than anything, Epik High’s thirst for the stage has become more intense. The reason why Epik High held a live performance at a Hongdae club at the time of its comeback was all to meet with the fans one day faster.

Without even a second′s thought, Tablo, DJ Tukutz, and Mithra Jin all agreed and said, “We want to hurry and perform on stage.”

Mithra Jin said, “Even when I have absolutely no energy, if I hear the fans screaming, I automatically start singing.” It was easy to see how much Mithra Jin missed the stage by his sincere confession. As expected, a singer cannot live without the stage.

BIFF Kicks Off With Opening Ceremony

“So many emotions pass by when I think about the three of us on the same stage," said Tablo. "We have to feel the enjoyment of being together again and bask in the happiness of making music again. These feelings are compressed into the word ‘comeback’ but there’s a certain heart-fluttering feeling that cannot be expressed into words. I guess this is what a comeback feels like, right?"

After many struggles over a long period of time, it seems Tablo finally understands just how precious even the word ‘comeback’ is. With the longing for a stage full of youth, the three men are now unraveling their difficult but energetic comeback schedules.

“If things were always going great for us, then Epik High wouldn’t seem so appealing," said Tablo. "Unlike culture or the arts, life always has its ups and downs. Don’t you think the team that shows this best is Epik High? The group that is riding a roller coaster. (Laughter) We’re a fun team, no? Shall we start rising to the top again?”

Photo Credit: YG Entertainment

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