BUSAN, South Korea, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- The annual Busan International Film Festival kicked off its 17th edition in style with the help of a glamorous red carpet ceremony on Thursday in South Korea's southern port city of Busan.
Hordes of local and international stars shined on the red carpet for the opening ceremony of the film festival, one of the largest cinematic events in Asia.
This year's red carpet ceremony saw a heavy Chinese presence, with highly acclaimed actresses Cecelia Cheung and Tang Wei making appearances.
The star-studded cast of the Hong Kong police thriller "Cold War," which includes Aaron Kwok and Tony Leung Ka-fai, also trod the red carpet.
The opening ceremony of this year's event was more special than ever as it welcomed its first foreign host, Tang Wei.
First up at the film festival was a showing of "Cold War," co- directed by first-timers Longman Leung and Sunny Luk.
The action-packed film revolves around two ambitious deputy police commissioners of Hong Kong rivaling for control over a high stake hostage situation.
"Cold War" sets itself apart from other typical cop thrillers as it highlights the power struggles, corruption and inner workings of Hong Kong's police force.
Leung, one of the co-directors, told a news conference held before the opening ceremony that he and Luk wanted to impress audiences with a new approach from an array of similar Hong Kong police flicks.
"After much contemplation about how to deliver new feelings to audiences, we've come up with this way of depicting conflicts within the police force," Leung said.
While "Cold War" is out of competition, there are 10 films from eight countries vying for top honors at the festival.
The New Currents, the event's main competition section, will offer two prizes of 30,000 U.S. dollars to first or second-time Asian directors.
This year's line-up includes "Comrade Kim Goes Flying," a romantic comedy shot in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea( DPRK), and six classic Afghan movies saved from the Taliban by the Afghanistan National Film Archive.
During the 10-day extravaganza, 304 movies from 75 countries will be presented.
The event will close with the world premiere of "Television,"a satirical drama directed by Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki.