Launched in 1997, Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) is an annual event held in Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do Province. It features diverse film genres such as comedy, romance action and fantasy under the main themes of "Love," "Fantasy" and "Adventure." Through cooperation with Japan's Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival (YIFFF) and European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation (EFFFF), it has grown into the largest genre film festival in Asia. In May 2001, BIFAN became the first associate member of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation in Asia. In 2008, it launched the Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF), a genre film project market, and has been contributing to production, education and exchange in the region to promote Asian film production.
Bucheon International Animation Festival (BIAF) was launched in 1999 as the country's first student-oriented animation film festival. It is held every autumn, mostly under the initiative of students and professors in the fields of comics, animation, video and media, and features various events including screenings of exceptional animated films, presentations, special lectures, forums and exhibitions organized by and for students from all over the world. It also helps cultivate professionals in the animation industry through its creation, employment, and education-related programs. By establishing networks and promoting international exchange in the animation industry, BIAF has helped to lay the groundwork for development of the Korean contents industry.
Bucheon International COmics Festival (BICOF) was first held in December 1998 as a side event of the first Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. Since the second year, however, it has been held as an independent event. Between 1998 and 2001, focus was placed on exhibitions and events showing diverse trends in Korean and foreign comics. In 2002, Bucheon launched an international market to revitalize the local comics industry and boost comic book publishing in Korea and abroad, which attracted the participation of publishers and cartoonists from Asia and Europe. In 2005, the 8th BICOF was held together with the 7th International Comic Artist Conference, attracting more than 600 people from 27 countries. BICOF, now a prominent international comics festival, features special exhibitions, a cartoon fair, events and academic symposiums. Special exhibitions have mainly featured the works of well-known artists such as Huh Young-man, Kang Full and Yu Si-jin. Sometimes the exhibitions focus on particular countries or themes, for example, the French Cartoon Special Exhibition, Italian Cartoon Special Exhibition, European Independent Comics Special Cartoon Exhibition and Korea-China Cartoon Illustrations Special Exhibition. Recognizing Bucheon's passion for comics, Angoulême International Comics Festival, the most renowned comics festival worldwide, held a special exhibition of Korean comics in 2013.
Bucheon has been pursuing strong international cooperation, developing programs with foreign cities to further promote the activities of local libraries, which play a key role in the appreciation and preservation of literature and support literary creation. International exchange is carried out by the city's municipal libraries and the Bucheon Small Library Association, and supported by the Bucheon Office of Education and the Bucheon Cultural Foundation. From 2006, Bucheon and Kawasaki, Japan, have been carrying out mutual visits and international seminars, sharing their best library programs and discussing future developments. The topics covered by the international seminars include "Libraries dreaming of cultural and artistic creation" (2008), "Local culture and libraries" (2010), "Learning from the Japan earthquake experience" (2013), and "Villages and libraries" (2016). More than 100 people attend the seminar each year, including not only library officials from the two cities but also ordinary citizens, volunteers and scholars.
Bucheon has also been promoting exchange with comics cities around the world. Located in the city is office of the International Comic Artist Conference (ICC), an organization of comic artists and screenwriters from Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and every year Bucheon supports the International Comic Artist Conference. The conference was held in Beijing in 2011, Hong Kong in 2013, Tottori, Japan in 2012, Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 2014, Daejon, Korea in 2015, and Macao in 2016.
In addition, Bucheon has maintained relations with the city of Angoulême since 2013 when the Angouleme International Comics Festival held a special exhibition of Korean works. The Korea Manhwa Contents Agency entered into an exchange agreement with the CIBDI (Centre National de la Bande Dessinee et de l'image) located in Angoulême, France in 2011. The two cities continue close interaction, including a visit to Bucheon by the mayor and citizens' delegation of Angoulême.
[Bucheon’s international exchange through cartoon and animation: The international cartoon competition comprises mutual participations from China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. In addition, other cooperation with Angoulême, France. ]