The EBS International Documentary Festival (EIDF)
held a press conference on July 24th at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents' Club Press Center in order to announce its 9th edition, to take place from August 17-24 later this summer. Under the slogan “Play the World,” the festival hopes to communicate that the powerful message of documentary film can be felt by simply pressing the “play” button.
In attendance at the meeting were KWAK Deuk-hoon, Chairman of Korea’s Educational Broadcasting System (EBS) and EIDF Director, Managing Director of EIDF Kyung-ah KIM and Programmer SEOL Kyung-sook. EIDF was established in 2004 with the aim of popularizing the documentary genre and one of the event’s unique features is that many of its documentaries are shown at theaters as well as on the EBS TV channel during the festival period.
Festival Director KWAK said, "What many around the world are talking about now is the combination of documentaries and education. That is why this year's EIDF will see the launch of a new section called "Edu Choice," which will feature educational documentaries, also known as “edu-mentaries.” Managing Director KIM also stressed this year’s emphasis on education and documentaries, adding that audiences will be able to empathize with the theme of many of this year’s documentaries -- the state of the Korean education system.
This year's EIDF will also see an expansion of support for documentaries in the pre-production stage. The new EIDF-BCPF (Broadcast Content Promotion Fund) New Directors' School is comprised of a documentary production mentoring program and other practical education programs about documentary production for directors of short-format docs who have passed a preliminary selection process. It will go on for four days. The amount of cash support for documentaries in the pre-production stage is also at its highest ever, KRW 110m (roughly USD $96,000).
EIDF also stressed that the importance of being an audience-friendly event. Managing Director KIM said that audiences will be able to watch fun and relatable documentaries on the EBS TV channel while works that are more artistically challenging will be screened at theaters, bringing the festival closers to its many different audiences.
This year’s opening film is <Bully> (directed by Lee HIRSCH and Alicia DWYER), a documentary about the life of a teenager who is being bullied and how it affects his and his family members' lives, reminding audiences about the dark realities of the education system. The 9th EBS International Documentary Festival will open on the 17th of August and run until the 24th, with screenings at Seoul’s Indie Space and Art House Momo theaters.