The 37th Seoul Independent Film Festival (SIFF) opened yesterday with <Myselves>, a documentary projectfilm shot by actresses BOO Ji-young, KIM Kkot-bee, YANG Eun-yong, and SEO Young-ju. The festival runs Dec. 8 – 16 at the CGV Apgujeong multiplexin Seoul.
All four actresses were on hand at the opening ceremony along with filmmakers such asYANG Ik-june, LEESONG Hee-il, jury member YOON Sung-ho, KIM Dong-won, LEE Choon-yeon, and invited documentary director Sam CULLMAN (<If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front>). Also in attendance were guests such as Korean Film Council (KOFIC) Chairman KIM Eui-suk andJeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) director MIN Byoung-rok.
Organized by the Seoul Independent Film Festival 2011 Executive Committee, the festival is presented by the Association of Korean Independent Film&Video. Originally started in 1975 as the Korean Youth Film Festival, SIFF has evolved throughout the yearsin the forms of the Golden Crown Short Film Festival to the Korean Independent Short Film Festival to the present day festival ofindependent cinema which encompasses shorts and features every December.
SIFF presented two surprise awards at its opening ceremony. The first was a plaque of appreciation to Kodak Korea, which has sponsored SIFF for 13 years.The second, a plaque of solidarity to Mediact, a media culture center that has been supporting independent filmmaking, media literacy and public access -all without government support, much like SIFF.
This year, the festival has 11 films in the Korean feature competition. These include KIM Kyung-mook’s <Stateless Things>, KIM Dong-myung’s <Fatigue> and O-muel’s <Wind of Island>. Specially invited films include Stanley NELSON’s <Freedom Riders> and Steve JAMES’<No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson>.
SIFF is also holding an international seminar on independent documentary production and distribution in the US, as well as an all-night screening of seven films and a Documentary Night party sponsored by the DMZ Documentary Film Festival (DMZDOCS).