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Korean Film News
The 13th Jeonju International Film Festival opens April 26
Apr 24, 2012
- Writerby HWANG Hei-rim
The 13th Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) kicks off its 14th edition April 26 with the acclaimed coming-of-age drama Sister (L'Enfant d'en haut) from French-Swiss filmmaker Ursula Meier, which won the Special Award - Silver Bear at this year's Berlinale. Running for nine days at the Megabox Jeonju, CGV Jeonju, Jeonju Digital Independent Cinema and Chonbuk National University Cultural Center in Jeonju, the fest will screen 184 films from 42 countries.
Launched under the slogan ‘Digital Alternative and Independence’ in 2000, JIFF has emerged as one of the most recognized film festivals in Korea during the past decade, focusing on alternative and independent films. In its International Competition section, six dramas, three documentaries and one animation, the independently-produced feature Padak by Korea’s LEE Dae-hee, have been selected to compete for three awards. Nine out of the ten are directorial debuts, further establishing JIFF’s role as a festival invested in finding and introducing new directors.
Even more new Korean independent films were selected for the Korean Film Competition section, which consists of four documentaries and nine fiction films, 12 of them world premieres. Among these are also two queer-themed films, White Nights by LEE-SONG Hee-il, who has made a splash in the queer film scene with titles such as No Regret (2006) and Breakaway (2009), and Ik Hou Van Jou by JUNG Jae-woong. Also included are Sleepless Night by JANG Kun-jae, well-known for his debut film Eighteen (2009), Fire in Hell by LEE Sang-woo, whose string of provocative films have been a source of controversy, and PARK Sang-hoon’s Ankor Wat, a depiction of a man and his family in extreme despair.
The festival’s two annual production projects, SHORT! SHORT! SHORT! and the Jeonju Digital Project, are also ready to screen their final cuts. SHORT! SHORT! SHORT! will showcase two brand new films, One Week from PARK Jung-bum, who won the Tiger Award at the 2011 International Film Festival Rotterdam with his first feature The Journals of Musan (2010), and Solution by the filmmaking group ‘Goksa’, which consists of twin brothers KIM Gok and KIM Sun and will offer an insightful observation regarding the more grim realities of Korean society.
The festival’s acclaimed annual omnibus effort, the Jeonju Digital Project, brings together digital films from three outstanding Asian auteurs: YING Liang of China, Raya MARTIN of the Philippines and Vimukthi JAYASUNDARA of Sri Lanka. This year’s retrospective programs will focus on the works of UCHIDA Tomu, a Japanese director from the classic film period, Albert SERRA, a new phenom of Spanish film, and Argentinean director Edgardo Cozarinsky, who has been developing his own cinematic language beyond the boundary of documentary and fictional film.