36863jeonju Film Festival Puts Indie Films Before Global Blockbusters

Jeonju film festival puts indie films before global blockbusters

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Jeonju film festival puts indie films before global blockbusters

'We wanted to focus on interacting with indie film fans and providing films that they have been wanting to see but couldn't access in Korea'. - Jinna Lee, festival manager

Jeonju, a city best known for its bibimbap (mixed vegetables and rice), will be abuzz for a different reason starting Thursday, with indie film fans, directors and stars visiting for the 13th Jeonju International Film Festival.

Steadily growing in scale and recognition alongside bigger rivals including the Busan International Film Festival, online tickets for more than 70 screenings have already sold out, though some can still be purchased at the event.

This year, the Jeonju festival will feature 184 films from 42 countries. Among this selection of films, there are 36 world premieres, one international premiere and 47 Asian premieres. However, organizers say that as a smaller event catering to a relatively specialized indie fan base, their goals go beyond featuring more world premieres, which is often how film festivals gain influence.

"This year's theme is 'Sympathize and Change'. Under this theme, we wanted to focus on interacting with indie film fans and providing films that they have been wanting to see but couldn't access in Korea", said Jinna Lee, the programming team manager at JIFF. "Having a lot of world premieres is not the end-all for quality of a festival. Especially for a smaller festival like JIFF, it is often more important to pay attention to great films that may not have gained attention at other festivals".

A scene from "Sister", the opening film of this year's Jeonju International Film Festival. Provided by the festival

The opening film this year is "Sister", the second feature film by French-Swiss director Ursula Meier that is a coming-of-age story of a brother and sister who live in a poor valley near a beautiful ski resort in the Alps.

As a partially competitive film festival, JIFF has three competition sections: the international competition with 10 feature-length films in the running; the Korean film competition with 13 films; and the Korean short film competition with 17 shorts. The international competition features films by first- or second-time directors from around the world. Since last year, this competition has included Korean films, as the organizers say that the quality of Korean indie films has risen vastly in recent years so that they can now compete at an international level.

"This year, we selected 'Padak', the debut animation film by Korean director Lee Dae-hee, for the international competition section. Korean indie films have been really strong since a couple of years ago", Lee said.

First-place winners of the competitive sections will get a prize of $15,000 - $10,000 from Woosuk University and an additional $5,000 from the festival.

Another movie selected for the international competition is "Ex Press", directed by Filipino Jet B. Leyco, a lyrical film centering on a dream about trains and the sinister events surrounding it. The Korean film competition includes "Comedy", about an ex-comedian who struggles to find work, and "Early Spring, Gyeongju", about a divorcee who leaves Seoul for Gyeongju, where her mother lives.

One of the highlights of the film festival has always been the "Midnight Obsession" screenings with back-to-back showings of films starting from late in the evening. The first night will include screenings of two music documentaries: "George Harrison: Living in the Material World" by Martin Scorsese and "Marley", by director Kevin McDonald, about the life of the legendary Jamaican singer.

There will also be screenings of new Korean and international films as a part of the Cinemascape section. Besides three feature films by Japanese filmmaker Tomita Katsuya, Cinemascape includes "Glorious Accidents", an Argentinian film which tells nine different stories regarding personal transformation and death, "Remembrance of MB", a political documentary by Kim Jae-hwan which reflects on the years of the Lee Myung-bak administration, and "The Color Wheel" by Alex Ross Perry, about an aspiring news anchor's road trip with her younger brother.

There will also be events focusing on filmmakers' careers, including one for Japanese filmmaker Uchida Tomu that will screen seven of his movies including "Sweat" and "The Police Officer", and one for Korean director Lee Jang-ho, with screenings of films "Eoudong", "Good Windy Day" and "The Man with Three Coffins".

*For more information about the festival, visit www.eng.jiff.or.kr or call (02) 2285-0562.

Three Korean films Will Be Shown At The Cannes Film Festival

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Three Korean films Will Be Shown At The Cannes Film Festival

Visitors to the 68th Cannes International Film Festival will have the opportunity to see three Korean films this year.

Two films will be featured in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival, which airs an international selection of films that are highly regarded. A third film will be shown at a special screening.

The two Korean films that will be featured in the festival"s Un Regard Section are "Madonna," which is directed by Shin Su Won, and "Shameless," also known as Rouge," directed by Oh Seung Uk.

Another Korean film "Office," directed by Hong Won Chan, is one of the only two films that will be shown in the Midnight Screenings section. This section features thrillers, horror, action and science fiction films.

"Madonna" stars Seo Young Hee as a nurse and Byun Yo Han as a doctor. They are charged with a wealthy and powerful patient in need of a transplant. At the same hospital a woman known as Mina is in a coma and the doctors want to contact the woman"s family about the possibility of an organ donation. In the process they uncover some of the woman"s secrets. It is the second time that actress Seo Young Hee went to Cannes. She went in 2010 with the film "Bedeviled."

The film"s director Shin Su Won was the first director to win awards at both Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals.

"Shameless" stars Jeon Do Yeon as a bar hostess whose boyfriend is a murder suspect. Kim Nam Gil plays the detective who is aggressively pursuing her boyfriend. The two find themselves entangled in a relationship that affects the pursuit of a possible killer.

It is also Jeon Do Yeon"s second time at the Cannes Film Festival. She won Best Actress for the film "Secret Sunshine" in 2007" and for "The Housemaid - 2010." She also served as a festival judge.

The last time a Korean film won the Un Certain Regard category was in 2011. It was Kim Di Kuk"s "Arirang."

"The Office" stars Go Ah Seung, who currently appears in the drama "Heard It Through the Grapevine." In "The Office," an office worker, played by Bae Sung Woo, murders his family and returns to the office to take out his team members.

It will be Go Ah Seung"s second visit to Cannes. She previously went to the festival because of her role in the 2009 film "A Brand New Life."

The Coen Brothers will serve as judges at this year"s film festival. The festival takes place from May 13 to May 24.

Eight Korean films shown at special Berlin film festival event

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Eight Korean films shown at special Berlin film festival event

Eight domestic films were introduced during Korean Film Night on Monday amid the ongoing Berlin International Film Festival celebrations in Germany"s capital city. Co-hosted by the Korean Film Council, the Busan International Film Festival and the Korean Cultural Center in Berlin, the sideline event was held local time on Monday evening. It was attended by some 600 people, including the executive committee of the 65th Berlinale, as the festival is called for short. There were no Korean films nominated for the festival"s competitive section this year, but several were screened in various non-competitive areas, including the noteworthy panorama and culinary segments. Monday"s reception highlighted the Korean film industry"s achievements last year."Ode to My Father", which was also invited to the panorama section that promotes a broad spectrum of film genres, was among the eight films introduced to attendees.The movie"s director, Yoon Je-kyoon, and lead actress Kim Yoon-jin were also at the event.Internationally acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho of "Snowpiercer" (2013) was also spotted at the event. He was in Berlin acting as an international jury member for the film festival. "An Omnivorous Family"s Dilemma" by Hwang Yoon was another movie profiled at the Korean night. It was also nominated in the culinary section. Attendees also viewed previews of short film "Hosanna" by Na Young-kil and Korean-German joint production "Cancelled Faces", directed by Israeli director Lior Shamriz.At the German festival, which is known to invite films of all genres and from all around the world, the state-run Korean Film Council set up a Korean booth in order to hold business meetings with foreign buyers and promote Korean films. "We are holding countless numbers of meetings everyday, realizing the Korean movie"s boom here", said the council in a press release. BY JIN EUN-SOO [[email protected]]

The New York Korean Film Festival will project blockbusters

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Cha Seung Won (Photo : Lotte Entertainment ) Cha Seung Won"s "Man On High Heels" will screen along with other films in New York.

From November 20 through the 23, the New York Korean Film Festival will occur at Brooklyn Academy of Music ( BAM). This festival will project a lot of movies which get recognition as well as blockbusters.

Included in the lineup is “The Attorney,” the controversial award-winning film based on the life of South Korean president Roh Moo Hyun. “The Attorney” analyzes Song Woo Seok, a ruthless lawyer who is motivated solely by money. Song Woo Seok is brilliantly portrayed by Song Kang Ho, who won over hearts for his role in Bong Joon Ho’s “The Snowpiercer.” Woo Seok undergoes a transformation after he accepts the case of a student activist.

“The Attorney” will be shown on November 21 at BAM Rose Cinemas at 7PM.

“Man On High Heels” starring Cha Seung Won (You’re All Surrounded, The Greatest Love) will also screen at The New York Korean Film Festival. Cha Seung Won stars as Detective Ji Wook, a tough as nails cop, who is on the verge of a sex change operation. A run in with some criminals changes this plan. “Man On High Heels” was one of the most unique films of 2014.

“Man On High Heels” will screen at Bam Rose Cinemas on November 22 at 9:30PM.

Korean blockbusters “The Admiral: Roaring Currents” and “The Pirates” will also be shown at the festival.

Complete listings and showtimes can be found on the Brooklyn Academy of Music site.

The New York Korean Film Festival is co-presented by The Korea Society and Subway Cinema. DramaFever will also be participating in the festival, with “The Fatal Encounter” and “M” screening online.

London Korean Film Festival to showcase 55 films

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London Korean Film Festival to showcase 55 films

The world of Korean cinema is now unfolding in London, U.K. The ninth London Korean Film Festival will take place at Leicester Square and other venues across the British capital between November 6 and 21, and a total of 55 films will be screened. The opening film is "KUNDO : Age of the Rampant" while the closing film will be "Revivre", the 102nd film by director Im Kwon-taek. The opening film tells the story of Kundo, a righteous outlaw who tries to protect ordinary people from corruption and exploitation by those in power.

A poster for "KUNDO : Age of the Rampant", the opening film at the ninth London Korean Film Festival. (photo courtesy of AndCredit)

A scene from the festival"s closing film, "Revivre". (photo courtesy of FineCut)

The film "Revivre" has been gathering positive reviews from critics at many film festivals, including the 71st Venice Film Festival, the 39th Toronto International Film Festival, the 33rd Vancouver International Film Festival and the 19th Busan International Film Festival. The film is about the helpless desire of a middle-aged man whose wife is suffering from cancer as he indulges in fantasies about a young woman at his work. It is based on the original novel of the same name by Kim Hoon.

The focus of this year"s London Korean Film Festival is actor Jeong Woo-seong who has recently expanded his sphere into directing. The festival will showcase "The Killer and the Old Man" directed by Jeong, as well as movies starring the actor, including "Cold Eyes" and "Musa". The festival will also take a look at director Kim Ki-duk, who is well known in Europe. Kim"s newest film is "One on One", but he is also known for his films "Moebius", "Pieta" and "Crocodile".

A poster for the film "Cold Eyes". (photo courtesy of All That Cinema)

A poster for the film "A Girl At My Door". (photo courtesy of AndCredit)

Film fans will also be able to meet many actors, directors and producers at the festival. Actors Ahn Seong-gi, Jeong Woo-seong and Kang Dong-won, as well as Lee Chang-dong, the producer of "Poetry", "A Girl At My Door" and "Hwayi : A Monster Boy", will appear at the festival and meet with audience members.

There will also be pop singers appearing and performing at the festival, including Eun-hyuk and Lee Dong-hae from the band Super Junior. Lee Dong-hae debuted as an actor with his appearance in the film "The Youth". The London Korean Film Festival has enjoyed huge popularity with many sold-out shows, attracting 6,000 to 8,000 viewers per year. "I will work hard so that the festival can play a role in showcasing Korean cinema in Europe", said festival director Jeon Hye-jung. "Over the next 10 years, we hope to add Korean fashion, performances and music to the event, and develop it into a major local festival". By Limb Jae-unKorea.net Staff Writer [emailprotected]

Clazziquai and other indie artists to headline ‘Marie Claire Music & Film Festival’

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Clazziquai and other indie artists to headline ‘Marie Claire Music & Film Festival’

After making their comeback after three and a half years with Love Recipe, Clazziquai will continue to promote by performing at the Marie Claire MusicFilm Festival at Seouls Cheongdam CGV MCUBE on the 22nd.

The music and film festival will feature a wide range of genres and indie artists, including KBS 2TVs Top Band contestants Monni and female electronica musician Trampoline.

The three-day Marie Claire MusicFilm Festival will be started off by Jang Kiha and the Faces on the 21st, followed by Clazziquai on the 22nd, and Yoon Jong Shin, Cho Jung Chi, and Hareems project group Shinchireem on the 23rd.

Two Local Films Invited to Cannes Film Festival

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Two Local Films Invited to Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival opens on May 16 with 22 entries from the world vying for the "Palme d'Or" award.

In the international film festival that continues through May 27, two local films including “In Another Country,” a film by Hong Sang-soo, and "The Taste of Money," a film by Im Sang-soo, have been invited to the official competition category, making fans anxious for the award win.

Korean Director Hong Sang-soo has been invited to the Cannes Film Festival for the eighth time since he was invited for his film "The Power of Kangwon Province" in 1998. He won the grand prize in "A certain glance" section with his film "Hahaha" in 2010. Director Im Sang-soo has been invited for the second time after he was invited with "The Housemaid" in 2010.

Beyond director Yeon Sang-ho's animation "The King of Pigs" and Hur Jin-ho's "Dangerous Liaisons," chosen as noticable films each, have been invited and will be featured in the Directors' Fortnight section.

Thousands of film-related people, critics and journalists swarmed this year's festival being held at the southern French port city Cannes.

American actress Marilyn Monroe was selected as the festival's icon this year and her image was featured on a large poster. A selection of films from many countries in Europe and Asia and the United States will be presented during the festival with American Director Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" cutting the tape.

Meanwhile, among over 1,800 films vying for the competition, no film by female directors advanced to the final competition section, raising allegations on sexual discrimination, which the festival organizers denied. [Yonhap]

2 films won Audience Award at Far East Film Festival

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2 films won Audience Award at Far East Film Festival

Korean films "The Crucible" and "The Front Line" won Audience Awards at the 14th Udine Far East Film Festival which closed Saturday in Udine, Italy.

According to the official homepage of the festival, "The Crucible" directed by Hwang Dong-hyeok and "The Front Line" directed by Jang Hoon won awards with scores of 4.40 and 4.16 points, respectively. China's "One Million Above" won the same honor with 4.20 points.

"The Crucible" is based on real-life events at a school for the deaf where young students were cruelly treated and even sexually abused by their teachers and administrators. The movie was a huge box-office hit in Korea, attracting 4.7 million viewers and provoking debate on such issues.

The film incited a storm of commentary on the Internet, together with increasingly louder calls for measures to address the issues raised in the film.

The prosecutors conducted reinvestigations into the alleged sexual abuse at the school and lawmakers passed a bill to provide additional protection to the disabled and others considered at risk.

"The Front Line", which attracted 3 million moviegoers, is about the 1950-1953 Korean War. It portrays the battles that took place on just one of many hills that were fiercely contested by the South and North Korean armies in February 1953 while the two sides were engaged in armistice negotiations. During the negotiations, soldiers stationed on the front line battled desperately to secure even small amounts of territory.

The Udine Far Easter Film Festival is a representative European film festival to introduce Asian films in Europe.

A total of 10 South Korean films, including the two award winners, were invited to the festival. Others included "Unbowed", "Sunny - 2010" and "Dangerously Excited". (Yonhap)

'Office' Star Go Ah Sung And Director Hong Won Chan Kick Off The NY Korean Film Festival

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Director Hong Won Chan and actress Go Ah Sung at the (Photo : Jean Libert for KDramaStars ) On November 6, Subway Cinema and The Korea Society ushed in the Opening Night at the Museum of the Moving Picture in Astoria.

Actress Go Ah Sung (Heard it from the Grapevine, Snowpiercer) and director Hong Won Chan (The Chaser) were present for the Opening Night screening of the psychological thriller, "Office," which kicked off the 13th New York Korean Film Festival.

Go Ah Sung at the (Photo : Jean Libert for KDramaStars ) "Office" is a chilling film, set within the sterile halls of a Korean office building, populated by ruthless salarymen and women who are struggling to maintain their place within the heirarchy.

Bae Seong Woo is Manager Kim, a hapless member of middle management who entertains dreams of advancement. When he is fired, he goes home and slaughters his entire family, before returning to the workplace.

Go Ah Sung is Lee Mi Rae, a country bumpkin intern, who wants to assimilate into the fast-paced life of Seoul office work. When news of Manager Kim reaches Mi Rae, it sets her onto a course where she is plagued by thoughts of extracting revenge against the full-time employees that make her life miserable and contributed to the downfall of Manager Kim.

"Office" marks the directorial debut of Hong Won Chan, whose previous work is based extensively in adaptations of real-life crimes.

Director Hong Won Chan and actress Go Ah Sung at the (Photo : Jean Libert for KDramaStars )

Go Ah Sung at the (Photo : Jean Libert for KDramaStars )

The screening was followed by a conversation with the talented actress and the director.Samuel Jamier, the executive director of Subway Cinema, served as the moderator the question and answer session.

When I first received the screenplay, I was worried after first, because I knew that it wouldnt be an easy role and that it would be taxing, said Go. As an actor, I felt like it would be great to play such a three-dimensional character. After seeing that, I didnt hesitate in saying yes.

Go was then questioned about her motivation for the role and whether she visited local Korean offices to learn more about workplace culture. Jamier referenced a common practice in Hollywood filmmaking where method actors find build their characters on the basis of real-life events or people.

I was actually really lucky, said Go. Around the time I started working on this project, all my friends from college were interning at some place or another. So, as an actor, it was great to have my friends points about the characters. I would go to their offices and make copies or do whatever interns do.

She mused on whether her ability to briefly work within an office actually served as a basis for her portrayal of Mi Rye.

But I dont know if thats what actually helped me figure out how to the find the character because, it wasnt really much about the appearance or the outside factors of what she did, said Go. I think it was more about delving through sense of inferiority and her sense of low self esteem. So I think the focus on that was more helpful.

Go Ah Sung at the (Photo : Jean Libert for KDramaStars ) Director Hong was asked about the origin of the name Mi Rae, which means future in Korean.

There it was a bit of an intentional thing [in the naming of Mi Rae], said Go. The producer, who also wrote the original screenplay, told me that she named the intern Mi Rae with that intention in mind. I did think that the name had more significance, afterwards.

Hong previously worked on adaptations of true crimes with credits including, The Chaser. Jamier asked Hong what aspects of crime interested him and why he made his directorial debut through a film like, Office, which many consider to be more of a horror movie than thriller.

Ive always been a fan of the crime genre, whether it is when I read novels or watch films, thats the genre that I tend to lean towards, said Hong. I think crime is always an attractive subject when it comes to film because you are really able to investigate human nature and what goes on, psychologically, behind a persons mind. Particularly, how someone would imagine a crime. I think that has been something important throughout my creative process.

Few Korean movies feature a powerful female protagonist. Office is a set within the male dominated realm of a sales team, whose self worth is determined by their ability to meet unrealistic goals. Go weighed in on portraying a woman who is seemingly powerless, but who develops her own method of control.

(Photo : Jean Libert for KDramaStars )

Ive never really thought about the discrepancy between female driven or male driven films, in Korea, said Go. But while I was making Office, I realized that it is hard for an actress like me to be in a leading role. So, thats when I really felt that. When it comes to filmmaking, I felt that its important not to make that distinction between how female or male driven films have been released. I feel like not making that distinction is sometimes more important, if you actually want to see a change with this.

Go Ah Sung and Hong Chan Wan join the presidents of the Korea Society, Museum of the Moving Picture, and Subway Cinema organizers, November 6, 2015. (Photo : Jean Libert for KDramaStars )

The Opening Night ceremony concluded with questions from the audience, followed by a reception, where Director Hong and Go interacted with attendees.

The 13th New York Korean Film Festival will continue through Tuesday, November 11, 2015. Screenings are held at the Museum of the Moving Picture in Astoria, Queens.

In addition to the screenings, the guests of the festival, including Go Ah Sung and director Ryoo Seung Wan, will be present for Korean Filmmakers Night on Monday, November 9 at 6 p.m. at the Korea Society.

Ticketing information and showtimes for the 13th New York Korean Film Festival can be found through the official website of the event.

Adrienne Stanley is a contributing editor at KDramaStars. She is also a contributing music writer at KpopStarz, MTV Iggy and other publications. When she is not listening to "Rhythm Ta," she can be found on Twitter. (@retrogirladdy).

'The Throne' Will Open The Hawaii International Film Festival

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'The Throne' Will Open The Hawaii International Film Festival

(Photo : Showbox/Mediaplex ) "The Throne" is the opening night selection for the Hawaii International Film Festival. The 35th Hawaii International Film Festival kicks off with the critically-acclaimed period flick, which has been submitted as Korea"s official entry in the foreign-language category for the 88th Academy Awards.

Song Kang Ho (The Attorney) leads the cast as King Yeongjo, the legendary ruler who sentenced his 27-year-old son, Crown Prince Sado, to be die by starvation while locked in a rice chest, after he was deemed incapable of the ascending the throne.

"The Throne" marks the second critically-acclaimed film within the past year for actor Yoo Ah In (Six Flying Dragons), who also portrays Jo Tae Oh in the crime blockbuster, "Veteran."

The cast is rounded out by Moon Geun Young (The Village: Achriara"s Secret), who portrays Lady Hyegyeong and Jin Ji Hee (Seonam High School Investigators). Acclaimed star, So Ji Sub, also appears with a cameo role.

The Hawaii International Film Festival will feature a Spotlight on Korea, which includes six of the most dynamic movies of the past year. Global festival favorites like "Veteran," "Assassination," "Madonna," "Wonderful Nightmare" are joined by "The Unfair" and "Right Now, Right Then."

"Office," starring Go Ah Sung is included in the HIFF Extreme lineup, while "It"s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong" starring Korean-American actress Jamie Chung is recognized in the North American cinema category.

Advance ticket sales for members begin on October 16, with availability to the general public on October 18.

The Hawaii International Film Festival will be held from November 12 through 22.

Adrienne Stanley is a contributing editor at KDramaStars. She is also a contributing music writer at KpopStarz, MTVIggyand other publications. When she is not listening to "We Like 2 Party," she can be found on Twitter. (@retrogirladdy).