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Jeonju International Film Festival to open this week

By Yoon Min-sik

  • Published : Apr 29, 2018 - 15:51
  • Updated : Apr 29, 2018 - 15:51

Korea’s largest indie film festival lands in the southwestern city, showcasing over 200 films

The 19th annual Jeonju International Film Festival will commence on Thursday showcasing Korea’s largest collection of art-house films from across the world.

It will kick off with the screening of “Yakiniku Dragon” directed by Korean-Japanese director Chong Wishing. The film, about a Korea-Japanese family running a small bulgogi (Korean barbecue) joint in Osaka, depicts the hardship and life of ethnic Koreans living in the country.

The opening and closing ceremony will be held at Jeonju Dome, and a total of 241 films -- 197 features and 44 shorts -- will be shown at 19 screens in five theaters in the city. They are CGV Jeonju Gosa, Megabox Jeonju, Jeonju Cinema Town, Jeonju Digital Independent Cinema and Jeonju Dome.

Vowing to be the “outlet for cinematic expression,” the festival will hold the world premiere of 62 films -- including the opening film -- until the festival ends on May 12.

“Yakiniku Dragon” (JIFF)

It will close with Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs,” which won the Silver Bear for Best Director at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. The animated film is set in a near-future society and follows an adventure of a young boy on a search for his dog, banished due to an illness outbreak.

Ten films are in the running for competition in the feature Korean film category, while nine Korean shorts and nine international films are also competing in their respective categories.

Last week, the organizing committee for the JIFF released the 10 recommended films that will be shown during the festival.

Among them is “Good Business” by Lee Har-joon, a documentary film about a human rights activist which “vividly captures the hidden side of the human rights movement for North Korean defectors,” according to the organizers.

The poster for Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF)

“Winter’s Night” by Jang Woo-jin is a film about a middle-aged couple who ponder over life’s meaning and “The Land on the Waves” deals with a painful history being repeated in a father-son relationship.

“Best We Can” is a Czech black comedy about a young theater director’s struggle in his work and personal life, and “Nona. If you soak me, I will burn you” is a feminist-oriented drama. “An Elephant Sitting Still,” a Chinese film, is a multi-plot drama that “imbued depressed atmosphere of present China into characters without any minute for laughter or relaxation.”

Other recommended films are “Dovlatov,” a 2018 Russian biographical film about writer Sergei Dovlatov, Brazilian documentary film “Baronesa,” and “The Reports on Sarah and Saleem.”

According to officials at JIFF, the collection of films deal with issues that are “serious but are worth thinking about.”

There will also be room for more light-hearted and family-friendly films as well.

The “Special Focus: Disney Legendary” section will feature 30 Disney animations from the classics like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Pinocchio” to more recent films like “Up,” “Wall-E” and “Inside Out.” “Disney Fantasia exhibition on history and achievement of Disney will be held as part of the ‘Disney Legendary.’”

The fourth “100 Films, 100 Posters” exhibition showing posters designed by movies will be on display from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at various venues including Exhibit of Cinema Street Banners.

Side events include JIFFs bazaar, arts market and flea market.

For more information on the JIFF, visit http://eng.jiff.or.kr.

By Yoon Min-sik (minsikyoon@heraldcorp.com)