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Jeonju film festival unveils 10 films in international competition

From left, programmers Chun Jin-su, Moon Seok, Sung Moon and actress Choi Hee-seo announce the line-up of the 22nd Jeonju International Film Festival during an online press conference in Jeonju, Tuesday. Courtesy of Jeonju IFF
From left, programmers Chun Jin-su, Moon Seok, Sung Moon and actress Choi Hee-seo announce the line-up of the 22nd Jeonju International Film Festival during an online press conference in Jeonju, Tuesday. Courtesy of Jeonju IFF

By Kwak Yeon-soo

Jeonju International Film Festival (Jeonju IFF) organizers announced on Tuesday the 10 feature films that will compete in the International Competition section this year.

Selected from 398 submissions, the line-up includes Jimmy Keyrouz's Lebanese drama "Broken Keys," about a pianist trying to escape a Syrian town controlled by ISIS; Colombian director Mercedes Gaviria's documentary "The Calm After the Storm," which deals with familial conflicts; Ukrainian director Kateryna Gornostai's "Stop-Zemlia," which tells the story of a teenage girl navigating emotional turmoil.

"The biggest feature is that six out of 10 are works of female directors. I think there has been a breakthrough with female filmmakers around the globe and this phenomenon will likely continue. The themes were varied ― from films that center on family, refugees in Africa and civil war in Syria," programmer Chun Jin-su said during an online press conference for the 22nd Jeonju IFF, Tuesday.

The festival will also hold screenings for 10 titles in its Korean Competition section for first- and second-time feature directors, which it announced on March 12.

The opening film will be director Srdan Golubovic's "Father," which is about a family that lives in a remote village in Serbia. The closing film will be French cartoonist Aurel's animated film "JOSEP."

A scene from
A scene from "Father," which was chosen as the opening film of the 22nd Jeonju International Film Festival / Courtesy of Jeonju IFF

"So far, Jeonju IFF has supported experimental, alternative and independent films. Our lives go on even through the hardships posed to us by the pandemic. That's why films must go on too. The 10-day festival will be held both online and offline so film lovers can enjoy films up close and in safety," said Jeonju Mayor Kim Seung-su, who serves as chairman of Jeonju IFF's organizing committee.

It will hold two special focus sections that are new ― "Corona, New Normal," which looks at the pandemic which has infiltrated our lives and the changes it has caused, and "I am Independent," which introduces the works of seven female independent filmmakers.

The festival has also announced three titles selected for this year's Jeonju Cinema Project, which provides production support for feature films that eventually hold their world premiere at the festival. This year's edition comprises "The Man with High Hopes" directed by Min Hwan-ki, "HUG" directed by Im Heung-soon and "Outside Noise" directed by Ted Fendt.

"This year's festival slogan is 'Film Goes On.' Directors and actors will join the screenings to talk about their films. International guests who can't travel to Korea will join us online. We'll try to become a festival that speaks of hope for films and the world. We'll do our best with taking preventive measures," festival director Lee Joon-dong said.

The festival will hold physical screenings of its competition titles from April 29 to May 8 in the Jeonju area.


Kwak Yeon-soo yeons.kwak@koreatimes.co.kr


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