Organizers of the annual film festival in the central South Korean city of Jecheon said Tuesday they are looking to make it one of the nation‘s top film festivals and a magnet for summer vacationers.
“We tried to strengthen the quality of the festival in order to make this year marking the eighth anniversary into a turning point,” Choi Myeong-hyun, mayor of Jecheon and the chief organizer of the festival, said during a news conference in Seoul.
Choi said his government made a narrow trail called “Jadrakgil” with a total length of 58 km in seven sections at the foot of a mountain near the venue of the festival for visitors.
There is almost no change from last year in the number of movies to be shown during the 8th Jecheon International Music and Film Festival (JIMFF). About 100 films from 27 countries, including South Korea, will be screened under the slogan “Just one more step” from Aug. 9-15. Various performances by some 50 bands are also scheduled.
However, the number of foreign entries has risen from 44 last year to 109 this year, the organizers said, a sign that the Jecheon festival is increasingly drawing the attention of foreign movie producers. Jecheon is a small city located 168 kilometers southeast of Seoul in North Chungcheong Province.
The city authorities decided to temporarily open an abandoned airfield in the city center during the festival as a camping site to accommodate a rising number of visitors, they said.
Lack of decent cinemas has been cited as another problem of the movie festival.
“Despite many difficulties, the Jecheon film festival is gradually growing one step after another,” Oh Dong-jin, a movie critic and executive director of the festival, said during the news conference.
“We hope it will become one of the nation’s most competitive film festivals with this year as a turning point,” he said.