U.S. indie movie to open green film fest

By Claire Lee

A total of 111 environment-themed movies from 35 countries to be featured at annual Green Film Festival in Seoul

  • Published : Apr 10, 2014 - 20:32
  • Updated : Apr 10, 2014 - 20:32
An American independent film about three teenage friends who build a home in the woods will open this year’s Green Film Festival in Seoul, organizers said Monday.

The debut feature by director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, titled “The Kings of Summer,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year. The director is to attend the festival’s opening ceremony in Seoul.

Celebrating its 11th edition this year, GFFIS is the nation’s first international film festival to highlight environmental issues. It will screen a total of 111 films from 35 countries this year.
A scene from “The Kings of Summer,” which has been selected as the opener of this year’s GFFIS. (GFFIS)

The festival will take place at a number of venues in the Gwanghwamun area in central Seoul, including CineCube Gwanghwamun and Seoul Museum of History, in an effort to get more of the public involved. Last year, the film festival was held at CGV Yongsan, a theater venue near Yongsan subway station in Seoul.

A total of 1,059 films from 97 countries entered the competition in the categories of feature films and shorts. The organizers have narrowed them down to 21 features and shorts from 16 countries.

Of the 11 films in the feature competition are three Korean films, including Park Kyung-kun’s “A Dream of Iron,” which won the NETPAC Award for best Asian film at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. The film is said to be a unique exploration of modern South Korean history using fascinating images of a POSCO steelmaking plant. 
Kim Won, the director of Green Film Festival in Seoul, speaks at a press conference in Seoul. ( GFFIS)

The two other Korean movies are Moon Seung-wook’s “Watch Tower” and Shin Seong-yong’s “Upo, People in Wetland.”

Nine other films include Chinese filmmaker Zhu Yu’s documentary “Cloudy Mountains,” which won the Special Jury Prize at last year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto, Canada. The film deals with Chinese miners who are not protected from toxic dust at work.

American documentary “DamNation,” Japanese documentary “The Horses of Fukushima,” Thai documentary “The Songs of Rice” and Belgian documentary “Behind the Redwood Curtain” are also competing for the top prize in the category. “The Songs of Rice,” a film about rice farming across Thailand, is also a favorite in the feature contest. It won the International Federation of Film Critics Award at this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Korean actress Yoon Jin-seo, filmmaker Kwon Chil-in (“Singles,” “Venus Talk”), film critic Philip Cheah and environmental activist Park Yong-shin will sit on this year’s jury.

This year’s GFFIS runs May 8-15. For more information, visit www.gffis.org.

By Claire Lee (dyc@heraldcorp.com)