NewMedia Festival opens in Seoul

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Aug 11, 2014 - 21:01
  • Updated : Aug 11, 2014 - 21:01
An international art festival promoting alternative and independent films and artwork kicked off in Seoul last Thursday.

Seoul International NewMedia Festival, a fringe festival in its 14th year, opened under the theme “Ethnography Now” in various locations throughout Seoul, including the Korean Film Archive, Sanwoolim Theater and Seoul Art Space Seogyo. The festival runs from Aug. 7-15.

A total of 140 experimental films and artworks in seven categories will be presented during the festival. 
An official poster for the 14th Seoul International NewMedia Festival (NeMaf 2014)

The opening movie was “Reiteration of Dissent” directed by visual artist Jane Jin Kaisen, a Korean adoptee from Denmark. The film centers on the Jeju April 3 Massacre (also known as the Jeju Uprising) that took place on Jejudo Island, the director’s birthplace. From April 1948 through May 1949, the new South Korean government killed 14,000 to 30,000 people through fighting and executions.

In six video narratives Kaisen presents the unresolved trauma of the massacres, which manifests itself on the island in many ways such as through literary works, memoirs of survivors and victim’s families, and shamanic rituals of death and rebirth.

The main competition section “Glocal Propose” will screen 42 short and feature films from 17 countries, including “Peripeteia” by English director John Akomfrah, who is widely recognized for his innovative and independent media works.

Third-generation Chinese filmmaker Zhang Lu’s 2013 film “Scenery” and Korean director Kim Kyung-mook’s “This is our End” will play under the “Ethnography Now” section.

The festival has invited a number of video works selected from the International Video Art House Festival Madrid, including the works of Eugeni Bonet, a writer and artist of film and digital media from Barcelona.

The winning film in the competition section will be awarded and screened during the closing ceremony. Diverse cultural events, including forums and performances, will accompany the nine-day festival. For more information, visit www.nemaf.net.

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)