World’s biggest pop-up film festival finds way to Seoul

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jun 20, 2017 - 14:43
  • Updated : Jun 20, 2017 - 14:43
The world’s largest global pop-up film festival is returning to Korea this summer, blending performances, art and international films to create an immersive cinematic experience.

Taking place simultaneously in 150 cities and 60 countries across the globe, the Future Shorts Film Festival has one key aim -- to expose its half-a-million and growing audience to experiences that take them outside of their daily lives and allow them to explore new worlds. 

A Future Shorts Film Festival screening takes place in Azerbaijan in 2013. (Future Shorts)

Anyone with a creative vision, and the funds for a small licensing fee, can host a screening of the expert-picked films in their hometown. Fans have already flocked to catch finalists’ works in abandoned buildings, trendy art houses and beaches everywhere from Melbourne to Jakarta to Moscow, with the next stop being the Sonnendeck venue in Itaewon later this month.

Wynsum Foreman is one of the organizers of the Korean screenings. She became involved with the not-for-profit group to give lovers of cinema a broader way of experiencing films, in ways that traditional movie theater settings could not.

“When you go to the theater, you’re not really expecting anything different,” the South African expat says. “You go in and you’re going to be given a film on terms that are defined beforehand.

“With this, there’s a greater chance for creative communities to meet. It’s a great way to find like-minded people and start up projects too.”

At this season’s event, audiences can enjoy immersive experiences designed to enhance the film experience without detracting from the focal subject matter.

Interactive projects from artists Da In, Pureum, Stella Lee and Lawrence Blackman, in addition to readings by local poets, experimental tracks by musician Lewtrikamou and screen-printing sessions, will be interspersed throughout the screening blocks.

It’s this variety of experiences catering to art and cinema lovers alike that makes the festival one-of-a-kind, Foreman says. She appreciates that the only limits to where a screening can go is in the imagination of the hosts, and says the two- to nine-minute time limit for each film guarantees viewers are taken on a “roller coaster of emotions” by the end of the night.

“Short films tend to pack a punch. The comedic films are usually set up in a way where you are crying from laughter. Even the short, darker films make more of an impact than a feature-length film.”

Following the event, attendees worldwide are encouraged to cast a vote for their favorite film, with a handsome cash prize crowned to the winning filmmakers later in the year.

The event will take place on Saturday, with the entertainment beginning at 5 p.m. All films will have both Korean and English subtitles. Tickets, which include a drink, will be 10,000 won at the door, with all proceeds going toward supporting independent film. For more information, check Facebook.com/FutureShortsSeoul.

By Aparna Balakumar (a.balakumar@heraldcorp.com)