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Peace film fest kicks off amid rising tension with NK

Opening ceremony of the second Pyeongchang International Peace Film Festival takes place in the Olympic Medal Plaza in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, on Thursday. (PIPFF)
Opening ceremony of the second Pyeongchang International Peace Film Festival takes place in the Olympic Medal Plaza in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, on Thursday. (PIPFF)

Amid tightening tension on the Korean Peninsula, the second edition of the Pyeongchang International Peace Film Festival kicked off Thursday.

The festival, set to run for six-days until Tuesday, is the first local film festival to take place as usual in the presence of audiences and guests since the ongoing novel coronavirus situation broke out in the nation. Though there had been one-day film awards, it is the first film festival event to be held for multiple days.

“We have had our concerns for the COVID-19 situation and all, but we felt an urge for peace, again, as we watched our daily lives disrupted, and with worsening inter-Korean relationship in recent few days, we have realized that peace is now an ever more pressing issue,” the festival’s Chairman Moon Sung-keun said during a press conference, explaining why the organizers have decided to push through with the event.

A veteran actor himself, Moon said, “The festival was founded to discover ways in which the cultural and arts sector could contribute (to the bettering of inter-Korean relationship),”

“Although I find it a shame -- feeling discomfort -- from the North taking things too far right now, I hope the situation becomes a chance for a turning point.”


Pyeongchang International Peace Film Festival’s Chairman Moon Sung-keun speaks during the event’s opening ceremony on Thursday. (PIPFF)
Pyeongchang International Peace Film Festival’s Chairman Moon Sung-keun speaks during the event’s opening ceremony on Thursday. (PIPFF)

The opening ceremony took place at the Olympic Medal Plaza in Daegwallyeong area of Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province. 

The PIPFF was established last year following the city’s hosting of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, in which North Korean athletes took part despite the two nations’ armistice status. Pyeonchang has risen as a symbol of peace since then.

Under the slogan “Peace Again,” the film festival will be showing 96 short and feature-length films from 34 countries sharing messages about humanity, religion, violence and discrimination. Five films providing a look into the current-day North Korea will also be screened during the event’s “Pyongyang Cinema” section.

In regard to the risk of virus infection, the organizers have expanded outdoor screenings for this year’s event and limited the number of guests, adopting a strict registration system to keep track of the participants.



By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)
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