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EBS doc festival showcases daily life around the world

Director Suzanne Crocker’s family tries to figure out if they can live self-sufficiently for a year in her documentary “First We Eat.” (EBS)
Director Suzanne Crocker’s family tries to figure out if they can live self-sufficiently for a year in her documentary “First We Eat.” (EBS)
Selected documentaries from around the world are being presented at the 18th EBS International Documentary Festival 2021 until Sunday on public broadcaster EBS.

EBS International Documentary Festival, which began Monday, is Korea’s only documentary festival that combines TV broadcasting with online and theater screenings.

Under the slogan “normal is now special,” the EIDF seeks to send a hopeful message of overcoming the pandemic and documenting the slowly vanishing moments of the pre-COVID-19 era.

This year’s selection consists of 57 documentaries, chosen out of more than 1,000 submissions from 75 countries, according to EBS.

The works are categorized into contemporary docs panorama, close-up icon, kids & teens and more. Twenty-one films will vie for prizes in the three competitive categories -- festival choice in global, festival choice in Asia and mobile shorts competition. The winners of the festival choice category will each receive a grand prize of 10 million won ($8,514).

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and the Netherlands, a special section “Power of Dutch Docs,” offers leading Dutch works.

The festival started its TV broadcast portion with Thai director Preecha Srisuwan’s “Floating Village Asylum” on EBS1TV Monday. All films, excluding the works in the mobile shorts competition, are scheduled to be broadcast on EBS1TV as well as streamed on D-Box, the broadcaster’s documentary streaming platform.

Director Park Hyuck-jee’s “Speed of Happiness” and Yun Jero’s “Song Hae 1927” will only be screened in the theater, as the films’ distributors did not wish them to be aired on TV.

Thirteen documentaries will be screened at the festival’s theater venue Megabox Ilsan Bellacitta Aug. 27-29.

The opening film for the festival’s theater experience “First We Eat,” produced by Canadian director Suzanne Crocker, will be shown at 11:00 a.m. on Friday.

“With the extended social distancing rules and the COVID-19, we are only able to open the theater for three days,” an official of EIDF told The Korea Herald on Monday. “The limited time forced the EIDF Organizing Committee to choose 13 documentaries, which are only premiering in EIDF and are considered to have themes with mass appeal.”

Detailed information about the festival and documentaries are available in the program book on EIDF’s official website.

By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)
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