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Eight Korean film festival directors jointly condemn Myanmar military coup

Participants raise three-finger salutes at a press conference on supporting Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement at CINE Q Jeonju Film Street on Friday. (Yonhap)
Participants raise three-finger salutes at a press conference on supporting Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement at CINE Q Jeonju Film Street on Friday. (Yonhap)

JEONJU, North Jeolla Province -- Eight directors of Korea’s international film festivals, including director of the 22nd Jeonju International Film Festival Lee Joon-dong, have jointly expressed their support for the democratic movement in Myanmar during a press conference on Friday.

The conference, held at CINE Q Jeonju Film Street, began with a screening of the short film “Burma Spring 21.” The film centers on the military-led February coup in Myanmar and is directed collaboratively by anonymous filmmakers in and outside of Myanmar.

“I saw postings on Facebook about Myanmar citizens holding signs that express gratitude toward Koreans for supporting. They are not the one that should show gratitude. The world should thank citizens of Myanmar for showing such courage,” Lee said during the conference.

Seven other directors took turns to read aloud a statement to express solidarity with the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar.

“(The Myanmar military should) immediately stop arresting and searching filmmakers, who are trying to resist against the military coup and tell the truth,” the statement said.

“The current Myanmar military coup reminds us of the violence that happened in Korea not too long ago. And it also reminds us of the global filmmakers who formed solidarity with us. So, Korean international film festivals would like to stand with Myanmar filmmakers and support their courage.”

Scenes from the crackdown in Myanmar have been said to bear resemblance to the Gwangju civil uprising in 1980 in Korea.

Soe Moe Thu, one of the representatives of the Myanmar Democracy Network in Korea, also attended the press conference and called for more support.

“We are in pain now. But we believe that we have a bright future in front of us. We ask for more support,” he said.

The press conference was held as part of the 22nd Jeonju International Film Festival which kicked off on Thursday. It was organized by the Korean film industry to speak out against the violence and murders that have unfolded since the military coup on Feb. 1.
 
By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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