Back To Top

23rd Jeonju International Film Festival announces selections for this year

From left: 23rd Jeonju International Film Festival co-programmer Moon Seok, director Lee Joon-dong, special programmer Yeon Sang-ho, organizing committee Chairman Kim Seung-su and co-programmers Moon Sung-kyung and Chun Jin-su (Yonhap)
From left: 23rd Jeonju International Film Festival co-programmer Moon Seok, director Lee Joon-dong, special programmer Yeon Sang-ho, organizing committee Chairman Kim Seung-su and co-programmers Moon Sung-kyung and Chun Jin-su (Yonhap)

The upcoming Jeonju International Film Festival will feature 217 films, including works by “Hellbound” director Yeon Sang-ho and “Pachinko” creator Kogonada, its organizing committee said Thursday during a press conference at CGV Yongsan in central Seoul.

The 23rd edition of Jeonju IFF will kick off April 28 and run through May 7 at five theaters in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province.

It will be an online-offline hybrid festival, similar to last year, but the committee said it has put more effort into bringing back the majority of the in-person events that used to be held before the pandemic.

“We have a strong will to hold the fest in person this year,” Jeonju Mayor Kim Seung-su, who serves as chairman of Jeonju IFF’s organizing committee, said during the press conference. “We accumulated quite a lot of know-how while organizing a hybrid festival last year. We made a manual and already tested several measures to hold in-person events.”

According to the committee, around 217 films -- 123 foreign films and 94 Korean films -- from 56 countries will be screened during this year’s film festival. Compared to the number last year, the number of films featuring at the festival rose by 31 from eight more countries, close to the level that the festival used to present before the spread of COVID-19.

Via the fest’s Online Film Festival Network platform, the audience will be able to watch 112 films -- 69 foreign films and 43 Korean films.

The opener for this year will be science fiction film “After Yang,” directed by Kogonada, who is best known for directing Apple TV+’s “Pachinko.”

In Kogonada’s film, which is set in the near future, a family reckons with questions of love, connection and loss after their artificial intelligence helper unexpectedly breaks down. The film is based on the short story “Saying Goodbye to Yang,” by Alexander Weinstein.

The closing film will be “Full Time,” directed by Eric Gravel. This film centers on a single mom who struggles to raise two kids alone while juggling two jobs, full-time and part-time.

In both the Korean and international film competition sections, the festival committee said female directors in particular showed their power.

“Six among the international competition category’s 10 films have been helmed by female directors,” Jeonju IFF co-programmer Chun Jin-su said.
 
Opener for the 23rd Jeonju International Film Festival “After Yang,” directed by Kogonada (Jeonju IFF)
Opener for the 23rd Jeonju International Film Festival “After Yang,” directed by Kogonada (Jeonju IFF)

Fellow co-programmer Moon Seok added, “Seven out of the nine selected films were directed by women in the Korean competition category. We hope this trend continues in the commercial film industry.”

“The most common theme this year in the Korean competition category was ‘family,’” Moon said. He presumed that the change is due to the pandemic, which led filmmakers to focus more on matters happening inside households.

The committee especially highlighted that it has invited director Yeon Sang-ho as the special programmer for the “J Special: Programmer of the Year” section.

Yeon is recently known for producing the Netflix hit series “Hellbound,” and also directed 2016’s smash-hit zombie film “Train to Busan.”

For the section, a special programmer who has a deep understanding of movies and the film festival in Jeonju is selected annually to introduce a few motion pictures, including two of his own works, according to the Jeonju IFF organizer.

The five films Yeon choose for Jeonju IFF are “Blue Velvet” from David Lynch, “Cure” from Kurosawa Kiyoshi, “Missing” from Katayama Shinzo and his own “Train to Busan” and animation “The King of Pigs.”

Yeon explained during the press conference that he chose from a genre of films that influenced him personally.

“All three films are distinct in their own ways, but there is also a connection between them. If the audience watches them together, they might feel something differently,” Yeon said.

Toward the end of the press conference, Yeon also hinted about the highly anticipated second season of “Hellbound.”

“Before I came here, I was working on the script for the sequel,” he said. “We will release the webtoon first during the second half of this year and the drama will also start shooting around that time as well.”

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
MOST POPULAR
LATEST NEWS
subscribe