Problems Plague First Chonju Film Festival"It took me 40 minutes to buy one ticket."
"40 minutes? That's not bad. I waited two hours. I think it takes about 4-5 minutes to sell a single ticket."
This is a conversation that was overheard in downtown Chonju, where the Chonju International Film Festival (CIFF) is currently taking place.
The CIFF kicked off on April 28. Sunday, April 30, marked the high point for not only the festival as well as festival-relatd complaints.
Waits of up to 30 minutes in the hot weather were not uncommon.
A spokesperson for the film festival apologized for the delays, explaining, "The ticket booth did not separate reserved and general admission lines, and the computer system did not work properly. We are very sorry about the delay at the ticket booth."
Still, movie fans in Chonju said they could not understand all the troubles with the CIFF. "There have been numerous film festivals in Pusan and Puchon. If the festival committee had studied the past experiences of these festivals there would not have been so many problems inconveniencing visitors to the festival," said an unidentified college student.
Some movie fans also complained about the absence of film stars that the festival committee promised would appear in Chonju. Hong Kong actress Meggy Chang as well as director Wang Kar-wai both canceled at the last minute due to personal reasons. Festival committee chairman Choi Min explained, "We are also disappointed about their absence since they promised to appear at the festival."
A film critic commenting on the festival stated, "Recently, provincial governments have launched a number of film festivals because they are in fashion. But, the problem is that they just want something to boost the local economy. Unfortunately, the size of the event is too big for the government to handle, therefore moviegoers and citizens are the ones who suffer from the poor planning and preparation by the government."
Another film critic commented, "International film festivals held abroad are held by and for film makers, but Korean film festivals are sponsored and run by the government."
by Lee Yong-ki