Digital film festival is pixel perfect

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Digital film festival is pixel perfect

Resfest, the Digital Film Festival Korea, begins today and runs through Dec. 5, featuring 256 films and a heck of a lot more.

It opens with music videos by Chris Cunningham, who explores human fears and desires through a range of artists' compositions, including Bjork's "All Is Full of Love" and Leftfield's "Afrika Shox." The screening is at 7 p.m. today at the Yonsei University Centennial Hall.

Resfest closes on Dec. 5 with the hip-hop documentary "Breath Control." In between will be the screening of "Shots 2002," a showcase of some of the world's best television commercials.

This may seem to stray from the path of traditional movie festivals, but that's the point: The digital video genre has a very short history, so its traditions are practically nonexistent. Resfest's organizers have decided create a hybrid festival that capitalizes upon other art forms, as well.

The digital genre "is about a lifestyle, culture and an emerging art form," says the Korea's Resfest co-founder Bernie Cho. "It's not about computers and cameras."

To reinforce that philosophy, organizers are bringing breakbeat DJ James Lavelle from the United Kingdom for the closing party on Dec. 7 at De La Guarda Hall, a circus space beside the Sejong Center for Performing Arts. The "Ssam Resmix Party" will be a multimedia extravaganza with deejays, Resfest visuals and a video jockey, accompanied by the high-flying antics of De La Guarda.

But at the festival's core is its showcase of films. This year, there are 19 sections -- 11 global, four national and four by invitation -- including a Rob Nilsson retrospective, animated films, experimental short films and music videos. A five-movie pass is 25,000 won ($21). Admission to the opening night film is 6,000 won.

Mr. Nilsson was the first director to win awards at both the Cannes and Sundance film festivals for digital films ("Northern Lights" at Cannes, "Heat and Sunlight" at Sundance). He pioneered the video-to-film transfer that led to today's digital revolution.

A highlight in the short film section is "Carcan," a stark but sensual look at beauty and the human body. In the French film section, watch for "Les Crabes," a humorous take on warfare and territorialism.

Resfest wasn't born in Korea. It was founded in San Francisco in 1996 and it tours the world. Local organizers choose a mix of touring and locally produced selections. Mr. Cho and animation professor Soh Jae brought Resfest to Korea three years ago.

This year, there are no Korean films featured among the global ResFest selections. However, 39 films on the Korean slate are made by Korean directors. Among them: "Der Telefon Anruf," a strangely funny music video about three people searching for each other. The video was produced by a group of students from Ewha Womans University.

"Some of these [Korean] films, we'd like to submit to the international side," Mr. Cho says.

Resfest's organizers want to educate and inspire the public. It hosts several seminars and question-and-answer panels. "Creative people will always have good ideas. Digital filmmaking makes those ideas more affordable and possible," Mr. Cho says.

For more information, check out the festival's Web site at or call (02) 3275-3747.


Meanwhile, Europe's best films play

Also opening today, the Seoul-European Film Festival is having its third annual screening at Megabox in COEX mall.

"Intact," directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, is opening the fest. The thriller, about luck and chance, starts at 1 p.m.

The festival, which ends on Monday, will showcase 30 European films. Its events are divided into sections: Hot Breakers, movies that broke box-office records; National Choice, films by renowned European directors; Rising Directors, new features by up-and-coming directors, and Midnight Express, overnight screenings of movies that were previously banned from Korea.

For more information, check out their festival's Web site at, or call (02) 538-0211.

by Joe Yong-hee

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