Cuban cinema to screen at 5th Jeonju film festBuckle up, movie fans! Jeonju, in North Jeolla province, is gearing up for 10 days of indie movie mania starting April 23 at its fifth annual international film festival.
The organizing committee has been meticulous in focusing on films whose themes are independence and challenges.
“2004 is a historical year for our country,” said Min Byung-lock, the chief organizer, at a press conference last week. “Our blockbuster movies like ‘Taegukgi’ raked in more than 10 million audience-goers. However, our film festival’s aim is not to promote such entertaining Hollywood-type movies but to bring independent movies to light.”
Most of the films to be screened are low budget, independent movies that the public would have a hard time tracking down at local theaters, festival organizers said.
In past years, many directors complained about the selection of independent movies at Jeonju said Kim Eun-hee, a committee staffer. “But we’re not picking slick independent movies,” she said. “We’ve selected films that represent the concept of the film festival, which is freedom, challenges and communication.”
This year, independent films not only from Asia but from around the world will compete in the Indie Vision section. The festival’s greatest ambition, however, is its selection of Cuban cinema and a retrospective of non-mainstream films from Japan.
In all, 17 Cuban films, including documentaries, shorts and films such as “Family Video” (2001) by Humberto Padron and “Lucia” (1968) by Humberto Solas, will give Asian audiences a first-time glimpse of nearly one half-century of cinema from the Caribbean island nation.
Japan’s ATG or Art Theater Guild will present 11 films, such as “Band of Ninja” (1967) by Nagisa Oshima, and “Parade of Roses” (1969) by Toshio Matsumoto. Founded in 1961, ATG has been a foundation for non-commercial and experimental independent movies in Japan.
“We hope that the Retrospective to ATG will provide some ideas and answers to Korean independent films,” said Ms. Kim.
The festival also features a three-day lecture series by three masters of cinematography ― Caroline Champetier, Slavomir Idziak and Jung Il-sung ― that is limited to 200 participants. This year, organizers have also selected more family-oriented films than in the past, in response to complaints that the Jeonju festival is too hard to approach, said Ms. Min.
More information about the film festival and tickets are available at the Web site www.jiff.or.kr.
by Lee Ho-jeong