This independent film festival tells more stories than usual

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This independent film festival tells more stories than usual

A camera, a director and actors are all one really needs to make a good film. This will be proven true again at the Indie Story Omnibus Film Festival, which starts tomorrow at the Seoul Art Cinema and runs through Feb. 4.
Organized by Indie Story, Korea’s only surviving independent film distributor, the festival features seven Korean films and 10 from abroad, under the theme “omnibus productions.” The festival organizers describe the omnibus film ―a collection of shorts ―as an alternative method of independent film distribution (as is digital technology).
Cinephiles can enjoy a feast of interesting ideas in films like “Coffee and Cigarettes” (2003), directed by Jim Jarmusch. With an extremely eclectic cast that includes Bill Murray, Iggy Pop, Cate Blanchett, Roberto Benigni and the band The White Stripes, it’s a series of seemingly unrelated stories, all of which somehow have to do with coffee and cigarettes. Two other English-language films in the festival are “Dead of Night,” a 1945 British horror film by Alberto Cavalcanti, and “Robot Stories” (2002), by Korean-American director Greg Pak.
Korea is also represented by some quality omnibus films, many of which will be screened with English subtitles. One is last year’s “Camellia Project: Three Queer Stories at Bogil Island,” films about gay lovers by gay directors. Another is the much-anticipated “Digital Short Films by Three Filmmakers,” featuring Bong Joon-ho (director of “Memories of Murder”), Japan’s Sogo Ishii and Yu Lik Wai from Hong Kong. This film has already received a lot of acclaim at film festivals both home and abroad.
Other promising English-subtitled films are “Show Me,” a series of adaptations of Korean folk tales, and “Twinidentity,” a special project by directors who were asked to come up with their own ideas for making the most of the possibilities of digital filmmaking.
Remaining true to the theme of offering variety, the festival will present many other omnibus films from around the world, including the “Erotic Tales” series, which was created by American and European directors under the theme “Not erotic, no fun.”
Another omnibus film, “Utopia,” arrives from Norway with English subtitles. Japan is represented by films such as “One Piece!” and “Jam Films,” both of which will have English subtitles. “One Piece!” is based on a one-scene-one-shot philosophy. “Jam Films,” which became a significant gateway to success for independent directors in Japan, features leading Japanese directors and actors.
If this festival whets your interest in this genre, check out the “Ten Minutes Older” omnibus films, now being screened at Hypertheque Nada (see Page W2).


by Chun Su-jin

Admission is 6,000 won ($5.80) per screening. Seoul Art Cinema is best reached from Anguk Station, subway No. 3 line, exit No. 1. For more information, call (02) 743-6053 or visit http://omnibus.indie-story.com.

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