Women’s film festival aims to offer thoughtful, fun program

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Women’s film festival aims to offer thoughtful, fun program

There is no doubt that you can improve your life by planning ahead, and this simple principle is especially true today, with the opening of advance online ticket sales for the Women’s Film Festival in Seoul.
If you want to be part of the fun, the first thing you need to do on Monday morning is to log on to your computer and visit the festival’s official Web site at www.wffis.or.kr.
This international festival, celebrating its seventh year, opens April 8 with “The Holy Girl,” directed by Lucrecia Martel, and runs through April 15. More than 80 films from Korea and abroad will be presented, divided into seven program categories, including a Young Feminist Forum and New Currents.
Remaining true to its expatriate-friendly ethos, the festival features English subtitles for non-English films, with only three exceptions among the total number presented.
Living up to its reputation, the festival this year features selected films that are not only fun, but also thought-provoking. Among the special offerings, a retrospective on Vera Chytilova is gaining a lot of attention, as it is the first opportunity for cinephiles here to enjoy films by this Czech woman director. Including her signature work, “Daisies,” which was also a breakthrough for her on the international film scene, the retrospective offers five features and a documentary.
Turkish films also enrich the festival, with a special program exclusively devoted to the country, where feminists have many issues to fight for. The festival’s offerings include films like “Hejar,” which was banned in its home country for dealing openly with Kurdish matters.
Another attraction is a look at Korean classic films dating back to the 1950s and the 1960s. This Korean Cinema Retrospective presents films such as “It’s Not Her Sin,” directed by experienced filmmaker Shin Sang-ok, which makes it a must-see event for lovers of Korean films.
The festival’s International Forum also looks at issues such as prostitution through documentaries, films and discussions that focus on the problem in different countries.
Films like “Awful Normal” show how a woman slowly and painfully gets rid of the scars from sexual harassment, while “Highway Courtesans,” from India, documents a nine-year period in the country’s prostitution environment, where some fathers don’t hesitate to sell their daughters for money.
The first international film festival of the year in Korea will screen all films at the Artreon theater in Sinchon, northwestern Seoul.

by Chun Su-jin

To reach the Artreon theater, take subway line No. 2 to Sinchon station, exit 4. Walk about 5 minutes in the direction of Ewha Womans University. For more information, call (02) 583-3598 or visit www.wffis.or.kr.
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