Youths as directors for YMCA video contest
To prepare for the 11th Youth Video Festival this Saturday, the Seoul Young Men’s Christian Association collected teenager-made films for 15 days in September.
Of the 126 submitted, the top 10 films were selected to compete for the finals this Saturday at the Seoul Art Cinema in Jongno, central Seoul.
The Youth Video Festival was established in 1998 with the goal to create a creative media outlet for youths.
“The films aren’t outstandizng in technique or revealing artistic emotions,” said Hwang Hye-kyung from the festival’s organizing committee.
What distinguishes the stories, she says, is that they come from the heart.
Selected videos are animations, dramas or documentaries, which are usually 15 minutes long.
“My Friend is a Japanese” is an animated film made by Oh Ye-jin, a student from Gohyeon Elementary School, and her friends.
One day, Hasako, a Japanese, transfers to a school in Korea.
She is bullied by her classmates because she is Japanese.
Even Ji-eun, a Korean girl, is bullied because she hangs around with Hasako.
The two try to get closer to their classmates and to break the stereotypes they have toward Japan.
“The Kimchi Boy” is a nine-minute drama by Kim Hye-kyung from Korea Animation High School.
Her story is about a Korean man who detests kimchi as well as other vegetables, and people start to question his patriotism.
The man criticizes the nation’s collective society and leaves on a quest for true love.
There is also a serious documentary, “The Long Journey,” by Jeon Gwang-hyuk, a high school student.
Jeon and his friends hop onto a ferry at the Incheon Port International Passenger Terminal to capture the breathtaking life stories of Chinese and Mongolian teenagers.
Their interviews with teenagers left alone in China’s rural areas remind them of the importance of family love and relationships.
“Compared to the previous youth video festivals where films shared common themes such as daily school life, this year’s selections are much more diverse in themes,” Hwang said.
One concern she notes is that the videos this year contain many violent scenes.
“It’s the side effect of popular culture, I guess,” she explains. “It is astonishing how influential the media is to youngsters. The festival allows these youngsters to create their own media environment.”
For more information on The Youth Video Festival, call (02) 735-1518 or visit www.yvf.or.kr.
Meanwhile, The 10th Puchon International Student Animation Festival is also scheduled from Nov. 7 to 11.
The opening piece is “Muto,” a wall-painted animated film directed by an Italian wall painter BLU.
The closing animation is “The House of Small Cubes” by Kunio Kato from Japan.
For information, visit www.pisaf.or.kr.
By Lee Eun-joo Staff Reporter [firstname.lastname@example.org]