Eleven years and still going strong

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Eleven years and still going strong

The Jeonju International Film Festival has once again proved its popularity, with 118 of the festival’s 208 films sold out as of Monday. Tickets went on sale April 13 and it took just two minutes for the opening film “Should’ve Kissed” and “Short! Short! Short! 2010” to sell out.

“Short! Short! Short! 2010” is a JIFF project that provides directors with funding to make short films. This year, the films of three directors, Lee Kyu-man, Kim Tae-gon and Han Ji-hye, will be screened as part of the project. All three directors are making their JIFF debut.

But don’t worry if you don’t have tickets for the festival. The festival reserves about 15 percent of the tickets for each film to sell at the box office on the day of the screening.

This is the festival’s 11th anniversary, and programmers say they have worked hard to broaden the festival’s scope.

“Over the past 10 years, we’ve been trying to increase the size of the festival, as well as the quality of the offerings,” Jung Soo-wan, the festival’s chief programmer, said at a press conference held in central Seoul in late March.

“This year, keep an eye on films from South America. They represent the chaos in society that arises amid the rapid pace of development experienced by many South American nations,” Jung added.

Another popular screening series is JIFF’s trademark Jeonju Digital Project. Under the project, the festival provides three directors with 50 million won ($45,454) to make a 30-minute film. This year, the artists are James Benning of the United States, Denis Cote from Canada and Matias Pineiro from Argentina.

The festival also hosts a string of events for people of all ages. There will be performances by Korean bands and arts groups in and around the festival venue, including the fourth Cyon B-Boy Championship on Saturday.

Aspiring filmmakers should head to Masterclass, where this year’s guests are Korean director Bong Joon-ho, who has received rave reviews for his film “Mother” (2009), and Portuguese director Pedro Costa, whose most recent film “Ne Change Rien” was screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2009. Twelve of Costa’s films and a documentary will be shown via a retrospective of the director’s work during the nine-day festival.

By Sung So-young [so@joongang.co.kr]
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