At film festivals, a midsummer night’s nightmare and more

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At film festivals, a midsummer night’s nightmare and more


The 15th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) opens with the Indian film “Bollywood the Greatest Love Story Ever Told.” Provided by PiFan

Of the many telltale signs of summer, the country’s string of annual film festivals is perhaps the goriest, most animated and musical of them all.

The Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival marks its 15th year when it begins next week, and it has claimed its stake on providing the antidote to your summertime doldrums with horror, science-fiction and genre films. At the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival, which takes place later this month, the animated world comes together. And next month’s Jecheon International Music and Film Festival combines the worlds of music and film.

Although the central government has slashed funding for many film festivals, bringing festival organizers to the streets in protest last winter, most of them have kept up their programs.

Bollywood in Bucheon

Thrill-seeking moviegoers will find the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, also known as PiFan, to their liking. Held in Bucheon, Gyeonggi, PiFan is the most anticipated festival among this summer’s lineup.

A total of 221 films from 34 countries will be shown during the 11 day festival, which opens on July 14, and its slate of diverse films will open with the documentary “Bollywood the Greatest Love Story Ever Told.”

“Whether you’re a Bollywood film fan or not, anyone can enjoy it and be charmed with it,” said Park Kun-hyung, a chief programmer at PiFan.

The documentary sheds light on Bollywood’s unique formula, using dance, music and interviews with the likes of Indian stars Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.

The festival features 15 different sections, including one of PiFan’s signature sections, the Puchon Choice Feature, which features 12 films showing the latest trends in horror, sci-fi and thriller movies.


The 15th Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival opens with the Japanese animated feature film “Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below.” Provided by SICAF

Among the dozen is “Operation Tatar,” dubbed the Mongolian version of the 1992 American film “Reservoir Dogs,” and tells the story of an everyday man driven to rob a bank in order to save his daughter’s life.

Another, “Revenge: A Love Story,” is a gory thriller about the serial killings of the pregnant wives of Hong Kong police officers, dissected alive with their stomachs sliced open. The men are also killed but in boiling water. The film features Japanese nude model Sola Aoi, who has huge fan base in Korea.

PiFan’s World Fantastic Cinema section features international movies including “Claypot Curry Killers,” a Malay horror film about a curry restaurant owner who uses human flesh as a key ingredient; “The Sandman,” a surreal romantic comedy from Switzerland, about a man who inexplicably begins losing sand and falls in love with a woman downstairs; and “Rabies,” an Israeli horror film about a brother in a race against time to save his sister, who gets caught in a hunting trap set by a murderer.

For the hardcore cineast with a stomach of steel, the festival’s Forbidden Zone section will screen five Japanese splatter films.

But PiFan isn’t all about gore. Ani Fanta and Family Fanta are two sections delivering worthwhile movies appropriate for general audiences. PiFan’s Lee Young-jae recommends “Ninja Kids!!!” for its comedic plot. The Japanese film depicts the struggles of a low-class family of ninjas who want to raise their children to become elite ninjas.

As a way to spice up the festival, organizers are opening a camping area this year to “create a festival atmosphere outside the theaters,” according to Lee. From July 15 to 17, over a dozen tents will be set up by organizers and another 10 tents will be set up by festivalgoers who apply beforehand. Free barbecues will be held. Those wishing to reserve a tent must do so early on PiFan’s Web site.


PiFan will be screening horror, sci-fi and thriller movies from diverse countries. One of them is Malay horror “Claypot Curry Killers.” Provided by PiFan

SICAF celebrates

The Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival (SICAF) is also celebrating its 15th year, a notable milestone in a country where its cartoon and animation film industry is in the doldrums thanks to rampant piracy. The festival opens on July 20 and runs through July 24.

Unlike other festivals that focus on film screenings, SICAF is a combination of exhibitions, film screenings, animation and cartoons.

One of the festival’s exhibitions will be a collection of comics telling the stories of the world’s cities. The other is to be a collection of comics on cultural diversity.

Two smaller exhibitions about Korea’s beloved comic artists Shin Mun-su and Won Su-yeon will be displayed as well. Veteran Shin began writing comics in the early 1960s and Won is famous for romantic comedy comics including “Full House” and “Mary Stayed Out All Night,” both of which were later made into popular television shows.

The festival will be screening 160 animated films from 32 countries. The opening film will be Japanese filmmaker Makoto Shinkai’s “Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below,” an animated film about a young girl who enters a hidden world using a crystal radio left behind by her father.

Five animated feature films will compete for SICAF’s grand prize this year. They include Estonian film “Sky Song,” Japanese film “Chocolate Underground,” British film “Thomas and Friends - Misty Island Rescue,” French film “The Illusionist,” and Korean film “Green Days: Dinosaur and Me.”

Some critics have said the festival’s main competition lacks freshness. “The Illusionist” and “Green Days: Dinosaur and Me” were released in Korea last month.

But the digital cartoon section is likely to live up to the expectations of SICAF fans. “We’re actually leading the world’s digital cartoon market due to widespread high-speed Internet access,” said Sohn Ki-hwan, an organizing director. “As proof of it, we received the highest ever number of applications from the world’s Web cartoon artists this year.”

The six-day Jecheon International Music and Film Festival will start Aug. 11. The lineup for this year’s festival has yet to be announced but diverse musical films will be presented this year. The festival’s main open-air venue is located on the shores of Cheongpung Lake in North Chungcheong.

*The Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival begins July 14 and runs through July 24. For more information, visit or call (032) 327-6313.

The Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival begins July 20 and runs through July 24. For more information, visit or call (02) 3455-8431.

The Jecheon International Music and Film Festival begins Aug. 11 and runs through Aug. 16. For more information, visit or call (043) 646-2242.

By Sung So-young []

한글 관련 기사 [아주경제]
부천시, `제15회 부천국제판타스틱영화제` 개최
제15회 부천국제판타스틱영화제가 오는 14일부터 24일 까지 11일간 개최된다.

7일 부천시에 따르면 이 기간동안 34개국 221편의 영화가 부천시 6개 상영관에서 동시 상영되며 각종 공연, 체험 행사와 전시 등도 함께 진행된다.

이와 함께 부천시와 PiFan조직위원회는 영화제 기간 중 관내에 소재한 관광지와 요식업소 등의 관람료, 이용료, 식대료를 감면 또는 할인해 주기로 했다.

이에 따라 영화도 관람하고 영화티켓(표)을 이용해 지정된 관광지, 식당 등을 저렴하게 이용할 수 있어 일석이조의 재미를 맛볼 수 있다.

관광지는 아인스월드와 웅진플레이도시가 30% 할인, 부천로보파크, 한국만화박물관이 50% 할인, 그 밖에 판타스틱스튜디오, 부천식물원, 자연생태박물관, 유럽자기박물관, 활박물관은 무료로 관람할 수 있다.

‘PiFan 판판판’ 지정 업소는 43개소로, 일명 놀판 2개소(피씨방, 당구장), 잘판 4개소(불가마사우나2, 온천랜드, 관광호텔), 먹을판 37개소(모범음식점 등)로 10%에서 많게는 30% 가격 할인이 적용된다.

기타 자세한 내용은 부천국제판타스틱영화제 홈페이지(를 참고하면 된다.
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