Documentary festival grows to attract a bigger crowd

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Documentary festival grows to attract a bigger crowd

The 16th EBS International Documentary Festival (EIDF) hopes to draw larger audiences this year by extending the festival by two days.

This year’s festival will run from Aug. 17 to 25, starting on a Saturday to give people more opportunities to watch the documentaries in theaters.

“We have analyzed data about our audiences at past festivals and came to the conclusion to start the festival on the weekend because that is when we have the most people attend [screenings],” explained Gunny Hyoung, executive producer of the EIDF.

“When the festival was held for only a week in the past, people would mostly come to see the films on the weekend. But, since we hold the closing ceremony on Sunday, there weren’t any films being screened that day. So for people [who work on weekdays], they really only had Saturday to check out the films.”

Although the documentaries are also scheduled to air on the EBS television network, the festival organizers want viewers to be able to enjoy each of the films in a proper theater setting.

To encourage people to turn out, the festival will hold outdoor screenings at Ilsan Lake Park in Gyeonggi from Aug. 23 to 24.

A total of 73 films from 34 countries are set to be screened during the festival and eventually shown on EBS.

The films have been categorized into 12 sections - six of those sections (Kids Docs, Intangible Heritage in Docs, Encounter with Animal, Our Family, Urban City & Architecture and Life is Art) have been introduced this year.

“We tried to select documentaries that correlate with popular trends and topical social issues,” said Hyoung.

“Subjects related to refugees, families, employment and animals seem to resonate with the public today, which is why we tried to incorporate films related to those topics.”

In line with this year’s theme “Documentary - Lighting the World!”, the opening film of the 16th edition of the festival will be “Midnight Traveller” by Afghan director Hassan Fazili. The movie tells the story of his journey of survival with his wife and two children as refugees seeking asylum after the Taliban puts a bounty on his head after he released his previous documentary “Peace.”

The festival’s opening ceremony will be held at the main EBS building in Ilsan on Aug. 19.

Audiences will be able to watch films at the Gurumare Theater near Hongik University and at Megabox’s Ilsan branch located at the Bella Citta mall.


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