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Korean Film News
39th Seoul Independent Film Festival Opens
Nov 28, 2013
- Writerby Pierce Conran
Social Issues Dominate 117 Film Lineup
The 39th Seoul Independent Film Festival (SIFF) kicks off tonight (November 28th) in Central Seoul with the world premiere of the omnibus film Romance in Seoul. 117 films, many of them documentaries of films focusing on social themes, will screen during the festival, which until December 6th. This year, the festival received 810 submissions.
Korea’s premier showcase of independent cinema, SIFF aims to highlight the talent involved in the country’s independent filmmaking scene, giving particular attention to films depicting social issues. A number of the most acclaimed and hard-hitting films from the local festival circuit during 2013 will be screened again during the festival.
This year’s competition features nine local films, including Busan Film Festival favorites such as Non-Fiction Diary (Mecenat Award), Han Gong-ju (CGV Movie Collage Award, Citizen Reviewers’ Award), and Shuttlecock (NETPAC Award, Citizen Reviewers’ Award), and Jeonju Film Festival Audience Award winner My Place. Prize money this year will amount to KRW 72 million (USD 68,000), a significant increase on last year’s KRW 16 million. 45 short domestic shorts will also be vying in competition.
Other local favorites are due to screen out of competition, including 10 Minutes (KNN Movie Award, FIRPESCI Prize) and Pascha (New Currents Award). Among the international films invited are Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station, TSAI Ming-liang’s Stray Dogs and Ken Loach’s The Spirit of 45.
Opening film Romance in Seoul, which is screening in CGV Apgujeong tonight features contribution from directors CHOI Sihyung, LEE Woo-Jung, JUNG Jae-hoon, KIM Tae-yong, LEE Jeonghong, JUNG Hyuk-ki and CHO Hyun-chul. SIFF Screenings will take place both in CGV Apgujeong and Indiespace in Gwanghwamun.