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Inaugural Edition of Gangneung International Film Festival Opens

Nov 15, 2019
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
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1st GIFF Presents 73 Films from 32 Countries

The inaugural edition of the Gangneung International Film Festival (GIFF) kicked off on the northeastern coast of South Korea on November 8. The new event, which is run by Festival Chairman KIM Dong-ho, a former chairman of the Busan International Film Festival, and artistic director KIM Hong-jun, opened its first edition with the world premiere of the new Korean family drama A Little Princess, with NA Moon-hee (Miss Granny, 2014) and KIM Su-an (TRAIN TO BUSAN, 2016).

Actress KIM Seo-hyung, star of The Villainess (2017), served as the host for the opening ceremony, which included a ‘Cine-Concert’ for the opening performance film presentation of Alice GUY-BLACHÉ‘s classic short film Falling Leaves from 1912, which was accompanied by the Gangneung Philharmonic Orchestra.

Guests at the opening ceremony included veteran star AHN Sung-ki, chairman of GIFF’s advisory committee, and actor KIM Rae-won, another advisory committee member who originally hails from Gangneung. Other stars in attendance included HAN Ye-ri, KIM In-kwon, KWON Yul, MOON So-ri, OH Ji-ho and YEA Ji-won.

Among the programs at this year’s very first GIFF were the Korea Literary Film Special, a section devoted to classic Korean films from the 1960s and 70s, including SHIN Sang-ok’s Mother And A Guest (1961) and YU Hyun-mok’s Rainy Days (1979), and ‘Women Write, Films Remember’, featuring AHN Hui’s The Golden Era and Terence DAVIES’ A Quiet Passion, among others.

Several cinema masters were also highlighted at the festival, which included several landmark films by Japanese cineaste KORE-EDA Hirokazu, who was in attendance. A variety of Korean and international cinema classics were also presented to audiences in Gangneung, including YIM Soon-rye’s Waikiki Brothers (2001) and Charles LAUGHTON’s Night of the Hunter.

The 1st Gangneung International Film Festival took place until November 14, when it closed with D. A. PENNEBAKER’s Bob DYLAN documentary Don’t Look Back from 1967.
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