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The Closing Ceremony of the 20th Jeonju International Film Festival


The 20th Jeonju International Film Festival was a huge success again. The record number of people visited Jeonju during the ten days of film festival. The closing ceremony, held on 11th May at Jeonju Dome, reflected upon the ten days of festivities and heightened expectations for next year’s film festival.

The closing ceremony started with a glamorous red carpet ceremony. First to hit the red carpet amid loud cheers were In Gyo-Jin and So Yi-Hyun, the celebrity couple that hosted the closing ceremony this year. So Yi-Hyun was delighted to revisit her hometown.

The participants of the “Middle Earth Writing Camp” also marched on the red carpet. The camp was introduced during this year’s film festival to strengthen filmmakers’ knowledge on humanities and project planning, and to encourage networking among the filmmakers. This year the twenty participants of the camp, led by the famed movie director Lee Myung-se, reflected upon the last twenty-years of the Korean filmmaking. Following this year’s “writing” camp, next year’s film festival will introduce “acting” camp.

The red carpet ceremony ended with the cheerful applauds to the volunteer workers of this year’s film festival. Without their dedication, the record-success of the festival would not have been possible. The organizing director and the festival director of the film festival warmly shook hands with every volunteer worker.

The film director, Mr. Lee Choong-jik reported on the proceedings. Jeonju International Film Festival, in its 20th year, set new record with the highest number of audiences and sold-out films. During the ten days of the festival, 391 out of 697 screenings were sold out, including 91 VR Cinema screenings. Also, 85,900 audiences attended the festival this year, surpassing 80,244 audiences of the last year.

This year’s film festival made both quantitative and qualitative progress. The number of film entries increased from the last year’s 241 to 271 this year. “Newtro Jeonju”, the section that celebrated the twenty years of the film festival, was praised for reflecting upon the past and showing the future visions of the Jeonju International Film Festival. Also, “the 100 Years of Korean Cinema”, a special exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Korean cinema, was acclaimed for casting a novel light on Korean film by presenting the list of fourteen non-conventional 21st century films and the twelve 20th century films valued in film history.

Also popular among the audiences was “Expanded Plus: UTOPIAN PHANTOM“ exhibition held at the Factory of Contemporary Arts in Palbok. The exhibition aimed to go beyond the cinematic conventions and push the boundaries of modern cinema by making new attempts of exhibiting films. A collaboration project with the festival´s program and graphic design, the “100 Films, 100 Posters,” exhibition also successfully took place at the Factory with 10,000 visitors visiting the exhibition. After the festival “Expanded Plus: UTOPIAN PHANTOM” exhibition will run until June 16th.

During the closing ceremony, the directors and actors of the competition award films were invited to make comments. Director Kim Sol, awarded the Grand Prize in the Korean Competition section for the film “Scattered Night”, commented: “I hope to create a film that leaves rather heavy emotions” and “I will continue to observe life with good ability to remember”. Actor Moon Seung-a, awarded the Best Acting Prize, made audiences laugh by commenting: “I was worried that receiving the best acting award would mean that the film won’t receive the Grand Prize, but I’m relieved now”.

​On the 8th May, award ceremony for this year’s twelve competition sections was held at the Korea Traditional Culture Center. Let’s find out which films have won the award.

International Competition

​Grand Prize: <From Tomorrow On, I Will> Ivan Marković, Wu Linfeng

Best Picture Prize: <Homing> Helvecio Marins Jr.

Jury’s Special Prize: <Last Night I Saw You Smiling> Kavich Neang


Korean Competition

​Grand Prize: <Scattered Night> Kim Sol, Lee Jyhyoung

Best Acting Prize: <Scattered Night> Moon Seung-a (as Soo-min); <WAVE> Gwak Min-gyu

CGV Arthouse Awards: <The Sea of Itami Jun> Jung Dawoon; <Move the Grave> Jeong Seung-o

Jury’s Special Mention: <WAVE> Choi Changhwan


Korean Competition for Shorts

Grand Prize (KAFA Award): <Parterre> Lee Sang-hwan

Best Director Prize: <Leo> Lee Duk-chan

Special Jury Prize: <Sick> Lee Woo-dong

The closing ceremony, held in Jeonju Dome, came to an end with the closing announcement by the organizing director Mr. Kim Seung-soo and the audiences all together shouting: “Jeonju-nun young-hwa da!(Jeonju is film!)”.

This was followed by the screening of the closing film, <Skin> (Director: Guy Nattiv). Based on true events, <Skin> is the story of Bryon Widner, a heavily tattooed young man who escapes white supremacist group that he grew up to start a new life. British actor Jamie Bell (widely known in Korea for his performance in Billy Elliot (2000) and Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer (2013)) takes on the leading role and fills the screen with an incredible amount of energy and vigor fueled by the protagonist’s love for mankind and passion for life

According to Lee Sang-yong, one of the programmers of the festival, remarked that “the process of removing the tattoos that signify his violent past conveys the true human nature, more emphatically than any other drama of a transformation”.

This is it for the ten days of the 20th Jeonju International Film Festival. I’m already looking forward to the next year’s film festival!

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