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The Opening Ceremony of the 22nd Jeonju International Film Festival

 

The Opening Ceremony of the 22nd Jeonju International Film Festival (Jeonju IFF) was held on the 29th of April. This year’s Jeonju IFF will be held until the 8th of May.

The 22nd JEONJU IFF’s new slogan is “Film Goes On.” The slogan expresses the willingness that the Korean film industry will eventually overcome the hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The red carpet and photo wall ceremony and the following Opening Ceremony were held at the Sori Arts Center of Jeollabuk-do. Due to the current pandemic, only the press and people from the film industry were invited to the ceremonies.

Kim Seung-su, the Festival Chairman, and Lee Joondong, the Festival Director greeted the guests of the Opening Ceremony.

People who organise other film festivals around Korea were also invited.

Actors Bae Jongok and Choi Sooyoung participated as juries. Actors Park Ha-sun and Kwon Hae-hyo hosted the Opening Ceremony. Actor and director Ryu Hyun-kyung pariticpated as This Year’s Programmer.

 

The Opening Ceremony

The ceremony started with the video containing the interviews of the people in the film industry and the clips of the films submitted to the Jeonju IFF. The overall message of the video was that films are always with us, in our daily lives.

 

Declaration of the Opening

Kim Seung-soo, the Festival Chair, declared the opening of the festival with a remark on Myanmar: “The Jeonju International Film Festival passionately endorses and supports the Spring of Myanmar, the democratization of Myanmar”. After thanking the supporters of the Jeonju IFF, he also stated that the film must go on, as the “Jeonju IFF has maintained the values of experiment, alternative, and independence”.

Opening Performance

The opening performance by ‘Akdan Gwangchil’ followed. ‘Akdan Gwangchil’ is a band that performs modern interpretation of traditional songs and shamanic rites of the North Korean region. The band is recognized by prominent broadcasters.

After the performance, Lee Joondong, the Festival Director, stated that he’s proud for holding the film festival, which is “the first one in the world to be held since the COVID-19 pandemic”. He also expressed concerns that “due to the COVID-19, it’s become more difficult to produce independent, artistic, and questioning movies”.

Introduction to Juries

The juries were also introduced. Various people in the film industry from around the world, including directors, actors, producers, programmers, and film critics, were invited to jury for this year’s Jeonju IFF. More details on this year’s juries can be found on the website https://eng.jeonjufest.kr/about_jiff/jury.asp.

Representing the juries currently residing outside Korea, an International Competition jury Vanja Kaluđerčić sent a few words from abroad.

Actor Bae Jongok, an International Competition jury, said that she “felt sorry for watching the film comfortably while sitting, because the films must have taken so much effort to make in times like this”.

Director Park Heungsik, a Korean Competition jury, commented that “all the films in the competitions are gems”.

Actor Choi Sooyoung, a Korean Competition for Shorts jury, remarked that she “feels responsible for representing my generation’s voice and eyes”.

Next, actor and director Ryu Hyun-kyung commented as ‘the Programmer of the Year’. ‘J Special: the Programmer of the Year’ is the newly launched section of the film festival. There will be talk sessions with filmmakers or actors selected by the programmer.

The Opening Ceremony ended with the opening film by director Srdan Golubović’s ‘Father’. The film is a story of a father of two in a small Serbian village.

Although the COVID-19 situation is still ongoing, the 22nd Jeonju IFF has prepared both online and offline programs for the film enthusiasts. Enjoy the warm spring days with the Jeonju IFF!

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  • Jared Sandler

    Heartwarming to hear that the organizers of Jeonju International Film Festival asked Akdan Gwangchil to perform during the opening ceremony last month. The opening ceremony could be used as a platform to bring more attention to the traditional songs of North Korea. And it is wonderful that the Jeonju International Film Festival Chair used the occasion of the ceremony to shine light upon the ongoing efforts of democratization in Myanmar. The sentiments expressed at the opening ceremony validate how cosmopolitan the Jeonju International Film Festival has become.

  • Jared Sandler

    Heartwarming to hear that the organizers of Jeonju International Film Festival asked Akdan Gwangchil to perform during the opening ceremony held in late April. This enables the opening ceremony to be used as a platform in order to bring more attention to the traditional songs of North Korea. And it is wonderful that the Jeonju International Film Festival Chair used the occasion of the ceremony to shine light upon the ongoing efforts of democratization in Myanmar. The sentiments expressed at the opening ceremony validate how cosmopolitan the Jeonju International Film Festival has become.

  • Ever Enrique Castillo Osorio

    This is interesting news. I did not know that events previously related to the film industry had been held in Jeonju. I believe that these types of activities are good opportunities to spread the tourist and historical aspect of the city.

  • Radhakrishna Pillai N

    Thanks for the interesting reports and pictures. My congrats to the organizers for their hard work, dedication and determination.

  • Radhakrishna Pillai N

    Great event.
    Jeonju,undoubtedly, is a city par excellence in film industry.

  • Clarissa Ramgattie

    It was quite interesting to read about the Jeonju film festival. Usually film festival in Busan is the most publicized so this is my first time reading about the festival in Jeonju. I was quite impressed that the judging included a wide spectrum with foreigners. It is great to hear the thoughts of many creative people which helps Korean films touch more hearts globally.