Friday, April 18, 2008

9th Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) announces Stellar Line-up

The 9th edition of the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF), Korea’s major independent film festival, second only to Pusan among Korea’s top movie-going events, will take place May 1 – 9, 2008 in its picturesque namesake city, in North Jeolla province.The fest will open with the International Premiere of The Kiss directed by Japanese writer-turned-director MANDA Kunitoshi ,who won prizes at Cannes for his previous films. Korean anthology film If You Were Me 4 will close the festival, this time featuring five shorts on the theme of contemporary Korean youth. Rising Korean directors including PANG Eun-jin (Princess Aurora), KIM Tae-yong (Family Ties), and YOON Seong-ho (Milky Way Liberation Front) participated.

JIFF has renamed its ‘Indie Vision’ section the ‘International Competition’ section, raising its profile and adding a second-best film prize, the ‘Daum Special Jury Prize’ worth US$7 000 alongside its existing first prize, the Woosuk Award worth $10 000. The jury this year consists of Korea’s top director BONG Joon-ho (The Host), actress UM Ji-won (A Tale of Cinema), Iranian director Abolfazi JALILI, author and critic Chris Fujiwara, and Turkish culture writer Defne Gürsoy. The latest films by world class directors include Rolf De Heer’s Dr. Plonk, John Sayles’ Honeydripper, Alexander Sokurov’s Alexander, Francis Ford Coppola’s Youth Without Youth, WAKAMATSU Koji’s United Red Army, Raul Ruiz’s La Recta Provincia, Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg, and Manoel de Oliveira’s Christopher Columbus: The Enigma.Highlights this year include a retrospective on Hungarian master, Béla Tarr; a Stranger Than Cinema focus on New German Cinema ‘godfather’ Alexander Kluge; Jeonju Digital Project 2008 with works by 3 prominent African directors; an exploration of Vietnamese and Central Asian cinema in the Discovery section; and a Screenwriter’s Masterclass featuring Korean writer-director KONG Su-chang (R-Point, GP 506) and Chinese writer LU Wei (Tuyu’s Marriage, To Live).The Korean Cinema section will feature 15 films, many of them world premieres, along with an ample selection of Korean short films, while the Outdoor Screenings will feature popular films such as Forever the Moment, The Happy Life, Going By the Book, and the US film Juno among others.

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