“We Are Audience Too”: the 24th JEONJU International Film Festival Becomes the First International Film Festival in Korea to Invest in Barrier-Free Film Production
- Signs an MOU with the Korean Barrier Free Films Committee (KOBAFF) for the production of barrier-free films for the festival
- Aims to expand opportunities for cultural enjoyment for the visually and hearing impaired, the elderly, and children, and promote the expansion of film festival audiences
- Present a new vision to the film industry by providing barrier-free production training opportunities for Korean filmmakers
The JEONJU International Film Festival (JEONJU IFF, Festival Co-Director Min Sungwook and Jung Junho) decided to invest in the production of a barrier-free version of the films for screening and signed a business agreement with the Korean Barrier Free Films Committee (KOBAFF). Audiences can watch the barrier-free version of films at the 24th JEONJU IFF.
A barrier-free film is a film with an audio description that explains what is happening on the screen and subtitles that relay audio information such as speakers, dialogue, music, and sound for everyone to enjoy the film together. The JEONJU IFF decided to launch the “Director-Participatory Barrier-Free Production Project” at the 24th edition to provide an environment for more audiences to watch films. It is noteworthy that this is the first time a film festival in Korea that made a direct investment in an open type of barrier-free film.
JEONJU IFF’s “Director-Participatory Barrier-Free Production Project” is expected to bring cultural benefits to both creators and audiences. Programmer Moon Seok explained that by creating the opportunity to enjoy culture for audiences who have difficulties in watching films, including the visually and hearing impaired, the elderly, and children, the barrier to entry into the film festival can be lowered and the audience base can be expanded. In addition, the creators who are participating in the production of barrier-free versions of films will experience the synesthetic method of providing audio commentary of visual information and visual commentary of audio information. This project is expected to help the creators develop new visions necessary for the growth of the Korean film industry.
The films that will be produced in a barrier-free version this year and screened are the three award-winning works in the Korean Competition for Shorts from the previous year’s edition of JEONJU IFF—In the Dry Stream (Kang Ji-hyo), the winner of the Grand Prize, Transit (Moon Hyein), the winner of Best Director Prize, and No Problem (Goh Gainsoo), the J Vision Award winner. Programmer Moon Seok remarked, “Since this project is in the early stages, we only produced three films this year, but we plan to expand the production and screening of barrier-free versions in the future.”
The barrier-free versions of In The Dry Stream (Kang Ji-hyo), Transit (Moon Hyein), and No Problem (Goh Gainsoo) will be offered as a free screening during the 24th JEONJU IFF. In celebration of May, the family month in Korea, priorities will be given to the visually and hearing impaired and family audiences from Jeonju, and there will be special side events, such as Q&A sessions.
Going forward, the Korean Barrier Free Films Committee (KOBAFF), which tied up with JEONJU IFF, plans to participate in the production of the barrier-free version of films and training programs for barrier-free film production. This business agreement includes the mutual exchange of films screened at the JEONJU IFF and Seoul Barrier Free Film Festival, and therefore the three barrier-free films produced by JEONJU IFF will be screened at the 13th Seoul Barrier Free Film Festival, held in November.
The 24th JEONJU IFF will be held for ten days from April 27 (Thu) to May 6 (Sat), 2023, in and around Jeonju Film Street.
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