Samsara, a Selection of the JEONJU Cinema Project, Receives the Special Jury Award at the 73rd Berlinale
- Samsara, a JEONJU Cinema Project selection, wins a prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, one of the three biggest international film festivals in the world
- The juries called the film “a unique and transcending audio-visual journey”
- JEONJU IFF’s Festival Co-Director MIN Sungwook commented, “I can see that the JEONJU Cinema Project is gaining more and more international recognition.”
The JEONJU International Film Festival (JEONJU IFF, Festival Co-Director Min Sungwook and Jung Junho) announced that Samsara (Lois Patiño), a selection of the JEONJU Cinema Project, won the Special Jury Award in Encounters at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival, which ended on February 26 (Sun).
Samsara, directed by Lois Patiño, is a film that visualizes the drastic cultural differences between a young monk from a Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang and a five-year-old girl from Zanzibar and her goat.
The news of Samsara winning this award is particularly significant for the JEONJU IFF, as this is the very first accomplishment made by a JEONJU Cinema Project selection at Berlinale, which is one of the three most renowned international film festivals alongside the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals.
Encounters is a section of Berlinale newly established in 2020 with the aim to discover and foster films with independent and innovative perspectives. As it selects films with bold aesthetics, this year’s members of the jury praised Samsara “for the capacity to embark the viewer on a unique and transcending audio-visual journey, which goes beyond narrative conventions and explores in a bold and daring way the potential of the medium.”
The film also received acclaim from the media around the world. Film critic Leonardo Goi of the American film media 《The Film Stage》 remarked, “Samsara is an extraordinary, multisensory journey through bodies, souls, and space. It’s the rare film that invites your whole body into its universe––one whose haptic, aural, olfactive pleasures are just as vivid as its visual riches.” Another film critic, Víctor Paz Morandeira from the Spanish film media 《A Cuarta Parede》, commented, "We could try to describe this experience of Samsara reinventing the seventh art, but it will be of no avail because every audience will receive this in a different way. Even the same viewer will experience Samsara in a very different way every time they go to watch the film.”
Director Lois Patiño has deep ties with JEONJU IFF. Starting with Coast Of Death (2013), the International Competition title of the 15th edition, he presented over 10 films including Mountain In Shadow (2013), Night without Distance (2015), Red Moon Tide (2020), and The Sower of Stars (2022) at the JEONJU IFF. Among them, Red Moon Tide was screened in Forum at the 70th Berlinale; and The Sower of Stars, in the Berlinale Shorts at the 72nd Berlinale.
At the screening of Samsara in Berlinale, director Lois Patiño speech, “I want to thank to the JEONJU International Film Festival that since a decade ago they created the "JEONJU Cinema Project" that our helping independent filmmakers and art films to exist with their help.”
“Samsara, directed by Lois Patiño, made a strong impression at this year's Berlin International Film Festival,” remarked JEONJU IFF Festival Co-Director Min Sungwook. “I would like to extend my congratulations to director Lois Patiño and his production crew. Every time I hear news about JEONJU Cinema Project’s selections making achievements on the world stage, I can see that the JEONJU Cinema Project is gaining more and more international recognition. Going forward, the JEONJU IFF will continue to strive to discover talented young filmmakers and support their projects.”
Aside from Samsara, many other JEONJU Cinema Project selections have received spotlight in film festivals around the world. Damien Manivel, who directed Isadora´s Children, won Best Director in International Competition at the 72nd Locarno International Film Festival, while Kim Dae-hwan became the first Korean filmmaker to be named the Best Emerging Director at the 70th Locarno International Film Festival with his film The First Lap. Moreover, Alive (Park Jungbum) won the Special Mention prize at the 25th Singapore International Film Festival, and Free Fall (Gyorgy Palfi) won the Best Director Award, the Special Jury Prize, and the Europa Cinemas Label at the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
The JEONJU Cinema Project is one of the major industry programs of the JEONJU IFF. It has selected and invested in creative and innovative feature films and documentaries from Korea and abroad, and introduces the completed projects at JEONJU IFF. This year, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the JEONJU Cinema Project, JEONJU IFF will screen the selections, publish commemorative booklets, and hold conferences. The 24th JEONJU IFF will be held for ten days from April 27 (Thu) to May 6 (Sat), 2023.
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