24th JEONJU IFF Concludes 10-Day Journey
2023-05-10 18:00:00

The Festival of Challenge and Expansion!

The 24th JEONJU International Film Festival Concludes Its 10-Day Journey at Jeonbuk National University Cultural Center

- Total of 2,055 guests and 71,693 on&offline audiences attended the 10-day 24th JEONJU IFF

- 247 films from 42 countries screened; tickets to 370 of 538 screenings sold out, resulting in a 68.8% sold-out rate

- 83.1% of all seats sold, a 15% increase from 68.1% achieved in the previous year’s 23rd edition

- Star Wars Day, JEONJU Cinetour, and other colorful side events added to the joyful memories for film fans

The 24th JEONJU International Film Festival (JEONJU IFF, Festival Co-Director Min Sungwook and Jung Junho) wrapped up its 10-day festival on Saturday, May 6th, with the Closing Ceremony.

On Thursday, April 27, the 24th JEONJU IFF opened with the slogan Beyond the Frame. During the ten-day festival, a total of 247 films from 42 countries (125 international films and 122 Korean films / 143 feature films and 104 short films) were screened in 23 screenings at 6 theaters. Along with offline Guest Visit, various class programs, JEONJU Cinetour, VR Cinema, and Focus: East Asian Film Now, diverse attractions welcomed visitors, offering enjoyment to the audience and tourists.

At the Closing Press Conference held at JEONJU Digital Independent Cinema prior to the Closing Ceremony, Festival Co-Director Min Sungwook remarked, “I believe that the JEONJU IFF is now almost fully developed, as it has a strong foundation for supporting and promoting independent, alternative, and artistic films, while also appealing to both film enthusiasts and the general public.” Festival Co-Director Jung Junho also commented, “The JEONJU IFF plans to continue in its effort to approach global film fans with an unwavering passion for cinema and diverse ideas that can cross the frame at any time.”

The number of tickets sold at the physical theaters at this year’s JEONJU IFF was 66,028 as of its closing day on Saturday, May 6. Unlike the previous year, this year’s online screening provided only Korean short films that agreed with streaming and were viewed 5,655 times. So it is estimated that 71,699 audiences physically and virtually visited the JEONJU IFF.

Since 370 out of 538 general screenings were sold out, the 24th edition recorded a 68.8% sold-out rate. With collaboration with the Korea Creative Content Agency, VR Cinema also sold out 83 out of 86 screenings. The seat maintained 83.1% occupancy, a 15% increase from the 23rd edition (2022) which had a 68.1%. Considering that nearly 5,000 seats were added more than the previous year, this year’s ticket sales increase is very encouraging.

In addition, the guest invitation showed huge growth. 126 guests visited the JEONJU IFF from abroad among 2,055 guests this year. This figure is a significant increase from last year when 56 guests visited the festival from abroad. Programmers and festival directors from leading international film festivals, including Sundance, Locarno, Marseille, Toronto, San Sebastian, and Mar del Plata, visited Jeonju. It is also noteworthy that world-renowned film masters Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne made their first visit to Korea through the JEONJU IFF.

A number of benefits were provided for the residents of Jeonju. A pre-sale box office was specially set up for Jeonju residents, and special screenings were held at Jeonju Cinema Town to provide local residents with an opportunity to watch films, such as Please Make Me Look Pretty (2022), Kim Min-young of the Report Card (2021), Girl who dreams about time (2022), Hommage (2021), Missing Yoon (2021), and Move the Grave (2019) without having to purchase tickets.

To provide a new experience for domestic and international tourists visiting Jeonju, JEONJU Cinetour was planned in collaboration with Jeonju city to provide enjoyment for visitors and local residents. The JEONJU Cinetour offered three themed experiences: JEONJU Cine X Walk, which provided an opportunity to enjoy film screenings and performances by local musicians in various outdoor locations in Jeonju; JEONJU Cine X Meet, which featured actors of the Noon Company, who are actively involved in the independent film industry; and JEONJU Cine X Music, which combined film and live music performances for a delightful experience.

There were also a variety of programs that helped the film festival become more accessible and attractive to local residents. These programs included Talk in Spring, where directors and actors took the stage to meet with the audience, and Street Screening, which allowed citizens to watch films from the JEONJU IFF at various outdoor locations in Jeonju. The Street Screening program, in particular, held 16 screenings for a total of 664 viewers.

Furthermore, the 24th JEONJU IFF actively collaborated with external organizations to offer various performances and programs. There was festival SUM 2023 X JEONJU IFF, which was a collaboration with the festival SUM, a fantasy music island swimming along the music; the street performance art Busking in JEONJU, held at the JEONJU Film Street during the festival period; the GOATY Village, created in collaboration with Save the Children; and collaboration with Walt Disney Company on Star Wars Day and more. In particular, the music festival festival SUM 2023 X JEONJU IFF, held at Jeonbuk National University Cultural Center on Friday, May 5, was attended by 912 people for an enjoyable night at the JEONJU IFF.

The JEONJU IFF has presented distinctive special exhibitions every year; this year was no exception. This year’s special exhibitions were Focus: KAFA40, which was planned to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA), and JEONJU Cinema Project: A film festival as a producer, which was designed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the JEONJU Cinema Project. JEONJU Cinema Project: A film festival as a producer, in particular, provided an opportunity to reflect on the past ten years of the JEONJU Project and prepare for the upcoming decade.

The 15th edition of the JEONJU Project, an industry program of the JEONJU IFF, took place from Sunday, April 30 to Tuesday, May 2. This year, the JEONJU Project received a total of 182 submissions, an increase of 29 entries compared to the previous year, and selected 21, providing various support to 14 among them. In addition, 280 film industry professionals were issued industry badges and participated in a total of 238 business meetings. Compared to the previous year, 9 more companies participated in this year’s JEONJU Project for a total of 48, and the number of participating films also increased by 11 from 34 to 45.

The 100 Film 100 Posters exhibition, which began in 2015, celebrated its 9th edition this year. As one of the flagship events of the JEONJU IFF, the 100 Film 100 Posters exhibition, a convergence project between film and design artists, was received with great enthusiasm from the audience once again. 100 designers created posters for each of the 100 films, which were showcased at the Factory of Contemporary Arts in Palbok. In addition, talk sessions were held with the participating designers and art directors who took part in creating this year's.

The JEONJU Conference 2023, held under the theme of Better Tomorrow Than Yesterday, Dreaming of Expanding Cinema, was co-organized with TIMEnSPACE. In six sessions, it brought together domestic and international filmmakers, film festival officials, and key players in the audiovisual media industry to explore policies, education, intellectual property rights, and production systems related to independent and art films and provide a comprehensive overview of the film festival as a whole.

Starting with the Opening Ceremony held at Moak Hall of Sori Arts Center of Jeollabuk-do on Thursday, April 27, the JEONJU IFF continued with various events in the vicinity of Jeonju Film Street, Ogeori Culture Square, and the Factory of Contemporary Arts in Palbok. The festival successfully concluded with the Closing Ceremony held at Jeonbuk National University Cultural Center on Saturday, May 6 and achieved its goal of expanding the festival venues throughout Jeonju.