The 22nd JEONJU IFF Announces Korean Competition for Shorts and Local Cinema
2021-03-18 15:12:00Hits 3

JEONJU IFF Reveals the Finalists for the Korean Competition for Shorts
The 22nd JEONJU International Film Festival (JEONJU IFF) would like to thank everyone who have submitted films for our Korean Competition for Shorts.
This year, 17 fiction films, 2 documentary(documentary animation) films, 3 experimental films and 3 animated films were selected.
Finalists of the Korean Competition for Shorts of the 22nd JEONJU IFF are as follows.

The finalists of the Korean Competition for Shorts are (Korean alphabetical order):
1) Winter Mourning (YUN Dahee)|USA, Korea|2021|17min|DCP|Color+B&W
2) Egg Curry Rice (SEO Ji-hyung)|Korea|2021|5min|HD|Color
3) Without You (PARK Jaehyun)|Korea|2021|35min|DCP|Color
4) Where Is Our Love Song (GOH Gainsoo)|Korea|2021|22min|DCP|Color
5) Paraffin Dream (KWON Soonhyeon)|Korea|2020|39min|DCP|Color
6) Maria&Beyonce (SONG Yechan)|Korea|2020|28min|DCP|Color
7) Weed Fiction (CHO Eungil)|Korea|2020|27min|DCP|Color
8) Frame and Matter (KIM Yesolbi)|Korea|2020|28min|DCP|Color+B&W
9) Whispers in the Water (OH Onyou)|Korea, USA|2020|9min|DCP|B&W
10) Wasteland (LEE Tack)|Korea|2021|35min|DCP|Color
11) Stitching Photography (KANG Yesol)|Korea|2020|10min|HD|Color
12) water curing (SONG Juhyun)|Korea|2020|30min|HD|Color
13) Teacher´s Day (LEE Jihyang)|Korea|2020|17min|DCP|Color
14) Language Exchange (Échange De Langue) (KANG Jiyeon)|Korea|2020|10min|DCP|B&W
15) Woman Who Killed a Lion (PARK Yu-jin)|Korea|2021|28min|DCP|Color
16) Training Session (KIM Changbum)|Korea|2021|40min|DCP|Color
17) Vacation event (CHOI Minyoung)|Korea|2021|39min|DCP|Color
18) The things we hoped last summer (PARK Jongwoo)|Korea|2021|35min|DCP|Color
19) Juhee/17/B (MOON Chaewon)|Korea|2021|27min|DCP|Color
20) A blue giant (NOH Gyeongmu)|Korea|2021|7min|DCP|Color
21) The Gleaming (LEE Da-young)|Korea|2021|23min|DCP|Color
22) The Way to the sun (KIM Sohee)|Korea|2020|27min|DCP|Color
23) TOILET (KIM Seonggyun)|Korea|2021|17min|HD|Color
24) GOOD for you (KIM Ilhyun)|Korea|2021|6min|HD|Color
25) May•JEJU•Day (Jude KANG)|Korea|2021|14min|DCP|Color+B&W

Commentary on Korean Competition for Shorts
Considering the value of contemporaneity, short films have more advantages than feature films. Short running time gives more room for experimental, ambitious attempts to deal with the immediate issues of society and people. Several films stood out among this year’s entries by revealing unique ideas and development beyond just good quality, visual experiments, and untold pains. Watching the short films in this year’s JEONJU IFF, audiences will have a chance to reflect on what Koreans have not lost but secured amid anxiety and pain during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
Before we talk about this year’s trend, we can’t help but mentioning the impact of COVID-19 situations. Some films used the pandemic as the basic setting. Some filmmakers treated the infectious disease as a medium to make a documentary with people’s voices or as an essential metaphor for storytelling. In particular, the films that used the COVID-19 as a metaphor gave the impression of sci-fi films based on everyday settings. Just as we faced different pandemic phases, the pandemic era will be depicted in many ways, depending on how filmmakers ruminate and record it.
The most noticeable trend this year is the issue of communication. We can see that there are walls, not understanding, among families, members of society, and couples who have gone through the same problems together. Filmmakers tried to understand and overcome the barriers in a prudent manner. Suppose you want to overcome differences among people. In that case, you have to admit that it is impossible to understand others. Only then can you listen to others, take care of their behaviors, and hold hands together. Characters in films, as single individuals, seek to find solutions to narrow the interpersonal gap through much thought and concerns. People often communicate with others through smartphones or online videos but suffer from the sense of distance that feels safe but insecure. The sentiment becomes either the main subject matter or the essential turning point in a story. This reflects our world where we feel closer to on-screen texts than real voices. Sometimes, a story ends without resolving conflicts. We realized that talking about conflicts could be an effort not to give up others.
Among 993 entries, the most number of characters were either women or people outside the social safety net. Protestors, bereaved families, and people who lost their jobs or struggled to secure their careers are depicted in various forms of storytelling, such as introspective documentary, black comedy, and drama. The jury deeply felt the thoughtful perspectives of filmmakers who dealt with the subjects of sexual orientation, disability, family and community, human rights and the sensibility of human rights, and sexual violence. Under the festival’s submission guideline, many entries tried to maintain ethical perspectives and contain the voices of minorities and the weak within the limit of 40 minutes. Their ambitious attempts gave the jury members much hope for the future of Korean cinema.
Some animated short films stood out because their working methods were consistent with the story. The jury especially liked either the elaborate use of sound to depict a simple daily life or the powerful, eye-catching images. Some experimental films attempted to communicate with the audience without the use of language.
Interestingly, some entries tried to deal with current issues and conflicts in the genre of horror. Issues such as body modification, revenge, having a sense of guilt, or not sharply criticized a society that has no safety net. Some films felt like staring at us to remind us how we quickly became angry at online news but forgot them soon. Some films don’t belong to just one genre. For example, films usually categorized as sci-fi or romantic comedy were overlapped with the COVID-19 situations or animation techniques. Several films dealt with heterosexual love but the outcomes were disappointing because they looked like some short-form relationship contents on video platforms. Instead, in the case of homosexual love, some films tried to deliver fresh ideas in a prudent way.
Though we used the word “trend,” each film has its own voice. Juries were amazed and shocked by rich image and sound which went beyond a synopsis, unpredictable development that didn’t allow any prediction, and unexpected faces of seemingly-typical characters. We had a thorough discussion to select films that kept their voices in a proper running time and format. There were some filmmakers who gave us much hope for their next projects. In this regard, we would like to send our heartfelt support to entries that didn’t make this year’s JEONJU IFF. We, the jury, hope that the finalists in Korean Competition for Shorts will offer a memorable cinematic experience to the audience with the aesthetics only short films can provide.

The preliminary juries of Korean Competition for Shorts: KIM Mijo, SHIN Dongmin, LEE Dahyeh, LEE Eunsun, CHA Hanbi, and HUH Namwoong

JEONJU IFF Reveals the Local Cinema Lineup
We would like to thank all of you who have submitted entries to the Local Cinema of the 22nd JEONJU IFF.
5 short films were selected for this year.
The Local Cinema lineup which will screen at the 22nd JEONJU IFF is as below.

The Local Cinema lineup includes (Korean alphabetical order):
1) The Crossroad within Me (KANG Jun-ha)|Korea|2020|18min|DCP|Color
2) Second funeral (KIM Taekyung)|Korea|2020|28min|DCP|Color
3) Teacher´s Day (LEE Jihyang)|Korea|2020|17min|DCP|Color
4) Out of Season (HUH Gun) | Korea | 2021 | 17min | DCP | Color
5) Cube (JO Meehye)|Korea|2020|15min|DCP|Color

Commentary on the Local Cinema
A total of 28 films were submitted to the Local Cinema this year. That is more than the 21 films of the 20th JEONJU IFF in 2019, but it is a sharp drop compared to the 47 films last year. It is unfortunate that the local film sector also seems to be experiencing great difficulties due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 28 films submitted, four were feature films and the rest were shorts. Unlike last year´s achievements in discovering UFO Sketch, feature films were not selected for competition this year. It can also be assumed that the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact, as well as issues such as filmmaking conditions.
For this year´s Local Cinema, the 22nd JEONJU IFF selected five finalists: Teacher’s Day by LEE Jihyang, The Crossroad within Me by KANG Jun-ha, Second funeral by KIM Taekyung, Out of Season by HUH Gun, and Cube by JO Meehye. The outstanding qualitative aspects of these films make us look forward to this year´s edition, despite regrets about the reduced number of entries.
Teacher’s Day, which will also be screened in the Korean Competition for Shorts, received the highest praise from the judges. Revolving around a doctoral student as the main character, the film reveals the daily life of a graduate student who is nothing but a professor´s slave, and at the same time closely describes the process by which he takes revenge for any reason. Plus, it clearly shows the inner side of the main character with fast-paced dramatic rhythms and rough images.
The Crossroad within Me by KANG Jun-ha captures the life of a man living in a remote area of the city. He goes to the city to meet his former classmates and ends up finding himself alone. The film expresses his brief moments in detail as if they were cut into sections. Second funeral is the story of a woman who still cannot get over the man she loved even though he is dead. When the man´s mother tries to organize a soul wedding ceremony for him, she independently chooses her own way of mourning. It is a film that quietly portrays the flow of feelings of love, sadness, and forgetfulness. Out of Season by HUH Gun is also a film about difficult love. The main character tries to put her husband, who has dementia, into a nursing home and realizes that she has symptoms of dementia. This film describes in detail how loved ones find each other in extreme situations, through their gestures, eyes, and way of talking. Cube by JO Meehye was highly praised for its bold attempts. It is a sci-fi film about what happens when a woman getting ready for her exams in the really narrow loft of a "gosiwon" gets a monster virus, and it is also a satire film that reveals the Korean housing culture as horrifying as a virus. In particular, it presents special makeup, which is rare in independent films. The four films mentioned above will be screened in the Korean Cinema section.
This year´s Local Cinema screened the nominations together with YOO Sunhee, the utive chairman of the Beautiful Hapcheon Independent Film Festival, and director LEE Hyung-suk of Chapter Two: How to Breathe, Two Boys and a Sheep, and so on, who is engaged in various activities such as directing, producing and editing. With the broad gaze and keen observation of the two judges, we were able to achieve results looking to the future. In addition, I would like to express our gratitude to all who participated in Local Cinema despite difficult conditions. I hope that the JEONJU Short Project, a local short film production support program newly established at JEONJU IFF this year, will also be of great cheer to local filmmakers.

MOON Seok, a programmer of JEONJU IFF

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