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For the International Competition of JEONJU IFF this year, we invite ten titles by filmmakers who have directed one or two feature films in their career. Among them, we selected films that have never been screened in Asia. After a preliminary, we finally selected the following 10 titles to screen for this section.
First, a Moroccan film FINAL ROUND was selected this year after another Moroccan film was in the last edition of the JEONJU IFF. The film addresses questions regarding African refugees trying to reach Europe. This directorial debut of both of the directors, who are from Morocco and Spain, shines with the child actors’ splendid performance and an intense and dramatic pace of the film. BROKEN KEYS is the feature debut of Lebanese director Jimmy Keyrouz. It tells us a touching story of a piano player who never gives up his dream and music in a Syrian town destroyed by ISIS and the civil war. A beautiful score composed by Gabriel Yared completes the film.
Also selected for International Competition are All Light, Everywhere by Theo Anthony (USA) and Friends and Strangers by James Vaughan (Australia). All Light, Everywhere is an exceptional exploration of point of view and visual perception. Friends and Strangers is a surreal comedy-drama.
The rest of the titles are by female filmmakers, suggesting that they will keep making strides all over the world. First, The Calm After the Storm directed by Mercedes Gaviria is based on her own experience as she returns to Colombia after studying abroad and starts working for her father, the famous Víctor Gaviria. Her feelings for his father fluctuate between admiration and occasional confusion, leading them to reestablish the father-daughter relationship. Together, the film covers personal experience and memories, which may come across as the filmmaker’s diary or personal recount. Argentine filmmaker Natalia Garayalde’s Spinsters also covers her personal memories and wounds with her analysis on the explosion of the munitions plant, which happened in her hometown in November 1995. It destroyed the town, leaving the life of its residents miserable. Then, the 12-year-old director recorded the explosion using the family video camera. After over 20 years, she discovers these footages and uses them to look back on the tragedy, which is yet to be clarified. The Goldfish: Dreaming of the Sea, a feature debut of actor and filmmaker Ogawa Sara from Japan, talks about family. Hana, a high school girl who lives in a foster family, discovers what family means as she takes care of a girl who recently moved into a foster home. STOP-ZEMLIA, the first film by Kateryna Gornostai from Ukraine, navigates with her unique perspectives the turbulence of adolescence by a story of a shy high school girl, Masha, and her classmates. Landscapes of Resistance traces the life of 97-year-old Sonja, one of the first female partisans of Yugoslavia during World War II. Ste. Anne is an experimental film set around the Métis Nation of Ontario, Canada. In this section, we will meet zestful films by young and ambitious filmmakers from a range of genres.

(CHUN Jinsu)

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