The cinema, which was born over 120 years ago, has an official history that starts with the Lumière brothers, followed by Méliès, Griffith, and John Ford. At the same time, cinema may have different types of history, and it may be told in various ways. For instance, we could tell it in the context of female directors, from Alice Guy-Blaché to Ida Lupino, Larisa Shepitko, Maya Deren, and Claire Denis. In this year’s Special Focus, we will extend JEONJU IFF’s tradition of the past 21 years of discovering talented filmmakers and supporting innovative films that are made independently outside the mainstream. Along the way, we’d like to present the alternative history of independent∙experimental films.
Special Focus: I am Independent features seven independent filmmakers who proved their presence through their films at pivotal points of the cinema trend through 15 of their films.
Six early shorts of Cecilia Mangini, the first post-World War female documentarist from Italy: Unknown To The City, Maria´s Days, Stendali (Still They Toll) , The Marshes’ Chant, Being Women, and The Bridle On The Neck.
Four early experimental films of Han Okhi, who led a South Korean feminist experimental film collective, Kaidu club under Yushin Regime in the 1970’s: The Hole, The Middle Dogs Day, Colour Of Korea, and Untitled 77-A.
The only film left by Forough Farrokhzad, the pioneer of Iranian New Wave: The House is Black.
Barbara Loden who made Wanda, the representative work of New American Cinema.
A French New Wave icon. Anna Karina’s directorial feature debut Living Together, an early example of a top actor becoming an auteur-director, not for commercial films.
Cheryl Dunye, who made The Watermelon Woman, the first black lesbian feature film upon the emergence of New Queer Cinema.
The Blonds by Albertina Carri, a pioneer of New Argentine Cinema.
Cecilia Mangini, Forough Farrokhzad, Barbara Loden, Han Okhi, Anna Karina, Cheryl Dunye, and Albertina Carri. These seven directors probably didn’t even imagine themselves being the start of something. However, from today’s perspective, their films suggested a new form that hadn’t been tried before, exposed topics that were considered taboo in their times, and inspired sympathetic imagination for minorities—in sum, they left footprints in critical points of cinema history.
Showcasing the works of the “independent women,” who continuously transformed, grew, and weren’t afraid to reach their essence as independent beings, and through their still-contemporary independent films that address questions about universal values like human existence and free will, we would like to present an opportunity to encourage new perspectives about others and new ideas about the cinema history.
JEONJU IFF also prepared a publication that gathered the eyes of seven contemporary female critics to discuss the cinematic value of these films at the present time. We hope that the more contexts we have, the richer the cultural heritage of films will be discovered and enjoyed. This book aims at bringing attention to them so that we can potentially rescue them from possible oblivion. We believe this task will help us to come up with an alternative and richer history of cinema.
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