Oct 26, 2021

Gangneung International Film Festival 2021 will be held from October 22nd to 31st!


Gangneung International Film Festival 2021 (GIFF 2021 | Chairman KIM Dong-ho and Artistic Director KIM Hong-jun) will be held in Gangneung for ten days from October 22nd to 31st. Compared to last year, the festival is even bigger with various screenings, programs, and citizen participation events to directly meet our audiences. Program curation is more distinct than last year, including 'Cinema and Literature', a specialized section of the GIFF 2021. We hope our film festival is a precious opportunity to strengthen ties amongst the film community, which have waned during the pandemic. We ensure that all the on-site screenings abide by the strictest quarantine standards.

116 films from 42 countries screened! Opening film <Strawberry Mansion>

The opening film of the Gangneung International Film Festival 2021 is <Strawberry Mansion> directed by Albert BIRNEY and Kentucker AUDLEY. <Strawberry Mansion> is a romantic fantasy, which is based in a near dystopian future, where the state records everyone’s dreams to collect taxes. Watchman 'James' falls in love with the woman in his dream. The film with fantastic colors and an innovative storyline was invited to the 37th Sundance Film Festival and the 54th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival. Director Albert BIRNEY will visit Korea and meet the Korean audiences. The opening ceremony, announcing the start of the film festival will be held at the Gangneung Art Center on Friday, October 22nd.

This year's GIFF 2021 has subdivided the program section into 5 major sections and 15 sub-sections to strengthen program curation. Many famous and well-made films that have been invited to overseas film festivals will attract the attention of the audience. Cooperation with 'ACID Cannes’ that has been continued since the first GIFF 2021, including the re-appointment of Idir SERGHINE, the Co-Chairman of 'ACID Cannes', an independent art film section of the Cannes International Film Festival, as a jury member for the international feature film competition. This is a valuable opportunity to share the experiences of independent filmmakers around the world.



The Gangneung International Film Festival’s 2021 opening film ‘Strawberry Mansion’ still


Do you still believe in Cinema? Gangneung Forum held

Gangneung Forum aims to serve as an unique film culture and industry forum where the heads of major international film festivals review the current status of film festivals and discuss the vision and cooperative measures for the future. This year's Gangneung Forum will be held on Saturday, October 23rd, at 4 pm at Myeongju Arts Center, under the theme: Do You Still Believe in Cinema? Vanja KALUDJERCIC, Executive Chairman of the Rotterdam International Film Festival, is the Keynote Speaker, Sabrina BARACETTI(President, Udine Far East Film Festival),Riccardo GELLI(Director, Florence Korea Film Fest),Joanne GOH(Chairperson,Malaysia International Film Festival),Benjamin ILLOS(Programmer, Director's Fortnight),Samuel JAMIER(Executive Director, New York Asian Film Festival), MAEDA Shu(Festival Director, Fukuoka International Film Festival),Lorna TEE(Former Head of Festival Management, International Film Festival Awards Macao),Ansgar VOGT(Chief Film Curator, Cartagena International Film Festival) many international film festival heads are expected to attend.



Date  : Sat. Oct 23 16:00

Venue  : Myeongju Art Center

Moderator  : KIM Hongjoon (Artistic Director, GIFF)

Keynote Speaker  : Vanja KALUDJERCIC (Festival Director, International Film Festival Rotterdam)


Sabrina BARACETTI (President, Udine Far East Film Festival)

Riccardo GELLI(Director, Florence Korea Film Fest)


Joanne GOH (Chairperson, Malaysia International Film Festival)

Benjamin ILLOS(Programmer, Director's Fortnight)


Samuel JAMIER (Executive Director, New York Asian Film Festival)

MAEDA Shu (Festival Director, Fukuoka International Film Festival)

Lorna TEE (Former Head of Festival Management, International Film Festival Awards Macao)

Ansgar VOGT (Chief Film Curator, Cartagena International Film Festival)


Georges Perec, a genius of 20th century French literature

A special exhibition of Georges Perec, the most important writer and film director representing French literature in the second half of the 20th century, is presented. Georges Perec wrote omnidirectional works across various genres such as novels, poems, plays, screenplays, and essays, and showed a challenging spirit of experimentation, excellent language skills, rich narratives, and delicate sensibility. This year, GIFF 2021 will hold a special exhibition, 'How to use a film by Georges Perec', and present five works in which Georges Perec participated in various ways. <Série Noire> (directed by Alain CORNEAU), written by Georges Perec; <Les Lieux d'une fugue> (directed by Georges Perec), a documentary directed by Georges Perec, <A Man in a Dream> (directed by Georges Perec) with Bernard QUEYSANNE based on his novel of the same name), two documentaries, <Ellis Island Tales> (directed by Robert BOBER) and <Going up rue Vilin> (directed by Robert BOBER), will be screened.


The two Masters Tribute GIFF: John Sayles & Paul Vecchiali

Tribute GIFF: John Sayles

John Sayles is a second-generation American independent film director who is considered to have best inherited the spirit of the first-generation of American independent filmmakers represented by John Cassavetes. Before venturing into the film industry, Sayles wrote several novels with acute yet amusing analyses of race, gender and class conflict in American society, such as Pride of the Bimbos and Union Dues. Since his directorial debut in 1979 with Return of the Secaucus 7, Sayles has shared a number of socially engaging messages through various film genres. In terms of production, he stoutly rejects the huge Hollywood system, and makes low-budget independent films instead. To that end, not only does Sayles play a multiple role as a director, screenwriter and actor, but also he continues to write fiction. Many of his films carry his unique literary sentiments, and his screenplays show a high degree of completion. Sayles previously won Best Screenplay at Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards.

At Tribute GIFF: John Sayles, audiences can view the exceptional work of Director Sayles: Lianna is about a married woman’s coming-out story and how she became independent; The Brother from Another Planet though masked as science fiction, reaches deeper and evokes racial issues in American society; Matewan deals with the oppression against labor unions in American modern history; Passion Fish is a story of healing through friendship and solidarity between two women; Men with Guns deals with the relationship between power and violence.


Tribute GIFF:  Paul Vecchiali

The European film world did not hesitate to call 2015 Paul Vecchiali’s year. The director, who had been forgotten for a while, was invited to the Cannes Film Festival the following year for the first time in many years, and his retrospective was held in Europe. Starting with his debut film The Small Dramas (1961), Vecchiali has made more than thirty feature films and many more short films. Like many of his colleagues in the French New Wave, he wrote for film magazines like Cahiers du Cinéma. However, this veteran director has taken the road less travelled. Despite his ups and downs in difficult circumstances, he has steadfastly adhered to the low-budget independent filmmaking system. As a critic, he does not hesitate to speak up and provoke controversy, sometimes taking a rather extreme view. Now in his 90s, Vecchiali continues to make films, and today’s audiences who belatedly discover his films are bound to be surprised at the modernity of his cinematic experiments prompted by formal restrictions, not to mention his unbiased views towards prostitutes, homosexuals, and the socially disadvantaged.


The Gangneung International Film Festival 2021 will be held in Gangneung for ten days from October 22nd to 31st. More information about the program and major events can be found on the official website (http://giff.kr/eng/).