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Jul 01, 2020

GIFF2019_Press Release_02_Gangneung International Film Festival 2019 Presented a Variety of Events to Its Audiences!

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Gangneung International Film Festival 2019
Presented a Variety of Events to Its Audiences!

  • Featured “20+80: The Prospect of Film Festivals in the 21st Century” in presence of prestigious international film festival directors
  • Hosted an event in memory of late Pierre RISSIENT, a filmmaker and advocate of Korean cinema
  • Presented sold-out “Master Class: KORE-EDA Hirokazu, What Can Films Do?”
  • Showcased 73 films from 32 countries, hosted 24 sold-out screenings, and attracted a total of 22,779 audiences to reach 83.75% of the seating capacity of 27,200

The Gangneung International Film Festival 2019 (GIFF 2019 held from Nov. 08 to 14, 2019, headed by Chairman of Organizing Committee, KIM Dong-ho and Artistic Director, KIM Hong-joon) successfully celebrated its first edition by showcasing outstanding films and featuring diverse events.

Sharing festival success stories and proposing future directions in “20+80: The Prospect of Film Festivals in the 21st Century”

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20+80: The Prospect of Film Festivals in the 21st Century

Catching the attention of film professionals from all around the world, a two-hour forum titled “20+80: The Prospect of Film Festivals in the 21st Century” was held on November 9, 2019 at 18:00. It took place in presence of globally renowned film festival leaders including KIM Dong-ho (Chairman of Organizing Committee, Gangneung International Film Festival), Garin NUGROHO (Chairman, JAFF Jogja), Lorna TEE (Head of Festival Management, IFFAM Macao), Martine THEROUANNE (Head of Festival Management, FICA Vesoul), Samuel JAMIER (Executive Director, NYAFF New York), MAEDA Shu (Festival Director, FIFF Fukuoka), HISAMATSU Takeo (Festival Director, TIFF Tokyo), Kirill RAZLOGOV (Programming Director,MIFF Moscow), and Wilfred WONG (Chairman, HKIFF Hong Kong). Since it was an event that invited film festival directors to gather for the first time in the world, Myeongju Art Center became packed with people, which was a reflection of their interest.

Based on their hands-on experiences in running a film festival, the participants answered the two questions posed by KIM Hong-Joon, Artistic Director of Gangneung International Film Festival: “What challenges have you faced running a film festival in the 21st century and how have you overcome them?” and “What are the key factors to achieve sustainable growth in your festival?” Addressing the decreasing number of audiences due to financial crisis, government censorship, and political turbulence he has gone through, Samuel JAMIER, Executive Director of NYAFF New York, mentioned that “In order to achieve sustainable growth of a film festival, it is important that we find and maintain its own identity. In the meantime, we must keep it in mind that it is a film festival we are supposed to enjoy instead of focusing only increasing the number of audiences.” According to Garin NUGROHO, Chairman of JAFF Jogja, “it is crucial to benefit from the emergence of a younger generation with digital literacy. We are living in the age of access and connection, going beyond the community boundaries. Although finance is important, networking and connection will play a pivotal role in achieving sustainable growth of a film festival.”

At the end of this meaningful event where film festival directors shared their opinions, KIM Dong-ho emphasized that “Although I have visited numerous international film festivals, I have never attended a forum in presence of film festival directors from different countries. I truly hope that we could propose a future vision and a new paradigm for film festivals by taking this opportunity to share our experiences.”

Hosting an event in memory of late Pierre RISSIENT, a passionate advocate of Korean cinema, in presence of his fellow filmmakers

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In Memory of Pierre RISSIENT: KIM Dong-ho (Chairman of Organizing Committee, GIFF),
Christine HAKIM (Actor), and AHN Sung-ki (Chairman of Advisory Committee, GIFF)

The Gangneung International Film Festival 2019 also hosted a meaningful event in memory of Pierre RISSIENT, a producer, director, film critic, recognized cinephile, and strong advocate of Korean cinema, followed by a screening of his film. To honor and remember Pierre RISSIENT who greatly contributed to promoting the excellence of Korean cinema in the world by consistently introducing Korean films to the Cannes Film Festival since The Wheel directed by Lee Doo-yong was showcased at the abovementioned festival in 1984, his beloved fellow filmmakers who would always love him were invited to the event to ruminate on what he meant to the world as a filmmaker.

At 14:00 on November 9, 2019, RISSIENT’s film Five and the Skin was screened at Shinyoung Theater in presence of his wife SONG Yung-hee, programmer Benjamin ILLOS of Director’s Fortnight, actor Christine HAKIM with nationwide popularity in Indonesia, director LEE Chang-dong, director Yang Ik-joon, producer LEE Joon-dong, and actor JEON Do-yeon. “Pierre RISSIENT loved Korea so much and often enjoyed Korean cuisine. Thank you for loving and remember him,” said RISSIENT’s wife, SONG Yung-hee. Christine HAKIM, an Indonesian actor who had been a close friend of RISSIENT’s, even shed tears as she interacted with the audiences in grief. about the late director. In the meantime, director YANG Ik-joon lightened up the mood by sharing an episode with him at the Deauville Asian Film Festival.

“Master Class,” an encounter between the world-class master director, KORE-EDA Hirokazu and the 2019 grand prize winner of the Yi Sang Literary Award, YOON I-hyeong

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Master Class: KORE-EDA Hirokazu (right) and YOON I-hyeong (left)

There was a screening of Shoplifters, the winner of Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival at 13:30 on November 10 (SUN), which was followed by a master class with KORE-EDA Hirokazu. This event had caught people’s attention before the opening of the film festival. Particularly, the master class organized around KORE-EDA’s encounter with novelist YOON I-hyeong, the 2019 grand prize winner of the Yi-sang Literary Award to discuss the social and cultural roles of cinema was well-received by film and literature aficionados to the point that there were a number of people looking for tickets to this sold-out event via social media.

KORE-EDA Hirokazu mentioned that “I have been answering questions about cinema by saying cinema is all about dialogue and communication with the world. Instead of sticking to the notion that ‘I can or would like to change the world through cinema,’ I know I have changed for the better and enriched my life by making films. I am still working on my films, believing that. YOON I-hyeong also agreed on the fact that cinema and literature can change the society. “For me, literature, particularly novel, seemed like talking to the void. However, that idea had changed over time. Now, I see it as a tool to bond and interact with the world,” added YOON.

The world of film adaptation outlined by a renowned Hollywood screenwriter, Josh OLSON in Beyond the Barrier of Medium: A History of Violence, Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay

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Beyond the Barrier of Medium: A History of Violence, Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay – Writer Josh OLSON

The Gangneung International Film Festival 2019 featured a workshop called “Beyond the Barrier of Medium: A History of Violence, Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay” led by Josh OLSON, one of the most famous screenwriters in Hollywood. Best-known for adapting a lesser familiar graphic novel A History of Violence into a screenplay, OLSON has even been nominated for the Academy Award. In the workshop following the screening of A History of Violence at 11:30 on November 10 at Gangneung Arts Center Small Theatre, he explained why he decided to adapt this novel into a film. “When the comic book first came out, I felt drawn to its unique title. After watching other artists remain loyal to the original book, I decided not to follow precedents.” This event turned out to be a fruitful opportunity to introduce the concept of film adaptation to the audiences., even more interestingly moderated by KIM Byung-in, Head of Screenwriters Guild of Korea.

Showcased 73 films from 32 countries through a total of 131 screenings while reaching 83.75% of the seating capacity and responding to Gangneung citizens having a thirst for new cultural experiences

The closing ceremony of the Gangneung International Film Festival 2019 began by having Art Director Kim Hong-joon on stage to brief the audience on the accomplishments of the festival. With “Cinema & Literature,” “Masters & Newcomers,” and “For Gangneung” as its three keywords, the Gangneung International Film Festival 2019 featured 73 films from 32 countries. KIM announced the unprecedented success of the festival by saying “We had 24 sold-out screenings of 131 and attracted 22,779 audiences to reach 83.75% of the seating capacity of 27,200.”

After adding “We had a total of 1,200 guests including 37 international guests from 14 countries,” KIM expressed his sincere gratitude to all the audiences and Gangneung citizens for providing endless support to the festival by saying “It was a film festival truly beloved by the audiences and citizens who filled the venue without leaving a single empty seat for the international forum ‘20+80: The Prospect of Film Festivals in the 21st Century,’ a chance to discuss the present and future of the film festival in presence of 12 film festival directors from different countries.”

Screened Don’t Look Back, a documentary covering Bob DYLAN’s concert tour, as a closing film and featured Bob Dylan Tribute Concert as a closing performance

The Gangneung International Film Festival 2019 wrapped up its first edition by having Don’t Look Back as a closing film. This turned out to be a meaningful opportunity to shed new light on Bob DYLAN and his music. He was an American musician considered as an icon of pop culture, poet known for his beautiful lyrics and awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature, and filmmaker who wrote the screenplay for and starred in Masked and Anonymous.

The highlight of this event was the closing performance titled “Bob Dylan Tribute” in which indie bands and musicians from Gangneung covered DYLAN’s masterpieces such as “Like a rolling stone” and “Blowing in the wind.” In addition, YANG Byeong-jib, a first-generation folk musician, protest singer in the 1970s, and advocate of Bob DYLAN’s music, went on the stage to perform DYLAN’s songs including “Don't Think Twice It's All Right” and “Just like a Woman” and received a big round of applause from the audiences.

The finale of the performance was, without a doubt, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” which became a huge hit after being included in the soundtrack of the 1973 film Pat Garret and Billy the Kid directed by Sam PECKINPAH. The film festival closed its door while inviting both performers and audiences to sing the song in perfect harmony.

Hosted by Gangneung City (headed by Mayor Kim Han-geun) and organized by Gangneung Culture & Arts Foundation, the Gangneung International Film Festival 2019 successfully took place from November 8 to 14 for 7 days at Gangneung Arts Center, CGV Gangneung, Shinyoung Theater, Gore Bookstore, Gyeongpo Beach, and other parts of Gangneung. For more information on the seven exciting days of the Gangneung International Film Festival 2019 that proved the potential of Gangneung, the city of culture, and its residents, please visit the following website: GIFF.kr