Sep 23, 2021

GIFF2021 held on Oct.22nd


Gangneung International Film Festival 2021 held on October 22nd

GIFF 2021 takes place for 10 days from October 22 to 31. Held in a larger scale compared to last year, the festival will screen diverse movies and host citizen-participating events. The curation of the entire program is done more thoroughly, particularly for GIFF’s flagship section Cinema & Literature. All selected films are screened offline only. We hope that the festival committed to the perfect compliance of quarantine measures will create the experience of viewing movies together as a community once again that we all have been missing for long due to the pandemic.

Official Poster

Drawing: SHIN Sunmi / Design: FLAPFLAP

Memory 2021
The Sea, a Rising Sun, and the Films in Gangneung
Hope that this festival will be remembered as a beacon of hope by many…

- Shin Sunmi –

A woman in Korean traditional costume holds a cinematograph, the world’s first camera/printer/projector, projecting Gangneung’s sea with a rising sun for the audience. She reminds us of the female artists from the city of Gangneung, such as Heo Nanseolheon and Shin Saimdang. Additionally, little cinema fairies in the background bustle about carrying various parts of the cinematograph.

Screening with the cinematograph is viewed as the world’s “first film screening” because it truly enabled the public to watch a movie together as a group. Like the beginning of a film was a shared experience, we hope that the GIFF 2021 offers a festive venue where people can once again experience the beauty of “group watching.”

GIFF 2021 poster was created by the design studio FLAPFLAP, using original features drawn by Shin Sunmi whose unique painting technique made the Korean traditional painting popular again, suggesting a new way forward for the medium.

Slogan - Turn the page!

The origin of the expression “Turn the page” dates back to the 19th century and referring to reading through a book page-by-page, it means, “Let’s not dwell on the painful and bad moments of our past and open up new episodes of our life.” The use of the phrase has its beginnings in North America, Tunisia, and Europe. This slogan is both a resolution and prayer for leaping into a new stage in life without dwelling on the past or to lose hope in the face of a difficult situation in the present.

Ten films for the International Feature Competition Finals announced!

This year, GIFF features about 120 films including winners of prestigious international film festivals and much-talked-about movies. Among 10 films selected for International Feature Competition, GIFF’s only competition section, are the ones awarded by Cannes International Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Fajr International Film Festival. The audience will find the films interesting for various reasons including timely subjects, cinematic aesthetics, award history and related discussions. During the festival from Oct. 22 (Fri) to 31 (Sun), the jury will choose three films for Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Screenplay Awards. Best Feature Award comes with a cash award of ₩20 million and Best Director Award and Best Screenplay Award with ₩ 10 million each.





ⓒPhoto courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.


(From left) ‘Botox’, ‘Clara Sola’, ‘Hot Soup’, ‘I was a Simple Man’, ‘Junho’, ‘Natural Light’, ‘Neighbours’, ‘The Night Doctor’, ‘Queen of Glory’, ‘Strawberry Mansion’

GIFF 2021 films selected for International Feature Competition
Title Director Country Year Premiere
Botox MAZAHERI Iran, Canada 2020 KP
Clara Sola Nathalie Álvarez MESEN Sweden, Costa Rica, Belgium, Germany 2021 KP
Hot Soup ZHANG Ming China 2020 KP
I was a Simple Man Christopher Makoto YOGI USA 2021 KP
Junho David Seok Hoon BOO USA, Korea 2021 IP
Natural Light Dénes NAGY Hungary, Latvia, France, Germany 2021 KP
Neighbours Mano KHALIL Switzerland, Kurdistan 2021 KP
The Night Doctor Elie WAJEMAN France 2020 KP
Queen of Glory Nana MENSAH USA 2021 AP
Strawberry Mansion Albert BIRNEY, Kentucker AUDLEY USA 2020 AP

Other than film screening, GIFF will host various events as well. One of them is the Gangneung Forum that has highly received by many and been dubbed as the Davos Forum of the film industry. It is a venue where the heads of major international film festivals gather to discuss the status and the future direction of film festivals. This year, the Forum will be further expanded and invite 10 organizing/executive heads from nine international film festivals.
Details of the GIFF 2021 will be made public on September 30 (Thu) at the press conference and on its official homepage.