Program Sections

Cinema & Literature

Gangneung has long been known as a town for literature and the arts. The Cinema & Literature section reveals the unique character and spirit of the Gangneung International Film Festival which is held in this artistic city. Offering multiple sub-sections such as special focus and homage that highlight various writers and themes, the Cinema & Literature program presents the intersection of the two artistic genres of film and literature, starting from the birth of cinema.

  • Women Write, Films Remember Programmed under Cinema & Literature, this section is inspired by the lives of Heo Nanseolheon and Shin Saimdang, two seminal female artists who were born in Gangneung and were undervalued historically due to traditional perspectives on women. This section introduces films which are centered on women's narratives and portray women as creators.
  • Cinema & Literature: Special Focus and Homage This sub-section of Cinema & Literature consists of special focus and homage to writer programmed under a selected theme, literary genre or writer.
  • Expanded As the title “Expanded” suggests, this Cinema & Literature sub-section examines the trends of contemporary literature and films as they expand beyond their boundaries of words and images to intersect and create new forms.
Masters & Newcomers

The Masters & Newcomers section is dedicated to master filmmakers and next-generation directors who are making history in world cinema. It consists of sub-sections such as Tribute GIFF, ACID Cannes and In: sight.

  • Tribute GIFF A sub-section of Masters & Newcomers, this program pays special homage to directors selected annually by the festival. This section offers events such as special talks and master classes by master directors who have left clear marks on world cinema history.
  • ACID Cannes Since its inception at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival, ACID Cannes has annually introduced independent films from around the world and can be credited for the discovery of prominent directors who have gone on to become world-renowned, including Alexander Sokurov, Robert Gedigien and Justine Triet. This section will feature films selected through an official collaboration with ACID Cannes.
  • In: sight This sub-section of Masters & Newcomers aims to introduce the films of new directors from three continents, bringing new cinematic insights from Asian, African and Latin American directors into the audience's sight.
Premiere GIFF

The section, which introduces the latest works from directors, consists of a total of three subsections: International Narrative Feature Competition, Discover GIFF, and GIFF Short Film Fund.

  • International Narrative Feature Competition This section introduces narrative feature films, without restrictions on language or nationality, that will compete for the Gangneung International Film Festival’s awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay, which also is a genre of literature.
  • Discover GIFF As a sub-section of Premiere GIFF, this program introduces the latest films from established directors, as well as solid debut works from new directors, that will leave a strong impression on movie fans.
  • GIFF Short Film Fund Under Premiere GIFF, this section introduces short films produced and supported by the Gangneung International Film Festival to contribute to the development and revitalization of the local film ecosystem.
Classic GIFF

Classic GIFF reinterprets and reevaluates classical films with contemporary eyes. It includes the sub-sections Re: Discover and Re: Origin, as well as a Special Exhibition showcasing works that, ahead of their time, faced relentless challenges.

  • Re: Discover The restoration of a film goes beyond the restoration of its original state to cast a new light on the work and create new memories for the audience. Re: Discover seeks to promote the idea that "Classics are the New Cinema" and suggest that audiences re-discover classics.
  • Re: Origin From the birth of cinema to the present, the literary adaptation of films have varied, sometimes offering a form faithful to the original, other times offering a modern reinterpretation of classics, and even sometimes presenting an adaptation that is almost unrecognizable. Re: Origin, a sub-section of Classic GIFF, looks back on original literary works that were adapted into films from the directors' perspectives as both a reader and a creator.
  • Classic GIFF: Special Focus Pioneering films and directors that transformed the perception of cinema with films that, at the time of their release, were groundbreaking and experimental are programmed in this special sub-section of Classic GIFF.
Family GIFF

Family GIFF From preschoolers to seniors, the Family GIFF section introduces films that all generations can enjoy. The program is divided into three sub-sections: Gangneung Kids, Gangneung Teens and Gangneung Big Picture. Introduced at the 2021 edition of GIFF, the Gwana Theater is special outdoor venue installed in Daedohobu Gwana which allows audiences to enjoy Gangeung Big Picture screenings on beautiful Gangneung autumn nights.