185-film lineup has a European slant

The eighth Jeonju Film Festival, South Korea’s leading showcase of digital and independent film, will kick off April 26 with the world premiere of Han Seung-ryong’s “Off Road.”

With the festival receiving a record 1,035 admissions, the programming team headed by Jung Soo-wan has put together a 185-film lineup with a European slant this year. Special sections will be devoted to U.K. filmmaker Peter Watkins, Turkish cinema, Czech director Jiri Menzel and filmmaker Daniele Huillet, who died in October.

Fest also announced that its dual competition sections — Indie Vision and Digital Spectrum — will be merged into a single section this year.

Twelve features from across the globe will compete for the top prize, the $10,000 Woosuk Award.

Fest is revamping its awards structure, adding the JJ-Star award for a Korean independent film, the KT&G Sangsangmadang award for a Korean short and a new Netpac Award for Asian film.

In addition, the festival’s tradition of commissioning three 30-minute digital films from Asian filmmakers will broaden its horizons to include three European directors.

The “Jeonju Digital Project 2007″ will consist of films by Pedro Costa from Portugal, Harun Farocki from Germany and Eugene Green from France. Fest will also commission three shorts from Korean directors for the first time.

Opening selection “Off Road” is a low-budget debut from a filmmaker who previously worked as an editor on Korean pics “Resurrection of the Little Match Girl” and “Untold Scandal.”

Gangster drama “Exiled,” by Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To, will close the festival on May 4.

Indie Vision: International Competition

“Aria” (Japan), Takushi Tsubokawa
“Chrigu” (Switzerland), Jan Gassman and Christian Ziorjen
“The Journals of Knud Rasmussen” (Canada), Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn
“Look of Love” (Japan), Yoshiharu Ueoka
“The Other Half” (China), Ying Liang
“Potosi, the Journey” (Israel/France), Ron Havilio
“Private Property” (France/Belgium/Luxembourg), Joachim Lafosse
“Reprise” (Norway), Joachim Trier
“Salty Air” (Italy), Alessandro Angelini
“Schroeder’s Wonderful World” (Germany/Poland/Czech Republic), Michael Schorr
“WWW: What a Wonderful World” (France/Morocco/Germany), Faouzi Bensaidi
“A White Ballad” (Italy/Netherlands), Stefano Odoardi

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