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Korea’s Jeonju Festival Touts Independent Spirit

The Jeonju International Film Festival, South Korea’s second biggest festival, will open with Robert Budreau’s “Born to Be Blue,” and close with a digitally remastered director’s cut of “Die Bad,” top Korean film maker Ryoo Seung-wan’s 2000 debut film.

“Over the past 17 years, Ryoo has grown into a filmmaker to represent Korea, and so has JIFF. Ryoo still has indie spirit. He and the JIFF share the same attitude,” said festival director Lee Chung-jik.

“It is very important for a film festival to have freedom of expression. Festivals must be independent (from outside forces),” said Jeonju city mayor Kim Seung-soo, who is also the festival committee’s chairman. That was a clear dig at Busan, where the city‘s better known festival is imploding after interference by local authorities.

Jeonju (April 28 – May 7) announced a line-up that spans 163 features and 48 shorts from 45 countries. Its competition section will be judged by a jury that includes Cinematheque Francaise programming director Jean-Francois Rauger, filmmakers Denis Cote, Oh Seung-uk (“The Shameless”), Athina Rachel Tsangari, and Korean actor Jung Jae-young (“Right Now, Wrong Then”).

The festival will present special focus sections on French director Philippe Grandrieux, Shakespeare-inspired works, and modern Chilean cinema.


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