The 10th Green Film Festival in Seoul

GFFIS 2013: The 10th Green Film Festival in Seoul

The 10th Green Film Festival in Seoul

The 10th Green Film Festival in Seoul

Kicking off on the 9th of May and running through until the 16th, the 10th Green Film Festival in Seoul (GFFIS) will take place at CGV cinemas in Yongsan. The festival screens films that highlight environmental matters from all over the world, ranging from GMO foods to corporate corruption, animal welfare to government protesting, and that great variety continues to be present within the 2013 edition.

Opening with the Matt Damon starring Promised Land, directed by Gus Van Sant, the festival boasts an impressive array of international screenings. For the full list of films please visit the official website here (in Korean), however featured below are the Korean entries that will emphasize the environmental issues occurring within the country.

But first, be sure to check out the official trailer for the festival:

Korean Films

International Environmental Film Category

Forest Dancing (춤추는 숲)

Forest Dancing (춤추는 숲)

Forest Dancing (춤추는 숲)

Director: Kang Seok-pil (강석필)

Synopsis: The documentary follows the residents of a small village community in Seoul, who protest against a building project that will raze part of a mountain to make way for a private academy.

Korean Environment Category:

Boiler (남양주는 모른다)

Boiler (남양주는 모른다)

Boiler (남양주는 모른다)

Director: Lee Hyun-Ji (이현지)

Synopsis: Fictional film Boiler explores the lives of a handful of binge drinking tunnel laborers. Their mundane existence is changed however when they discover something underground while working.

Cats and Dogs (그 강아지 그 고양이)

Cats and Dogs (그 강아지 그 고양이)

Cats and Dogs (그 강아지 그 고양이)

Director: Min Byung-Woo (민병우)

Synopsis: The first film to be shot entirely using the iphone 4s, this romantic-comedy depicts the lives of two pet owners and their relationships.

Cats in the Pool (수영장의 고양이들)

Cats in the Pool (수영장의 고양이들)

Cats in the Pool (수영장의 고양이들)

Director: Kim Bo-Kyoung (김보경)

Synopsis: In this animated short, a man hits a cat while driving. The guilt of the event causes him to hallucinate the cat – and other felines – wherever he goes.

Cement Town Tragedy (투구꽃 그 마을)

Cement Town Tragedy (투구꽃 그 마을)

Cement Town Tragedy (투구꽃 그 마을)

Director: Oh Kyu-Ik (오규익)

Synopsis: The documentary examines a small town and the impact of a cement plant built 50 years ago, and the fallout of hazardous materials on the health of the community.

Cruel Inheritance - Heredity (잔인한 내림 – 遺傳)

Cruel Inheritance – Heredity (잔인한 내림 – 遺傳)

Cruel Inheritance – Heredity (잔인한 내림 – 遺傳)

Director: Kim Hwan-Tae (김환태)

Synopsis: Cruel Inheritance is a documentary concerned with the ramifications of the atomic energy and bombs, from Hiroshima in 1945 through to Fukushima in 2011.

Fog and Smoke (안개와 연기)

Fog and Smoke (안개와 연기)

Fog and Smoke (안개와 연기)

Director: Cha Jea-Min (차재민)

Synopsis: Experimental film Fog and Smoke explores the complicated and intense emotions involved in the development of a city in the port of Incheon., including issues related to the financial crisis.

Green Slime (녹색물질)

Green Slime (녹색물질)

Green Slime (녹색물질)

Director: Kwon Oh-Kwang (권오광)

Synopsis: This 12 minute short fiction film portrays a group of friends who reunite in a bar, and recount their childhood story involving a ‘green monster’.

The Hours of Tree (나무의 시간)

The Hours of Tree (나무의 시간)

The Hours of Tree (나무의 시간)

Director: Jeong Da-Hee (정다희)

Synopsis: Exploring the life of trees across seasons and beyond, this animated short is concerned with the way life unfolds and develops for vegetation, and the very meaning of existence.

KBS Environment Special; Experiment Excrement (KBS 환경스페셜: 똥을 실험하다)

KBS Environment Special; Experiment Excrement (KBS 환경스페셜: 똥을 실험하다)

KBS Environment Special; Experiment Excrement (KBS 환경스페셜: 똥을 실험하다)

Director: Shin Dong-Man (신동만)

Synopsis: The environmental impact of human waste is examined in this KBS documentary, portraying the thoughtless consumption of materials every time a person flushes the toilet.

A Monster in the Reservoir (저수지의 괴물)

A Monster in the Reservoir (저수지의 괴물)

A Monster in the Reservoir (저수지의 괴물)

Director: Lee Sung-Gang (이성강)

Synopsis: The life of a monster who dwells in a reservoir is portrayed in this animated short. When human development approaches, the monster’s home is threatened.

Paldang (팔당 사람들)

Paldang (팔당 사람들)

Paldang (팔당 사람들)

Director: Kauh Eun-Jin (고은진)

Synopsis: Paldang examines the issues involved in farming in contemporary Korea, from government subsidies to organic farming and wind power, and the conflicts that arise.

Souvenir Animation

Souvenir Animation

Souvenir Animation

Director: Kang Min-ji (강민지)

Synopsis: This 11 minute animated film explores the keepsakes and mementos that are obtained over time through traveling. The photos and ornaments from trips in different times state the importance of travel.

Sweet Temptation (잘 먹고 잘 사는 법)

Sweet Temptation (잘 먹고 잘 사는 법)

Sweet Temptation (잘 먹고 잘 사는 법)

Director: Jeong Han-Jin (정한진)

Synopsis: A young boy who had previously only consumed organic foods is suddenly introduced to chocolate, and begins to question his lifestyle.

Talking Architecture, City:Hall (말하는 건축, 시티:홀)

Talking Architecture, City:Hall (말하는 건축, 시티:홀)

Talking Architecture, City:Hall (말하는 건축, 시티:홀)

Director: Jeong Jae-eun (정재은)

Synopsis: The difficulties of the new city hall project in Seoul are captured in this documentary, exemplifying the struggle of old versus new.

Who Made It? (누가 만들었을까?)

Who Made It? (누가 만들었을까?)

Who Made It? (누가 만들었을까?)

Director: Ji Tae-kyoung (지태경)

Synopsis: The beautiful landscapes of Jeju Island are the focus of this documentary. The people of Jeju and their relationship to the surroundings are also featured, alongside Jeju musicians.

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Festival News Green Film Festival in Seoul (제10회 서울환경영화제) Korean Festivals 2013
JIFF 2013

JIFF 2013: Korea Cinemascape

JIFF 2013

JIFF 2013

As part of the build up towards the 2013 installment of the Jeonju International Film Festival, last time here at Hanguk Yeonghwa the ten selected independent films that form the ‘Korean Films in Competition’ were profiled. What they highlight is that JIFF is still continuing to seek out new and fresh film-making talent as the directors are all relatively unknown, raising the possibility for ‘discovering’ quality productions and act as a potential springboard for future festival runs.

Yet JIFF 2013 is also featuring some of the more commercial films to emerge from Korea under the banner of ‘Korea Cinemascape’. In keeping with the festival tradition the themes are quite broad in scope allowing for a range of diverse projects to appear, from star-studded gangster and action epics through to more low-key dramatic pieces. Here are the films announced as part of the ‘Korea Cinemascape’.

Burn, Release, Explode, The Invincible (연소, 석방, 폭발, 대적할 이가 없는)

Burn, Release, Explode, The Invincible (연소, 석방, 폭발, 대적할 이가 없는)

Burn, Release, Explode, The Invincible (연소, 석방, 폭발, 대적할 이가 없는)

Director: Kim Su-hyun  (김수현)

Synopsis: A title that’s almost a story in itself, Burn, Release, Explode, The Invincible charts the life of actor Kim Sang-hyun and the unfolding drama. Described as ‘bohemian and arty’, the 53 minute drama sounds like an interesting exploration of the acting world.

Fist of Legend (전설의 주먹)

Fists of Legend (전설의 주먹)

Fists of Legend (전설의 주먹)

Director: Kang Woo-seok (강우석)

Synopsis: Blockbuster action film Fists of Legend features several A-list stars including Hwang Jeong-min and Yoo Joon-sang, and helmed by the mighty Kang Woo-seok who has been responsible for a string of hits both as producer and director. Word of mouth is positive on this tent-pole actioner, which sees three middle-aged friends reunited in a fighting contest for a large cash prize. As JIFF is mostly concerned with independent features, Fists of Legend will offer a change of pace for those seeking big-budgeted action. Check out the trailer below:

Garibong (가리봉)

Garibong (가리봉)

Garibong (가리봉)

Director: Park Ki Yong (박기용)

Synopsis: This documentary feature by director Park Ki-yong explores the immigrant experience of workers residing in Garibong-dong. Stories involving foreigners and the difficulties of cultural assimilation have become more prominent in recent years, and Garibong could offer a fresh perspective.

Juvenile Offender (범죄소년)

Juvenile Offender (범죄소년)

Juvenile Offender (범죄소년)

Director: Kang Yi-kwan (강이관)

Synopsis: Juvenile Offender made waves upon its release in 2012, with its story of disaffected youth, crime, and familial relationships. The film from director Kang, who previous helmed the Moon So-ri starring Sakwa (사과), premiered in Vancouver and won the coveted Special Jury Award and Best Actor for Seo Young-ju at the Tokyo International Film Festival. With the focus on human rights (indeed, it was partly funded by The National Human Rights Commission of Korea) and timely examination of socio-cultural issues it’s great to see the film get more exposure at JIFF. See below for the trailer:

Mr. Vertigo (축지법과 비행술)

Mr. Vertigo (축지법과 비행술)

Mr. Vertigo (축지법과 비행술)

Director: Lee Kyung-sub (이경섭)

Synopsis: Renowned character actor Oh Dal-su stars in Mr. Vertigo, a story about a man seeking to add excitement and difference to his boring life. At 25 minutes long, the film has the potential to be one of the more off-beat and humourous short stories at the festival.

My Paparotti (파파로티)

My Paparotti (파파로티)

My Paparotti (파파로티)

Director: Yoon Jong-chan (윤종찬)

Synopsis: Since its release, My Paparotti has been quite successful earning around 1.45 million admissions (at the time of writing), despite mixed critical reactions. Featuring rising star Lee Je-hoon alongside Han Seok-kyu, the comedy-drama charts the relationship between a washed-up music teacher and  young gangster who sports an exceptional singing voice. See the trailer below:

New World (신세계)

New World (신세계)

New World (신세계)

Director: Park Hoon-jung (박훈정)

Synopsis: Gangster epic New World has been incredibly well-received both domestically as well as internationally, selling to multiple territories with its tale of violence and paranoia. Directed by Park Hoon-jung, the writer behind hits I Saw the Devil and The Unjust, the film also features heavyweights Choi Min-shik, Hwang Jeong-min, Lee Jeong-jae and Song Ji-hyo. New World has been likened to Infernal Affairs/The Departed which is high praise indeed. Check out the trailer below:

Project Cheonan Ship (천안함프로젝트)

Project Cheonan Ship (천안함프로젝트)

Project Cheonan Ship (천안함프로젝트)

Director: Baek Seung-woo (백승우)

Synopsis: When he ROKS Cheonan was sunk in 2010, escalating tensions between North and South Korea, several conspiracy theories appeared despite the official verdict that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo. Documentary Project Cheonan Ship explores the events as well as the reactions by Korean society.

Shibata and Nagao (시바타와 나가오)

Shibata and Nagao (시바타와 나가오)

Shibata and Nagao (시바타와 나가오)

Director: Yang Ik-june (양익준)

Synopsis: The 19 minute Korea/Japanese co-produced drama explores the final moments of a couple as they are about to separate. Director Yang Ik-june is the reason to be excited for this film as his exemplary drama Breathless proved his abilities behind the camera.

Talking Architecture, City:Hall (말하는 건축, 시티:홀)

Talking Architecture, City:Hall (말하는 건축, 시티:홀)

Talking Architecture, City:Hall (말하는 건축, 시티:홀)

Director: Jeong Jae-eun (정재은)

Synopsis: The controversial City Hall project in Seoul has been fraught with difficulty since day one, and this documentary shines a light on the issues that occurred throughout construction. It looks to be an interesting piece, especially in the conflict of old (Japanese) versus new (Korean).

Timing (타이밍)

Timing (타이밍)

Timing (타이밍)

Director: Kim Ji-Yeon (김지연)

Synopsis: Timing looks set to be a sensitive drama, as a woman attempts to resolve loose ends before she moves abroad to study. In doing so she discovers the complex emotions of the sadness of letting go of the past and the fear of starting afresh.

To Be Reborn (환생의 주일)

To Be Reborn (환생의 주일)

To Be Reborn (환생의 주일)

Director: Hwang Qu-doek (황규덕)

Synopsis: To Be Reborn is a documentary that follows the director himself, as he pursues another avenue in life when frustrated with the film industry. The film-making frustrations depicted could resonate well with the independent audiences and prove to be a success.

Total Messed Family (오빠가 돌아왔다)

Total Messed Family (오빠가 돌아왔다)

Total Messed Family (오빠가 돌아왔다)

Director: No Zin-soo (노진수)

Synopsis: The oddly titled Total Messed Family appears to be a more traditional family comedy-drama offering in which a group of mismatched personalities are forced to come together during a crisis. This certainly has the potential to be one of the ‘feel-good’ films at the festival.

The Woman (그 여자)

The Woman (그 여자)

The Woman (그 여자)

Director: Jo Mee-hye (조미혜)

Synopsis: The only film to feature the transsexual experience in the category, The Woman portrays the story of Yoon-hee whose life is thrown into turmoil when her brother informs her of their mother’s illness. It will be very interesting to see how such issues are explored, as Korean culture is still quite conservative.

Festival News Jeonju International Film Festival (제14회 전주국제영화제) Korean Festivals 2013