Jeonju gets 'Kissed' for opener

Independent fest focuses on Laitn America this year

SEOUL -- “Should’ve Kissed,” the debut feature film by Park Jin-oh, will open the 11th Jeonju International Film Festival, which starts on April 29 and runs through May 7.

Jeonju, which was launched in 2000, built its reputation based on digital and independent films through such programs as the “Jeonju Digital Project,” which selects three innovative filmmakers every year and commissions digital film projects.

This year, the festival has selected three independent directors: James Benning (U.S.), Denis Cote (Canada) and Matias Pineiro (Argentina). All three have some connection with the festival: Cote visited Jeonju in 2006 with his debut feature “Drifting States”; Pineiro’s “The Stolen Man” and Benning’s “RR” and “Casting a Glance” were also screened in previous festivals.

Also as a special project, “Short! Short! Short” features the work of three Korean directors – Lee Kyu-man, Kim Tae-gon and Han Ji-hye -- on themes of fantasy and horror all set in a theater space.

This year’s festival brings 209 films from 49 countries with special interest on emerging South American films.

A rare opportunity is given to the works of lifelong independent filmmakers. Previous retrospectives in Jeonju include Peter Watkins and Bela Tarr.

This year, the organizers will bring Pedro Costa, a Portuguese auteur and Miklos Jancso, a Hungarian filmmaker who is known for depicting modern political landscape in Europe during the 1960s. Along with the works of Pedro Costa, JIFF will be exhibiting a video installation of unused clips out of “In Vanda’s Room,” Costa’s three-hour fiction film, at a gallery inside Jeonju Cinema Complex.

The Korean retrospective will focus on the films of Kim Dong-won, a documentary filmmaker of “Repatriation” about communist prisoners in South Korea who were forced to “convert” under the military regime. The film won the Freedom of Expression Award at the 2004 Sundance.

“To the Sea” by Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio will be the festival’s closing film.
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