South Korea's Jeonju Fest to Back Features From Experimental Filmmakers

Park Jung-bum Cannes Q&A 2011
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Park Jung-bum

Hungary's Gyorgy Palfi and Korean directors Shin Younshick and Park Jung-bum have been invited to direct films to premiere at the event in May.

SEOUL – Hungarian director Gyorgy Palfi and South Korea's Shin Younshick and Park Jung-bum will participate in "Jeonju Digital Project," a special program by the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) that invites well-known filmmakers to create digital works.

The filmmakers will each make feature-length films this year, rather than contribute 30-minute pieces as part of an omnibus as in previous editions of the Korean film festival. The films will premiere at the 2014 edition of JIFF, which opens May 1-10 in the South Korean city of Jeonju.

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Organizers have merged funds for Jeonju Digital Project with the festival's short film funding program "Short! Short! Short!" to back the feature-length works. "Our renewed mission is to finance feature-length films by talented filmmakers from near and far," said JIFF organizers in a statement. "We wish to back experimental projects that are otherwise difficult to pursue in the current film industry."

Palfi is known for such experimental works as Taxidermia and Final Cut: Holgyeim es uraim, which were both invited to show at Cannes. For the Jeonju Digital Project, he will present Free Fall (working title), an omnibus film that presents six lives and is expected to showcase the filmmaker's signature surrealistic imagery and biting humor.

Shin made a splash at the Busan Film Festival and local box office last year with Rough Cut, which was written and produced by maverick filmmaker Kim Ki-duk. He will present Joryuingan (Bird Man), about a novelist who embarks on a search for his missing wife. The film takes a cue from Shin's 2012 film The Russian Novel.

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Park became an emerging filmmaker to watch out for since presenting Journals of Musan, about a North Korean defector, that hotwired the global fest circuit. Jeonju will premiere Sanda (Living, working title), which is set in a mountainous village in Gangwon Province. The story about two brothers will go into production in early February.

Since launching in 2000, Jeonju Digital Project has annually backed well-known filmmakers from around the world including Cannes Palme d'Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Chinese indie filmmaker Jia Zhangke, and top Korean directors Bong Joon Ho and Hong Sang-soo. The omnibus films have in turn often been invited to other festivals, such as Locarno.