Top South Korean Filmmakers to Open Jeonju Film Festival With 3D Omnibus

Ryoo Seung-wan, Kim Tae-yong and Han Ji-seung will showcase experimental shorts for the 15th edition of the film event, which signals a return to its art house roots.

SEOUL – The 2014 Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) will run from May 1-10 in the South Korean city of Jeonju. This year's event will focus on presenting a wider range of genres while strengthening its traditional core of independent and art house films.

"This year's festival will be about embracing a diverse range of genres, from our main pool of independent and art house films to works showcasing new technologies," said festival director Ko Suk-man on Thursday.

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The lineup of 181 films from 44 countries will include less mainstream works compared to last year's edition, returning to the festival's traditions rooted in experimental works. As such JIFF will open with Mad Sad Bad, a 3D omnibus film by renowned Korean helmers.

Ryoo Seung-wan (The Berlin File), who made his directorial debut through JIFF and served as a judge at last year's edition, is contributing Ghost. The title will be shown alongside Picnic, about an eight-year-old girl looking after her autistic younger brother, by Kim Tae-yong (Late Autumn) and Han Ji-seung's (PapaI Saw You, a zombie melodrama set in the future.

"We have high expectations about the 3D visuals by Korea's representative filmmakers," said organizers. "More importantly this project has high-market values -- it not only demonstrates the current state of local 3D technological developments but also opens new possibilities for the technology."

The festival has undergone several changes in both its structure and content. The festival itself will be divided into two parts: From May 1-7 the lineup of films will be shown as usual while winning films from the competition sections and works that create buzz will be screened from May 8-10.

Meanwhile, JIFF's signature programs Short! Short! Short! and Jeonju Digital Project, which invites renowned filmmakers to create shorts, have been combined together to back three feature-length films. Hungarian director Gyorgy Palfi and South Korea's Shin Younshick and Park Jung-bum will premiere their works this year.

"There was a lot of discussion and criticism within the organizing committee about getting rid of our signature short film funding program," said executive programmer Kim Young-jin. "Supporting shorts was a very important part of our festival's mission to encourage cinematic experimentation and embrace diverse genres. However, the Short! Short! Short! program has failed to attract festivalgoers. There are more opportunities for filmmakers beyond theatrical releases for the work, such as IPTV. And so we have decided that the festival needs to be more than a platform for premiering films, and that it needs to contribute more directly to the film industry."

The Jeonju Promotion Market for financing indie projects will take place during the course of the festival, from May 1-7.

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