Focus on South Korea

Bong Joon-ho’s success in the recent Cannes Film Festival has once again put South Korean cinema on the limelight. South Korea has long affirmed its own characteristics in the world cinema, even before Parasite (2019). Figures like Kim Ki-duk, Hong Sang-soo, or Park Chan-woo are no strangers to the filmmakers following South Korean cinema. However, South Korean red carpet are still crowded with male names. Where is the voice of the female directors? The macho and male-dominated film ecosystem is not unique to South Korea. This phenomenon in commonplace all over the world. Why and how this phenomenon comes and roots, naturally, needs a whole other discussion. Focus on South Korea: Remapping South Korean Women Directors do not merely unearth the disparity between male and female directors. Curated by Shin Eun-shil of Seoul Independent Documentary Film Festival, a program containing the works of South Korean female directors will be on FFD this year. Initially, this program was designed to enrich the treasury of South Korean filmmaking that has been crowded with male names for too long. However, this program is not meant to put the two genders on the opposite sides of the ring. Instead, through this program, we invite the audience to pay heed to the characters of the films directed by South Korean females. East Asia Anti-Japan Armed Front (2019) and Heart of Snow: afterlife (2018) entice the audience to witness the conflicts between South Korea and Japan in two different periods. If East Asia Anti-Japan Armed Front narrates the event in a methodical sequence of archives and interviews, Heart of Snow: afterlife presents it in a calm, poetic manner. Several films in the program display personal biases, even when the issues appointed is relatively universal. Some of the stories originate from the private environment of the filmmakers. The Strangers (2018) recounts an identity crisis and mother-daughter relationship. The similar issue was also brought up in Optigraph (2017) where the filmmaker–who has lived in America for a long time– attempts to trace back the historical events in her hometown after the passing of her grandfather. The Unseen Children (2018), on the other hand, captures the diaspora of North Korea through the experiences of the teenagers who defected. Lastly, Sweet Golden Kiwi (2018) in a simple and friendly manner follows the live of a South Korean woman who finds the life in her country unbearable. She then probes the possibility to work in New Zealand and slowly redefines her life, relieving herself from the constraints of the customs of South Korea. This program is a collaborative work between FFD and Seoul Independent Documentary Film Festival (SIDOF), South Korea.

2017 —
 104 min —
 104 min
 Lee Wonwoo
After my grandfather ‘s Baek – su (age 99’s birthday party) banquet, I get writing an autobiography from my grandfather. Two years later, he passed away and left his favor…
2018 —
 17 min —
 17 min
 Kim So-young
In April 1920, the Japanese army slaughtered Koreans living in Vladivostok. They also executed Korean revolutionaries such as Kim Afanasi and Alexandra Petrovna Kim before the forced migration of 1937.…
2018 —
 21 min —
 21 min
 Jeon Kyu-ri
Started from the remote possibility that I may eat the kiwi fruit in Seoul that my aunt has sent from New Zealand. I aim to overlap the voices and transnational…
2018 —
 31 min —
 31 min
 Aori
Eunkyeong who escaped from North Korea through Laos when she was 13, Seungjin who almost got shot at the border of China when he was 19, Seunghee who was born…
2019 —
 74 min —
 74 min
 Kim Mirye
On August 30th, 1974, the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries bombing was carried out by the East Asia Anti-Japan Armed Front. Following Mitsubishi bombing, a series of Japanese corporations were attacked by…