Seoul International Film Festival

Sat 3rd Aug 19: City of seoul to host its first international film festival since 2008

[Dateline: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, August 2] — After going more than a decade without one and while Busan’s grew at an incredible rate, Seoul is once again home to an international film festival.

The first incarnation of Seoul International Film Festival was born as SeNeF (Seoul Net and Film Festival) in 1999. Over the course of the next nine years, it grew to become Seoul International and, in its final year of operation, hosted over 30,000 people at venues across the city.

After nine years, and despite the support of major sponsors, Seoul International Film Festival quietly disappeared in 2008, leaving a major void in the capital city’s film scene. In early 2019, executive director, Jon Racinskas, and a small international team of film aficionados began work to resurrect the festival. Over the course of this year, that team has grown to over two hundred people who speak eleven different languages.

The festival opened its submission window on May 18th, and, to date, has received entries from 48 different countries, including Afghanistan and Iran. The film lineup, which will be made publicly available on August 5th, includes 30 feature films and 120 short films. Many of these films will be making their world, international, and Korean premieres.

This week of celebration will include a special event on September 24, which is Heritage Day in South Africa, hosted by the Embassy of South Africa in Seoul. It will feature two floors of cinemas playing South African films representing Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, and English cultures and a traditional braai (barbecue) on the rooftop of Emu Artspace. Among the films screening at this event will be INXEBA, South Africa’s entry into the 2018 Academy Awards. (Synopsis and trailer: The South African Ambassador will open the event.

The history of Korean cinema will be explored at Seoul Global Cultural Center in a screening series hosted by the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch during opening weekend. Korean drama and comedy from the 1960s and 1970s will be the focus at this year’s event.

The festival will open with an amazing feature film called HAPPY CLEANERS. It explores the complexity of Korean identity from the perspective of first generation Korean-Americans in New York. The directors will be available for interviews. Synopsis and trailer:

The festival will close with the powerful documentary, JERONIMO. Jeronimo Lim was a Korean who fought alongside Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in the Cuban Revolution. The documentary explores the origins of the Korean diaspora in Latin America. The director will be available for interviews. Synopsis and trailer:

The festival opens on September 20th and will run until the 26th. Tickets will be available at on Thursday, August 8th. Press badges are available. Email for more details.



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