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2nd Chungmuro Int'l Film Fest Kicks Off Sept. 3rd

2008/08/30 Source

The second edition of the Chungmuro International Film Festival in Seoul (CHIFFS) will bring a mixture of old and new to screens September 3rd, opening fittingly with director HIGUCHI Shinji's 2008 remake of a classic 1958 KUROSAWA Akira film, The Hidden Fortress. The curtain raiser and closing film will screen at the National Theater of Korea with the rest of the fest's 175 films screening at various venues across Chungmuro district, the traditional center of the Korean film industry.

This year adds a competition section to CHIFFS, bringing 13 contemporary features from around the world to compete for US$ 40,000 in prizes. Korean feature, "Happiness" by director Heo Jin-ho will participate in this section alongside Johnny TO's Mad Detective (Hong Kong) , Qunshu GAO's Old Fish (China), and ten others. Guests on the international jury include director of The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino, and Korean director Im Sang-soo.

Also of note is a special section celebrating the 40thanniversary of Cannes Directors' Fortnight. Included here among a range of memorable films are 5 Korean features: "The Host" (2006), "Springtime in my Hometown" (1998), "Crying Fist" (2005), "Peppermint Candy" (1999), and "The President's Last Bang" (2005).

Conceived as a festival of classics, CHIFFS will have no shortage of retrospectives, including spotlights on Douglas Trumbull –visual effects genius behind 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, etc., director David Lean, actress Deborah Kerr, and Asian auteurs, Kon ICHIKAWA and Jang Sun-woo.

Korean film lovers will be appeased by a CHIFFS staple, the Memories of Korean Cinema section, which this year includes Shin Sang-ok's "A College Woman's Confession" (1958), Kim Ki-duk's "Birdcage Inn" (1998), Yu Hyun-mok's "Descendants of Cain" (1968), Go Yeong-nam's "The Shower - 1978" (1978), Im Kwon-taek's "Geneology" (1978), and Choi Ho's "Bye June" (1998).

Another Korean highlight will be the Chungmuro Now section showcasing contemporary local shorts and features of an independent flavor, including Yoon Seong-ho's "Milky Way Liberation Front" and Kim Hyun-seok's "Scout", both from 2007. The festival runs for nine days closing September 11th. For further information call (02) 2236-6231 or visit the CHIFFS homepage at Open the link

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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