By Lee Hyo-won
Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, will become a playground for cinephiles and student directors during an international collegian film festival, Nov. 26 to 29. But as much as the event aims to foster future talent, educational initiatives will invite cineastes of international renown, including Japanese superstar Joe Odagiri
The 2009 International College Peace Film Festival (ICPFF) will open under the theme "Dreaming of Becoming a Cineaste?" featuring over 300 films from some 30 countries, ranging from experimental to animation flicks. College students will vie for prizes in a competition, while works by esteemed filmmakers will be shown in an out-of-competition section.
"Cries and Whispers", a graduation piece by a team of Youngsan University students, will open the festival. "This is the first time we've seen a student film rendered in stereoscopic 3D. The filmmakers were of course short on budget but received funding from 3D Lab. Korea, and the students' pioneer spirit is very noteworthy", said the festival.
This year, the festival received over 600 student submissions from 21 countries, of which 74 (31 features and 43 animations) will compete for seven prizes. The star-studded jury members include Joe Odagiri
and animator Koji Yamamura. The grand prize winner will be featured as the festival's closing film.
Other notable guests are Luis Nieto, the Colombian-French auteur known for his zany ideas, particularly in Coca-Cola commercials; rising British director Matthew Walker; stop-motion animation maestro Neil Burns; American indie filmmaker Fran Krause; Academy Award-winning animator Konstantin Bronzit; and Thai director Pimpaka Towira, who is noted for films dealing with women's issues and social problems.
Guests will give special workshops and lectures, and some of their works will be shown in the non-competitive section. The 180 films from 21 countries will be shown in various sub-sections such as Asian Women and Money. Also notable is a retrospective of works by "Breathless"
actor-producer-director Yang Ik-june
Also, in the spirit of the film festival's namesake initiative to promote peace, participants can take part in various activities, including a tour of the nearby Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas.
Meanwhile, the festival is striving to become more global and is collaborating with other overseas events, including the Shanghai International Student Film Festival and New York Global Film Festival.
Movie screenings will take place at CGV Theater Chuncheon while workshops, lectures and other special sideline events will be held at Gangwon University.
Since several international events have been recently cancelled amid fear of Influenza A (H1N1), the festival organizers said various measures would be taken, such as having medical staff, hand-sanitizing equipment, masks and infrared cameras onsite.
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