The Jecheon International Music & Film Festival will kick off its five-day schedule today, introducing 40 flicks and five performances in a new attempt to blend film and music.
"The festival is the first of its kind as the mixture of films and music, a unique crossover event that will help the moviegoers enjoy the pleasure of listening to music in movies", the organizing committee said in a statement.
The festival is also part of a trend in which local governments in Korea are rushing to hold a variety of cultural festivals and events in a bid to promote the regional economy. Jecheon, a city of 140,000 in North Chungcheong Province, is known for its serene landscape and clean environment.
JIMFF, which will run through Aug. 14 at the multiplex theater TTC Cinema and amusement park Cheogpung Land, is basically a film festival, with its prime focus placed on music featured in a wide range of films.
But the identity of the fledgling festival still remains elusive for most movie buffs while some critics express worries over its small scale and relatively remote location from major cultural centers like Seoul and Busan.
Recently, the nation's heady expansion of small-scale film festivals suffered a major setback as the Puchon International Film Festival, based in the city of Bucheon, faced a boycott by local filmmakers and actors amid fierce discord between city officials and festival organizers over how to run the events.
The Jecheon festival opens with the 2004 Japanese film "Swing Girls" by Yaguchi Sinobu, an award-winning director who made "Water Boys" in 2001. "Swing Girls" depicts high school students who are forced to join a band whose members get sick.
The closing film is "Allegro Non Troppo" by Bruno Bozzetto, an animation of 1976 which features a variety of music scores in the course of telling a story about a group of animators aiming to create a work of both music and animation. Bozzetto, born in 1938, has made 37 animations including "Mister Tao" which grabbed an award at the Berlin Film Festival in 1990.
The section "For Mania" is dedicated to, as the title suggests, music buffs, featuring a variety of genres. Japanese director Masyuki Gen's "Shout of Asia" depicts the local rocker Kang San-eh
's journey through Asia, while the British documentary "Punk: Attitude" by Don Letts delves into the roots of punk music by featuring performances by such well-known groups as Stooges, NY Dolls, Sex Pistols and Nirvana.
The "Musician's Choice" section screens ten movies whose music is light and easy-to-understand. "Keep on Rockin'" by Kazuyuki Morosawa portrays a rock star's life in a dramatic and musical way, while Nathalie Schmidt's debut film "Clear Skies After Rain" creates a smorgasbord of different formats like road movies and musicals.
The section "Musician's Choice" offers five Korean movies with well-known soundtracks. Selected by music directors and pop music critics, the five movies include "The Contact
" by director Jang Yoon-hyeon
, "My Beautiful Girl, Mari
", by Lee Seong-gang
, and "Waikiki Brothers
" by Yim Soon-rye
Other events include a series of outdoor concerts Aug. 11-13, entitled "One Summer Night", introducing local and international musicians. The concerts will be followed by outdoor film screenings.
The tickets are 5,000 won per screening and 12,000 won for an outdoor concert. For further information, call (043) 646-2242 or (02) 925-2242 or visit Open the link
By Yang Sung-jin