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Omnibus Film Festival draws Indie flicks

2005/01/24 | 203 views | Permalink | Source

A string of films by unknown and veteran directors will be featured at a festival in Seoul in an effort to support the creation of independent movies in Korea.

Organized by Indiestory, an independent films distribution company, "Omnibus Film Festival" will screen the works of Asian, American and European filmmakers from Saturday, Jan. 29, to the following Friday, Feb. 4, at the Seoul Art Cinema in Jongno-gu.

The festival highlights "omnibus films", a format where a number of films are viewed together in one sitting.

Cult favorite and indie veteran Jim Jarmusch's "Coffee & Cigarettes" (95 min.), a string of tales that serve up dialogue and abundant amounts of caffeine and nicotine, will play on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Feb. 2 at 8 p.m.

"One Piece!" by comedy directors Shinobu Yaguchi and Takuji Suzuki is among films included in the Omnibus Film Festival.

Cuts by Robert Altman, Derek Jarman, Ken Russell and Jean-Luc Goddard are featured in "Aria" (90 min.), an omnibus film where each filmmaker takes an opera aria and expands on the tune through the screen. "Aria" plays on Sunday, Jan.30, at 2 p.m.; Feb. 1 at 6 p.m.; and Feb 4 at 12 p.m.

Works by up-and-coming Asian directors will also be shown during the festival. Bong Jun-ho, who made headlines with his film "Memories of Murder", is one of the creative minds behind the three-part digital omnibus, "2004 Digital Short Films by Three Filmmakers" (100 min.). The digital handiwork of Sogo Ishii, famed Japanese director and creator of "Labyrinth of Dreams" and alternative Chinese director Yu Likwai are also featured alongside Bong's film.

Politics, gender, migrant laborers and Pokemon are just some of the other subjects featured in films in the festival lineup.

In recent years, diamonds have been emerging from the rough in the Korean film industry, with names like Park Chan-wook and Kim Ki-duk circulating at major international film festivals. Kim proved that successful films could be made in a short amount of time even without large crews and financial backers.

Yet undoubtedly, commercial successes have also given filmmakers more creative leeway by bringing them better equipment, crews and cast. Through the festival, Indiestory hopes to increase the support of independent film makers and to make omnibus films a more commercially and artistically viable option in Korea.

The festival commences on Saturday at 6 p.m. with the screening of "Camellia Project: Three Queer Stories at Bogil Island", a film by three young directors featured at a queer film festival in Seoul last year. A seminar on producing and distributing omnibus films will take place on Feb. 2 at 5:30 p.m.

Seoul Art Cinema is located in the basement of the ArtSonje Center building, near Anguk Station, Subway Line No. 3, Exit 1. For screening times, ticket prices and more information, visit

By Iris Moon

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