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Plunge into future at digital film fest

2010/08/08 | Permalink | Source

By Lee Hyo-won

An old Korean proverb says that even mountains evolve over time ― 10 years to be exact. But in this digital age, trends seem to change in the blink of an eye.

For the fourth year now, Cinema Digital Seoul (CinDi) has taken note of a paradigm shift in cinema with the rise of accessible digital technology, and the annual digital film festival will take place from Aug. 18 to 24 to capture the charms of the new medium.

A total of 105 digital films from 27 countries will be shown at CGV Apgujeong, southern Seoul. "By presenting the latest quality fiction, animation and documentary films rendered in digital medium, we hope to highlight current trends and explore future possibilities of this new cinematic language", CinDi festival director Lee Kwang-mo said.

The festival caught the attention of local film buffs earlier this year when it was announced that Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the grand prize winning director of the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, will be taking part as a judge. Naturally, the Thai auteur's Palme d'Or-winning film "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" will open the event on Aug. 18.

The film is about Uncle Boonmee, a man suffering from a terminal disease. He decides to spend his last days in peace amongst loved ones in the countryside, but his dead wife's ghost begins to haunt him while his long lost son reappears in non-human form. Uncle Boonmee and his family thus decide to take a long trip on foot to cross the jungle to reach a mysterious cave. The director explores universals themes of self-search and nostalgic exploration of his hometown in the film.

The director will be judging CinDi's core Asian Competition section, alongside actress Moon So-ri and French critic Charles Tesson, among others. This section welcomes back Asian talent whose works were featured in last year's edition, such as Gao Wendong, as well as newcomer directors from Iraq and Cambodia. A total of 15 films will vie for the Red, Blue and Green Chameleon Awards (cash prize of 20 million won each) among other recognitions.

Tesson, in addition to judging the Asian Competition, will take part in a talk show with esteemed director Hong Sang-soo. The event will be held at 2 p.m., Aug. 22 after the screening of Hong's "Ha Ha Ha", which won the top prize at Canne's sidebar competition Un Certain Regard earlier this year.

Another section that is worth noting is a newly introduced competition section called Butterfly. CinDi had hitherto focused on introducing works by pan-Asian digital filmmakers but Butterfly, as its name suggests, is aimed to give flight to up and coming Korean directors.

An interesting aspect of the competition is that judges look for potential in the director, rather than the film itself. A total of 15 films have been chosen among over 400 submissions from 48 countries. The three winners of the Butterfly Prize will be given the chance to plan and produce his/her next film with Korean giant CJ Entertainment.

Among notable works are "Bedevilled" by Jang Cheol-soo, which was introduced at Cannes Film Festival's Critics' Week, and "Animal Town" by Jeon Kyu-hwan, a fresh new director who is barely 25 years old.

The film festival is more than just about showcasing films that boast a new technological medium. It is about showing films that push boundaries in terms of content. Fans can also look forward to the Korean premiere of "Matasaburo, the Wind Imp" by Kiyoshi Kurosawa and "Jesus in the Barn" by Shinji Aoyama. These two films are noted for merging literature and audiovisuals. In "Matasaburo, the Wind Imp" for example the lead actor reads the novel of the same name that the film is based on, inviting viewers to join a young student's move to a school situated in the deep forest.

For more information about the festival visit Open the link
Poster for the 4th Cinema Digital Seoul (CinDi). This showcase of the latest digital feature movies, animations and documentaries will take place from Aug. 18 to 24 at CGV Apgujeong, southern Seoul. / Courtesy of CinDi

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