Now in its 8th year, the Seoul International Film Festival, known as SENEF (the acronym comes from its original title, the Seoul Net and Film Festival) has evolved into Korea's most advanced cinematic event. It is also inviting some of the world's most innovative and renowned directors to its 10-day run which opens September 6th.
Japanese director Naomi Kawase, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this year's 60th Cannes festival for The Mourning Forest, will make her first visit to Korea to present her film as the festival opener. After the screening the director will answer questions and talk with respected feminist film critic KIM Soyoung.
Other directors invited to present their films at the festival include Hollywood effects specialist Alan Chan with his own short film, Postcards from the Future, which is jointly opening the festival. Argentinean director InÚs de Oliveira CÚzar will attend with his feature, Foreigner, shot in the 2K HD format. Directors Pedro Aguilera (La Influencia) from Spain, Iglika Triffonova (Investigation) from Bulgaria, Spanish short film master Javier Rebollo, up-and-coming Chinese director Yang Li (Blind Mountain) and Scott Dacko from the US will also attend SENEF.
SeNefia'07 will present the event's competition section with 10 creative, experimental yet entertaining films from which one will be awarded a prize worth US$7000 selected by a jury. A US$5000 National award will go to a Korean film from the First Cut section. First Cut screens Korean feature by debut directors and will this year include "The Wonder Years
" by Kim Hee-jung
" by Byun Seung-wook
, "The Elephant On The Bike
" by Kwon Yong-gook
and "Before The Summer Passes Away
" by Seong Ji-hye
Over the Cinema, a section showcasing contemporary world cinema masters will include new films from Jacques Rivette (Don't Touch the Ax), Olivier Assayas (Boarding Gate), Ulrich Seidl (Import/Export), and Abel Ferrara (Go Go Tales). A special section of French Cinema recommend by the editor of the renowned magazine Cahiers du Cinema, will screen five recent films aiming at changing our preconceptions of French cinema.
Along with its continued pursuit of online broadcasting, HD films shot in 4K and above, will screen for the first time in Korea. The festival will this year move its venue to the newly built Lotte Cinema multiplex near Gonkuk University in eastern Seoul, which is equipped with state-of-the-art digital projection technology. SENEF will be the first venue in Korea able to present total 'D-cinema', films that are 100% digitally made, transmitted and screened. The online component of the festival, supported by chief sponsor KT, will allow some films to be accessed by various online multimedia applications such as WiBro, MegaTV and Fimm, as well as PC and mobile phones.
Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)