Friday, April 03, 2009

11th International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul

This interesting and mostly non-competitive fest will run from April 9 to 16 in South Korea and has the following description.

The International Women's Film Festival in Seoul aims to focus on the variety of lives through women's perspectives and create a space in which sharing a positive feminist culture with the audience can be achieved. In addition, as a leading international women's film network in Asia, its goal is to raise the visibility of films/videos of and about women and support Asian new women directors on the basis of the alliance crossing boundaries of different regions, generations and disciplines.

The fest program has the following sections
Opening Film: Half-Life, Jennifer Phang, USA, 2006
In Diablo Valley, California a complacent community struggles to adapt to a changing world where global chaos looms and threatens to alter life as they know it. As troubling worldwide disasters accelerate and reach into a complacent community, a brother and sister grapple with being abandoned by their father and the powerful presence of their mother’s new boyfriend. The siblings are forced to take control of the chaos around them and reinvent everyone’s lives. 19-year-old Pam Wu remembers her absent father with longing. She and 8-year-old Timothy live with their mother, Saura, who buries the shame of her husband’s desertion by succumbing to the lustful attention of her younger boyfriend Wendell. Still, Saura can’t conceal a bitter nostalgia for her youth, a time when she had love and purpose.

New Currents
A forefront section of IWFFIS, New Currents provides a precious opportunity for casting a look at the tendency of recent women’s films by showcasing carefully selected up-to-date works that have been made by prominent female directors for the last two years. Two most remarkable features of this year’s edition are summarized as the balanced positioning of seventeen feature-length films amongst 24 selections, and as the rise of new talents. There are 24 films that you can check here.

Queer Rainbow
Queer Rainbow of the 11th IWFFIS selects 16 films from 10 countries all that exemplify queer cinema’s regional currents each from North America, Europe, and Asia. It will examine various issues that center on the life of queers, encompassing the family formation of the homosexual, lesbian couples’ delivery and upbringing of infants, lesbians’ labor and poverty, lesbian sexuality, coming-out, the life of transgenders, and the like. To check the 16 films, documentaries and mostly shorts go here.

Girls on Film
15 dishes from 8 countries will exemplify our effort to renew Girls on Film as the space in which the girls are able to enjoy themselves to the fullest and engage actively, in parallel to our new beginning. Especially programs such as Girls’Crazy Camera and “I-TEENS: The Board of Teenage Viewers’ Choice” are particularly expected to extend teenage girls’ engagement with IWFFIS. To check the 15 films, shorts and documentaries go here.

Open Cinema
Open Cinema which was programmed as a gesture of solidarity at the 10th edition has been reorganized as a permanent fixture from this year festival. Open Cinema presents the films by male directors who show the common sympathy with others and ethical sensibility to expand the sphere and definition of women’s cinema. It shows one of our aims to march along with people, regardless their gender, who try to break up the conventional binaristic attitudes towards sex and gender such as ‘man=violence, woman=victimhood’ and so on. Open Cinema is the space of sympathy through women’s issues beyond the biological borders. To check the 4 films in this section go here.

Special Programs

Woman’s Labour and Poverty
This year’s IWFFIS presents as a special section Women’s Labour and Poverty, triggered by two things that require to be understood both as such and on a gender-registered basis: the oppression of neoliberal capitalism represented by the catchword “880,000 won Generation” and short-term contract/part-time work, and the global financial crisis which drives people into fear and anxiety with its true character still unknown. To check the 4 documentaries and 1 film go here.

On Aging
The section On Aging aims to investigate aging not in the sense of “growing old” as discussed in the logic of economy and development like the terms ‘silver industry’ or ‘aging society’ but in the sense of one’s course of life, as well as various conditions that intervene in that course. It pays attention to the varying degrees of aging that occupy this world, by examining diverse issues revolving around aging: sex and love of the aged women, alienation from technology/information, the aged disabled, new challenges of the aged, and so on. To check the 13 documentaries, shorts and films go here.

Competition Program – Asian Short Film & Video Competition
The submission for this year’s competition amounts to 222 entries from 12 countries including Korea, Israel, China, Taiwan, out of which 18 remarkable films were selected as finalists. They will provide viewers with authentic works that deal with a broad range of serious subject matters such as lookism and cosmetic surgery, animal abuse and environmental disruption, female labor and poverty, female marriage migration, the life of aged women, maternity and mother-child relationship, and etc., as well as with well-made films that encompass various genres such as thriller, black comedy, documentary, animation and so forth. To check the 18 shorts go here.

Special Screenings
This section has two extremely interesting themes:
Media Workshop for Women Migrants
Documentary Ock Rang Award

I suggest you read what they are all about here.

Yes the fest has many lesbian interest films but all are known to the blog. Nevertheless there are many shorts and documentaries that could be interesting for many that read the blog. To browse the fest site go here.

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