Seoul, South Korea has been chosen by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as the city they would like to highlight for their City to City series. The City to City programme is a relatively new highlight that goes back to 2008. The purpose of the City to City series is to spotlight a certain city in the world where filmmakers are living and working. The films do not have to be set or filmed in the specific city.
Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director for TIFF, chose Seoul because he feels the city has a vibrant energy, strong cinema, great directors, and many Toronto film enthusiasts have a passion for Korean cinema.
“Seoul is one of the most exciting cities on the planet, and you can feel that energy in its films. South Korea’s capital continues to produce consistently strong cinema, from art house to commercial. Seoul’s best auteurs win major festival awards, while its genre masters are sought after in Hollywood and its actors have won fans all across Asia. This year we want to introduce our audience to Seoul’s next generation. We are lucky to be based in Toronto, home to one of the most ardent audiences for Korean cinema,” explained Bailey.
Bailey and Giovanna Fulvi, International Programmer for the Festival, will be selecting eight recent Korean films for TIFF audiences. The full lineup will be announced this August, one month before the film festival. Fulvi is excited that Seoul was the city chosen, and feels Seoul is a requisite for the series.
“Twelve years after the Festival’s showcase Harvest: South Korean Renaissance, which captured the resurgence of a great national cinema, it is both a pleasure and a must to once again explore Seoul,” added Fulvi. “After years of screening South Korea’s cinema, it’s a thrill to have the opportunity of this spotlight. When it comes to film, Seoul is a city that never fails to produce new talent and surprising works of art.”
The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) will be attending TIFF this year, and organizing Korean Film Boom-Up events alongside the Festival’s programming. The purpose of Korean Film Boom-Up event is to promote the Korean film industry. KOFIC will also be giving support to all eight Korean films, filmmakers and directors, and creating networking opportunities with people in the film industry.
The past five cities that were featured for TIFF’s City to City series were Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Mumbai and Athens. The 39th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 4-14, 2014.