19th Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF)

Korea hosts three major film festival every year – Busan Film Festival (BIFF), Jeonju Film Festival (JIFF), and Bucheon Film Festival.


The Jeonju Film Festival is the second biggest in Korea, lasts 10 days, and shows almost 250 films. This year it was held from May 3rd to May 12th and the entire city was buzzed with excitment. The festival kicked off at the Jeonju Dome, a large madeshift tent situated in what is normally a parking lot.

The opening film was a Japanese movie called Yakiniku Dragon, which is about a migrant family from Korea struggling to live in Tokyo in the 50s. They invited the director, Chong Wishing, and many of the Korean cast members (the movie is a Japanese and Korean co-production), to talk about the movie before the showing.


Sadly, I arrived late and missed the red carpet but just in time to see confettis fall and the movie starting :)

The 246 movies that was shown were put into different categories, such as in-competition, Frontline (Documentaries), World Cinema and even a special focused on Disney films.


Many of the movies have Guest Visitors, usually the director. There were also cinematography, cinema, and documentary classes about current issues. The classes / lectures were conducted after the featured screening and they invited professors, directors, film critics and even a rep from Disney to speak.

I went to one cinematography class after the screening of the Greenaway Alphabet but unfortunately, the entire class was conducted in Korean.


Speaking of Disney, there was also a mini Disney art exhibition in downtown Jeonju :)


In addition to the screening, there are other JIFF events such as a meet and greet with actor Jung Woo-sung and Ku Hye-sun, who directed a short film.


There are also activities such as a scavenger hunt, where festival goers are encouraged to complete four tasks and collect the respective stamps. This includes watching a movie at Jeonju Dome, buying a souvenir, visiting the 100 film, 100 posters exhibition, and taking a photo with the giant JIFF lantern. The gift was a pack of facemask and a free movie ticket!


There were also a lot of nice giveaways such as free samples :)

The closing ceremony featured the American movie – Isle of Dogs. Prior to the screening, they invited the JIFF representatives as well as some of the directors, guest speakers as well as the musicans performing that evening and volunteers to walk the red carpet one last time.

This time, I made sure I got better seats than the standing area I was at during the opening ceremony.


… and that wraps up the Jeonju film festival. Until next year :)


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