SPLINTERS and KIM MIN-YOUNG OF THE REPORT CARD Win Grand Prizes in International Competition and Korean Competition!
• JEONG Jaekwang of NOT OUT and GONG Seung-yeon of Aloners snatched the Best Actor Prize.
• Grand Prize and Best Director Prize in Korean Competition for Shorts went to Vacation Event and With You.
• Documentary Award went to Coming to you, and NETPAC Award to JAZZ KISSA BASIE.
The 22nd JEONJU International Film Festival (JEONJU IFF, Festival Director Lee Joondong) held its Award Ceremony and announced the winners in each category at 6 PM on May 5 at the Korea Traditional Culture Center.
About 50 people including the Festival Chairman and Mayor of Jeonju City Kim Seungsoo, Festival Director Lee Joondong, the jury members, directors, and actors with films in competition were in attendance. At this year’s Award Ceremony, about 20 different films from International Competition, Korean Competition, and Korean Competition for Shorts were presented with awards. CGV Arthouse gave creative and distribution support with the CGV Arthouse Award, a feature and five shorts were recognized by the OTT Watcha, the Documentary Award was presented by Jin Motors, the NETPAC Award was given by the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, and the newly introduced J Vision Award was presented as well.
Firstly, the Grand Prize in International Competition went to Splinters by Natalia Garayalde. Splinters is a documentary that started from a video the director recorded when she was 12 in 1955 of the explosions at the Military Factory in Argentina. The Best Picture Prize also went to a documentary film. Marta Popivoda’s Landscapes of Resistance tells the story of Sonja, an anti-fascist who was also one of the leaders of the Resistance movement at Auschwitz. Splinters and Landscapes of Resistance are both documentaries by female filmmakers, while the film that won the Special Jury Prize is Friends and Strangers, a black comedy-drama. Directed by Australian filmmaker James Vaughan, this film can be seen as a depiction of the current day Australia from the viewpoint of Millenials. Bae Jongok who is a jury member of the International Competition section commented that the three films “match the identity of JEONJU IFF, while defiantly showing us their distinct originality.”
In Korean Competition, the Grand Prize went to Lee Jae-eun and Lim Jisun of Kim Min-young of the Report Card. The film which tells the story of high school best friends who end up going separate ways after graduation exposes the characters’ inner worlds with unfathomable imagination through its unique storytelling. The Best Actor Prize was awarded to Jeong Jaekwang of NOT OUT and Gong Seung-yeon of Aloners. Both Gwangho and Jina whom the two actors played respectively are characters hard to read. Despite that, both actors were able to express these characters through their eyes and body language, resulting in multi-layered performances. Meanwhile, Byun Gyuri’s Coming to you received both the Special Mention and the Documentary Award. Coming to you is a documentary about a group of LGBTQ parents and was produced by PINKS (Solidarity For Sexually Minor Cultures & Human Rights). In regards to the film, Programmer Sung Moon said, “It’s a film with depth that reflects the respect and efforts one puts into understanding another in a society that won’t allow individuals to freely decide their own lives and identities.”
Out of the 998 titles submitted to the Korean Competition for Shorts, 25 made it to the final selection, and the Grand Prize was awarded to Choi Minyoung’s Vacation Event. Jury member Choi Sooyoung said, “The detailed performance and directing and the relatable narrative resulted in a drama that makes you feel warm inside.” Vacation Event paints the story of a brother and a sister who lead a weary life without their parents. The Best Director Prize went to director Park Jaehyun of Without You, which captures the daily lives of an elderly couple who lost their jobs due to COVID-19, while the Special Jury Prize went to Lee Tack’s Wasteland and Noh Gyeongmu’s A blue giant.
Meanwhile, the CGV Arthouse Awards presented by CGV Arthouse went to Lee Jung-gon’s NOT OUT and Hong Sung-eun’s Aloners. For selecting NOT OUT, CGV Arthouse said, “despite repeatedly facing regret and frustration, the film delicately tells the message that one still has hope and life goes on.” They also commented that “contemporary people are inexperienced at making relationships with others, and Aloners is a heartwarming film for the audience whose lives have been interrupted in reality due to COVID-19.” OTT Watcha picked 1 feature and 5 shorts for Watcha’s Pick. They made their “comprehensive decision while considering the timeliness, originality, mass appeal, and aesthetics with the aim of producing and nurturing rising Korean filmmakers.” For this award, feature NOT OUT, and shorts Wasteland, Weed Fiction (director: Cho Eungil), Maria&Beyonce (director: Song Yechan), Training Session (director: Kim Changbum), and Vacation Event were selected. The J Vision Award which was newly established this year to revitalize films from North Jeolla Province and Jeonju was awarded to Teacher’s Day (director: Lee Jihyang) in Korean Competition for Shorts and Out of Season (director: Huh Gun) in Korean Cinema.
In addition, the NETPAC Award was awarded to the documentary JAZZ KISSA BASIE by Hoshino Tetsuya, which highlights the present and past of a 50-year-old jazz café named Kissa Basie.
The major establishments made by female filmmakers were noticeable at the 22nd JEONJU IFF. The Grand Prize and the Best Picture Prize in International Competition, the Grand Prize in Korean Competition, and the Documentary Award were all films directed by female filmmakers. Aloners, which received the Best Actor Prize and the CGV Arthouse Award was also directed by a female filmmaker with a female character in the lead role. A blue giant which won the Special Jury Prize in Korean Competition for Shorts, Teacher’s Day which won one of the J Vision Award, as well as Maria&Beyonce which was one of the winners of Watcha’s Pick: Short were all directed by female filmmakers as well. In addition to Coming to you which won the Documentary Award, the Grand Prize, and the Best Picture Prize winners in International Competition as well as the winner of the NETPAC Award were all documentary films, proving how strong documentaries were this year.
The 22nd JEONJU IFF will continue until May 8 (Saturday) in and around the Jeonju Film Street area, and on the OTT platform wavve.
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