JEONJU International Film Festival has introduced alternative trends of contemporary cinema and posed various discussions. Last year, it diverged from its traditional film screening style through exhibitions and VR cinema programs and attempted to expand films as a media art. Celebrating its 21st anniversary, JEONJU IFF prepared “Special Focus | KBS Collection: Audience Engagement” on questions about the roles and solutions that a film festival can present in this rapidly changing media platform era. Rather than focusing on the act of watching films, we would like to find clues through a community experience where strangers watch films together in one space and the directors and producers have deep conversations about the social, political, and cultural implications of their work.
Documentary Insight - KBS Archive Project Modern Korea was introduced on TV with 6 episodes from the second half of 2019 until the first half of 2020. This documentary series, which went beyond the conventional TV documentary, reconstructed important issues of Korean society into various layers using the extensive archived videos kept by KBS since its foundation. This documentary series brings lightness to the possibly somber mood by the historical weight of each episode with satirical images and brilliant composition. As it releases footages before and after transmission, scenes not shown unless it was a blooper, and disclosing entire footages which were deleted for being insignificant, it constantly reminds the audience of the relationship between microhistory and macrohistory. The narrative is constructed by rearranging the past and present of the featuring characters, connecting time, and combining images of various genres such as drama, entertainment, and news. Above all, the attempt of reasoning to face the meaning of the emotions we experience after this time, simply proves the delicacy and boldness of this series. The style of each episode created by the daring typography of designer KIMM Kijo and the retro music by DJ Soulscape is another attraction to look for.
After the screening of individual programs, there will be a meet-and-greet session with the Modern Korea series production team who will discuss the documentary preparation process and experience. As a concrete effort to see the true nature of Korean society, we attempt to provide opportunities for the audiences and production teams to meet face-to-face and have in-depth discussions about the conditions of our society.
Programmer Sung MOON
Program 1_Politics and SportsAmong the six films introduced through Special Focus | KBS Collection: Audience Engagement, Our Only Wish and Dynasty adopts the most cinematic structures as they use symbols, metaphors, and montages of fragmented images. By using the footages that can only be possessed by public broadcasting, these films vividly recall the country's transition from authoritarianism to democracy. Our Only Wish starts with the sound of a gunshot from the attempted shooting of the president and ends with a young man waking up from his nightmare by the sound of an alarm. The film intensely depicts how the citizens become the political entity in the stirring period after the end of an irrational era. Dynasty uses baseball as a metaphor to emphasize people's political ambitions by reflecting the historical event of the May 18 Democratic Uprising and the process of regional trauma replaced by the sports.
Program 2_Breakdown of Success StoryThis is the most contemporary program of KBS Archive Project Modern Korea that attempts to answer the ethical questions on guilt and forgiveness by using the medium of media. Great Expectation deals with the collapse of success stories of petty-bourgeois who were forced to sacrifice under the shadow of the military regime and to believe the country's success meant the success of an individual. We Built This City meets the people who still deal with the punishment that was imposed on the society that valued money over people. This program is a brave attempt to face the trauma still lingering in Korean society after the political and economic chaos. It is also a small gesture to heal the wounds that the system is not willing to solve.
Program 3_Pursuit of Uprise (Hardcore Era)The compressed economic growth of Korea has increased the fantasy of upwardly mobile lifestyle, but at the same time, it has strengthened the gap between social classes. There is a widespread belief that money solves anything, making people work their fingers to the bone and control the religion for the afterlife. Sometimes, they step into the world of cult with hopes to end their hopeless life and be at ease. The Test of Your Life: Birth of K-SAT examines the transitions of the Korean educational system, which is running to extremes, propelled by the desire to rise to a higher class. Rapture: The Day They Vanished meets people who have fallen for heresy to investigate two factors that seduce these wandering souls.
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