Starry Jeonju Film Festival Opening Reveals New Cinema Center Plans | News
The 23rd The Jeonju International Film Festival opened with President Kim Seung-su announcing the construction of a new cinema center at the location of the Jeonju Dome, where the opening ceremony was held last night (28 april).
Stars and filmmakers walked the red carpet to cheers from cheering audiences just like in pre-pandemic years, although many wore masks at the ever-safety-conscious film festival.
The Jeonju Dome is a temporary structure traditionally erected for the opening and closing ceremonies and other popular events during the annual film festival. Tickets for this year’s opening ceremony sold out in three minutes.
Red carpet guests included Justin H. Min, star of director Kogonada’s opening film After Yang; master director Im Kwon-taek, here for the Taehung Pictures retrospective; the artistic director of the Locarno film festival, Lily Hinstin, member of the Korean competition jury; Miss Granny star Na Moon, here with Lee Soon-sung’s feature debut My perfect roommate, recently taken over by Finecut; and Brazilian actress Mari Oliveira, here with Anita Rocha’s international competition film Da Silveira Astonished.
“This will be the last Jeonju Dome because from next year we will start building a home for Jeonju cinema here – a sanctuary for films, a kind of cinema center,” said the president and mayor of Jeonju, Kim.
“I wanted to preserve the Jeonju Film Festival as a liberated space for free expression. Art and artists could be independent from political power, conglomerate capital and social norms in Jeonju, even during the painful [years of] blacklist,” he added, referring to the administration of ousted ex-president Park Geun-hye and citing growing concerns that the new conservative government may try to resuscitate such actions.
“We have kept our initial intentions for 23 years and we will maintain them. We love and respect all films and filmmakers,” he said at the official opening of the festival, which runs until May 7.
Kim also presented a posthumous Korean Film Award contribution to recently deceased producer Lee Tae-won. His son Lee Ji-seung – also a filmmaker whose producer credits include Social phobia and Haeundae – accepted on behalf of Lee.
Lee’s work is commemorated this year in Jeonju with the Taehung Pictures retrospective of legendary Korean films, including Im Kwon-taek Chihwaseonwhich won Best Director at Cannes in 2002, and Kim Yoo-jin’s erotic historical drama in 1995 My dear Keumhong.