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EBS documentary festival to show message of hope

The 17th EBS International Documentary Film Festival poster (EIDF)
The 17th EBS International Documentary Film Festival poster (EIDF)

The annual EBS International Documentary Film Festival will be showcasing films to a wider audience through television and an online platform as the coronavirus stands in the way of cinema screenings.

The 17th edition of the documentary festival will take place on EBS 1TV channel and video service D-BOX over a one-week period starting Aug. 17, the educational broadcasting network said Tuesday.

“Most major films festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival and the Jeonju International Film Festival, have been either canceled or moved to online platforms. While it is a shame that EIDF’s cinema screenings and regular events have been canceled, we are grateful to be able to showcase some 60 new documentary films through broadcast and D-Box,” festival director Ryu Jae-ho said during a media conference held in Seoul on Tuesday.

Under the slogan “In Docs, Back to the Ordinary,” the film fest will showcase 69 documentaries from 30 countries. While the number of films is a few titles short of last year’s line-up, this year’s film fest will include the newly-launched “Industry Market,” an open platform to support the industry by promoting documentary productions.

The festival will be comprised of 12 sections, including the two main competitive sections, “Festival Choice: Global” and “Festival Choice: Asia,” in which seven international films and five Asian films will vie for the final prize in each section. This year’s special sections will shed light on documentaries that deal with education, women and legendary filmmakers.

While no on-site screenings are scheduled, two outdoor screenings are slated for Aug. 21-22 at Ilsan Lake Park in Goyang, just northwest of Seoul.

“Maddy the Model” (EIDF)
“Maddy the Model” (EIDF)

The festival will open with Swedish movie “Maddy the Model” by director Jane Magnusson. The documentary follows Madeline Stuart’s journey to becoming the world’s first professional supermodel with Down syndrome.

“We can discover the message of hope that the EIDF aims to send in Madeline and her mother’s faith in each other,” festival programmer Kim Da-hye said.

The opening ceremony will be aired on EBS 1TV at 9:50 p.m. on Aug. 17.

By Choi Ji-won (