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25th JIFF to run special screenings to mark 10th anniversary of Sewol ferry disaster

By Kim Da-sol

Published : April 3, 2024 - 18:46

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“When We Bloom Again” (JIFF) “When We Bloom Again” (JIFF)

This year’s Jeonju International Film Festival, running May 1 to May 10, will showcase several films on the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster to mark the 10th anniversary of the tragedy that claimed almost 300 lives, most of them high school students on a field trip on April 16, 2014.

“The year 2024 marks the 10th year since the Sewol tragedy. Although 10 years have passed, the scars of this disaster have not yet healed. Rather, we had to go through a similar tragedy that happened in Itaewon. Through this special screening, we wanted to remember the deceased and the day -- a total of six films will be screened," said JIFF programmer Moon Seok.

At the special screening titled “Korean Cinema: 10th Anniversary of Sewol Ferry Disaster,” films such as “When We Bloom Again” by director Shin Kyoung-soo, “10 Years After the Sinking, Zero-Sum” by director Yoon Sol-ji and “Still Waiting at Paengmok” by director Jang Ju-eun will get their world premieres.

The 25th JIFF has invited a total of 232 movies from 43 countries, 102 of them from Korea and 130 from overseas. Eighty-two films will be screened as world premieres while 47 will be Asian premieres.

“All the Long Nights” (JIFF) “All the Long Nights” (JIFF)

Director Sho Miyake's “All the Long Nights” will open the festival on May 1. Based on the eponymous novel by Maiko Seo, the movie centers on a woman who experiences premenstrual syndrome and her uncontrolled irritation with her colleagues. One day, she explodes in anger only to learn that her colleague who suffers from panic disorder is someone with whom she can find solidarity.

The festival will end on May 10 with the Asian premiere of Canadian director Kazik Radwanski’s “Matt and Mara.” This rom-com flick revolves around a young professor who has hit a problem in her marriage. But she soon experiences a serendipitous encounter with a free-spirited writer who becomes close to her and eventually accompanies her on a trip out of town.

“Matt and Mara” (JIFF) “Matt and Mara” (JIFF)

Other than the special screening of films on the Sewol disaster, the JIFF said it has collaborated with the Korean Federation of Film Archives to screen some decades-old footage that has recently been restored through digitization. A total of 10 legendary Korean films from the Korean film's golden era in the 1950s will be screened, including “The Widow” by Park Nam-ok and “The Flower in Hell” by Shin Sang-ok.

JIFF will continue to invite a wide range of audiences to this year’s festival through a collaboration with the Walt Disney Company Korea. This year, a Pixar-themed experience zone will be installed and there will be a special screening of “Inside Out 2.”

“Through our efforts to collaborate with various stakeholders, we focused on maximizing the size of JIFF and the number of sideline events for more citizens’ participation. The festival will only grow in the future, not get smaller,” said Moon.

Details on the ticket sales for the 25th JIFF is available on the website.