|▲ Dongho Kim / Chairman of Gangneung International Film Festival Committee|
The former chief commissioner of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) Dongho Kim has taken the steering wheel of the newly introducing Gangneung International Film Festival (GIFF). Kim is received as the one who not only successfully organized an international film festival for Busan which then was a culturally barren city but also to have actually promoted it as a global film festival.
Taking the steering wheel of the 1st GIFF, Kim is making most of the city’s literary prowess. The 1st GIFF is held from 8th to 14th November at the Gangneung Arts Center, Gangneung Independent Art Theater, CGV Gangneung Shinyoung and Gyeongpo Beach.
Gangneung embraces the life of Sin Saimdang, a great female artist, writer, calligraphist and poet in the Joseon Kingdom, who also is the mother of one of the great scholars Yi I. Heo Gyun and Heo Nanseolheon also came from the city. This makes Gangneung today as a city where tradition and modernity are well balanced. The wide and blue East Sea stretched endlessly on the coastline makes the city even more charming for many tourists to visit throughout the year.
“I think Gangneung has many contents to provide for a unique international film festival if only we use most of its characteristics. The city gained international recognition through the PyeongChang 2018 that brought improved cultural facilities and accommodations. The world will pay attention to a new concept of international film festival where literature meets films” says Kim.
“<The Harmonium In My Memory> and <Heavenly Homecoming to Stars> will be among the showing. I think Korean films are globally recognized today but there still is an improvement as only a few wins the audience while relatively low and mid budget films are being forgotten. So I hope the 1st GIFF will play a role to raise this awareness through art films, independent films and low budget films home and abroad.”
Kim has devoted his life to the film industry for nearly 30 years and the BIFF is the South Korea’s first international film festival that has earned global recognition. He is the one who initiated the Culture and Arts Promotion Act in the 70s and contributed to bringing forth the Seoul Arts Center, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and the Independence Hall of Korea in the 80s. He also took the steering wheel when the Presidential Committee for Cultural Enrichment was established in 2014. He currently is working on a retrospective book alongside the organizing the 1st GIFF.
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