The Korean party at Sundance this year is where a different group of folks gathered to celebrate Korean cinema and filmmakers. It was one of the most fun parties to catch up with friends and meet new people. Party organizers Henry Eshelmann and Mark Rabinowitz created a relaxed atmosphere with great food in an easy to navigate space. While there I could do some matchmaking, one of my favorite pastimes, introducing Ula from the American Film Festival in Wroclaw Poland to Kiril of the Moscow Film Festival, and being introduced by Ula and Kiril to the Busan International Film Festival/ Asian Film Market’s Steering Committee Deputy Director (who is responsible for international marketing of the market), Chanil Jeon, who then introduced me to the programmer for North American films, Dosin Pak whose email is “Program [AT] biff.kr” for all you North American filmmakers looking to break into Asia.
I have written about Busan several times because I think South Korea’s development and support of filmmaking, film education and film financing through its pre-sales market is a model other countries would be wise to follow. I would personally love to create an cross-cultural educational component to their activities which would make them trailblazers yet again. During one Cannes Festival, I spoke to their education director about that, so perhaps, with a little more time, I will be able to speak to a decision maker to actualize this idea.
“Korean film night,” presentedby the Korean film council (KOFIC) with support from Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles (KCCLA), highlighted standout Korean films and filmmakers at Al Dente Trattoria e Bar january 21 in park city.
Filmmakers Park Chan-Wook (Stoker); O Muel (Jiseul); Kim Song E. Kim (Bite of the Tail); actor Daniel Dae Kim with host Soo Jin Hwangwere also there to meet people.
The four standout Sundance films from 2013 in the Korean community were Jiseul, written and directed by O Muel; Stoker, directed by Park Chan-Wook; You Are More Than Beautiful; directed by Kim Tae-yong Kim; and Bite Of The Tail, directed and written by Kim Song E. The four Korean films in Sundance 2013 were featured in this year’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition, the Animated Short Films Competition and the International Narrative Shorts Competition. KOFIC came to Sundance to both develop relationships between Korean film and the rest of the world and support the work of the Korean film community with North American and worldwide production partners, distributors and exhibitors.
Soo Jin Hwang, Head of KOFIC USA office hosted the event. Numerous film executives also attended the party, including Arclight Films; Film Movement; Funimation; Hulu; Participant Pictures and SnagFilm as well as reps from AFI; SXSW; Los Angeles International Film Festival; Walker Art Center; Dallas Film Society; Cleveland Film Festival; the Film Society at Lincoln Center, and Sundance itself.
KOFIC was established in 1973. It is a special organization, entrusted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, aiming to support and promote Korean films. KOFIC is composed of nine commissioners, including one full-time chairman and eight committee members, appointed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in order to discuss and decide main policies related to Korean films. Check out KOFIC here.
The Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles is the axis of Korean heritage in Los Angeles and welcomes the general public to experience the rich traditions and history of Korea through specialized programs, sponsored events , and multiple learning resources. Operated by the Korean government’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, KCCLA is dedicated to providing insights into the rich cultural heritage of Korea. Learn more about KCCLA here.