International Feature Competition
― Grand Jury Price: The Bike Thief
― Jury Price: Not Going Quietly
― Honorable Mention: Kim Min-young of the Report Card
― Audience's Choice: Kim Min-young of the Report Card
For the 3rd PyeongChang International Peace Film Festival, nine films were invited to the International Feature Competition. Through different languages, styles and themes, all of the pieces made us take a renewed look at some of the world’s most persistent issues in realistic ways. They made us realize, once again, how film was a universal language shared by all humanity.
Selecting a single work for the Grand Prize was not easy, but the jury finally agreed that The Biker Thief
by Matt CHAMBERS deserved the honor. The film brought to our attention the chilling fact that the theme of the neorealist films circa 1948 could very well apply to today’s capitalist societies. While deftly dealing with an issue that is contemporary and universal at the same time, the movies resonated with present day audiences.
A longer discussion took place around the recipient of the Jury Prize. Mentioned films included Aurora
, the Costa Rican film; Along the Sea
, a story of illegal migrant workers; and Thou Shalt Not Hate
, one dealing with the modern-day issue of hate. The jury agreed on Not Going Quietly
. Ady’s continuing fight to advance social justice was even more inspiring in the age of a global pandemic, and the power of a documentary film could be felt greater than ever. A close runner-up, Kim Min-young of the Report Card
gave us enough reasons to hold high hopes for the future of Korean cinema.
It goes without saying that all of the entries stimulated our senses in the most refreshing way. Thank you for the splendid work.
KANG Yujung, Marcelo ALDERETE, YANG Wooseok
Korean Short Competition
― Grand Jury Price: Molly's Home
― Jury Price: Man of National Merit
― Audience’s Choice: Molly's Home
It was truly a delightful experience to enjoy 15 Korean short films in a specially set up theater in the scenic PyeongChang. Some of them made us laugh and others made us ponder, but what moved us the most was how the films emotionally approached the people in the films. We thank all the filmmakers for delivering the many faces of life through exceptional works.
The Grand Jury Prize goes to LIM Dae-Cheong’s Molly’s Home
. It is a film about the people that the director came to know about after being mysteriously guided by a single photograph that unexpectedly caught his eye. The intention is clear: document a story in order to remember. There is no redundancy in recounting what happened in real life. A certain distance is kept in order not to interfere with what is going on before the camera lens. At the same time, the documentary carefully points to something that is not quite well understood by the larger public. That something is what profoundly moved our hearts. We hope many more people will see and remember this film.
Our Jury Prize goes to PARK Chanwoo’s Man of National Merit
. It’s a story about an old Korean War veteran to whom honor means everything. It may appear simple on the surface, but there are many intricate elements woven in the story such as nation, family, generations and values. The virtue of it is that the message does not overshadow the delicate moments that keep building on throughout the film. The characters are depicted in an unassuming manner too. The directorial language was one filled with honesty and strength, which left a lasting impression on the jury. With much appreciation and gratitude, we agreed to award the prize to the film.
KANG Gil-woo, OH Heejung, LEE Jong-pil
― Terarosa Prize: Happened to be an Activist
by PARK Marisol
― Our Times Prize: A fever
by MYOUNG Sejin
Beyond the Border
― Beyond the Border Prize: A Small Unification
by DO Kyungmin
― Beyond the Border Prize: In the Sunshine
by KIM Sangpai, RA Dana
The 2021 PIPFF Pitching Project offered a rare opportunity for filmmakers and film lovers alike to gather in one place amid the ongoing pandemic to confirm each others’ unwavering enthusiasm for cinema. A total of 100 projects were submitted, among which 10 entries were granted the chance to pitch at the offline event held on the 19th of June. The apparent passion and hard work of the participants resonated deeply among all those present at the scene.
Through much debate, the Jury has selected as winners Happened to be an Activist
and A fever
for the Our Times segment, and In the Sunshine
and A Small Unification
for the Beyond the Border segment.
Happened to be an Activist
follows the busy life of a social activist mom from a daughter’s point of view. With a thoughtful approach, it portrays how the observer as well as the observed make progress in this field while conveying the power and influence of civil groups in bringing positive changes to the society.
deals with a very unique subject matter; infected with swine fever, factory workers of a sausage production facility gradually turn into monsters. It was both entertaining and thought-provoking.
Moving on to the Beyond the Border segment, In the Sunshine
stood out as a gripping portrayal of the reality experienced by the residents of Soseongri, where THAAD anti-missile system has been deployed amidst backlash. That the director has been living there for five years now helped add extra details to the film.
A Small Unification
came as a particularly timely piece, as the two Koreas stand at a critical juncture regarding the efforts to bring peace on the Korean Peninsula.
To sum up this year’s PIPFF using the words from the titles of the Pitching Project winners; it was a festival of new hope that happened to bring those caught in cinephile fever together under the sunshine to unify their hearts and minds and wish for peace.
Kudos to everyone for the stellar work!
AUM Zoo Young, SHIN Su won, MIN Kyu Dong