The 23rd JEONJU International Film Festival (JEONJU IFF, Festival Director LEE Joondong) held a press conference to voice support for Ukraine.
The executive directors of Korea’s international film festivals who agreed to support Ukraine gathered at the 23rd JEONJU IFF on Friday, April 29. JEONJU IFF (LEE Joondong) raised its voice along with Busan International Kids & Youth Film Festival (Kim Sang-hwa), Busan Intl. Film Festival (HUH Moonyung), Bucheon Intl. Fantastic Film Festival (SHIN Chul), DMZ Intl. Documentary Film Festival (JUNG Sang-jin), Seoul Intl. Women's Film Festival (PARK Kwang-su), Ulju Mountain Film Festival (BAE Chang-ho), Jecheon Intl. Music & Film Festival (CHO Sung-woo), and PyeongChang Intl. Peace Film Festival (BANG Eun-jin) at the press conference that day.
The press conference began with a preview of a video showing the current situation in Ukraine. In addition, Ukrainian actor Olena Sydorchuk and model and illustrator Mariia Chernozhukova specially made the event meaningful with their presence. Olena Sydorchuk appeared in the short film One’s Family Gravesite (2022), which is about to be screened in the “Korean Cinema” section of the 23rd JEONJU IFF and received a warm applause from the audience on the red carpet for the opening ceremony. They read an appeal for peace in Ukraine in Korean and said, “We want peace,” drawing the attention of the audience on the stage.
Then, 9 executive directors of Korea’s international film festivals read the ‘Joint Statement of Korean Filmmakers Standing Against Russia-Ukraine War’. “We honor the noble death of Ukrainian filmmakers, and we sincerely wish that such grievous news wouldn’t continue. In celebrating JEONJU IFF where filmmakers around the world interact and communicate together, we strongly stand against Russia’s Ukraine invasion and wish for the immediate peaceful settlement,” they said.
The event was followed by the screening of No Obvious Signs (2018), a film about a Ukrainian women soldier who has suffered from PTSD since returning from the war in 2014. The film’s director, Alina Gorlova, critically addressed the issues of war and violence in her films such as This Rain Will Never Stop as well as No Obvious Signs.
Lastly, festival director Lee Joondong said, “I would like to thank the executive directors of Korea’s international film festivals for attending the JEONJU IFF despite their busy schedules. Through this press conference, we are raising our voices in support of Ukraine. We sincerely wish peace for the many filmmakers who are suffering from war in Ukraine and other regions.”
The 23rd JEONJU IFF, which opened on Thursday, April 28, will be held in the Jeonju Film Street area until Saturday, May 7, and will also be screened online through ONFIFN, an online platform dedicated to Korean film festivals. The opening ceremony video can be found on the official YouTube channel of the JEONJU IFF (https://www.youtube.com/c/JEONJUIFF).