From left: Seoul Pride 2022 International Film Festival organizers Lee Dong-yoon, Kim Seung-hwan, Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination Park head Kyung-seok and SIPFF executive committee head Kim Jho Gwang-soo pose for photos following a press conference held at the Artnine Theater in Sadang-dong on Thursday. (SIPFF)
The 2022 Seoul International Pride Film Festival, which mainly focuses on queer films, will be held from November 3 to 9 at Megabox Seongsu, Seoul.
The Pride Film Festival, which was held at the CGV Myeongdong Station Cine Library in Seoul, had to look for a new venue after the theater operator in Myeong-dong suspended operations last year.
“Although CGV Myeongdong started operating again, it was when we had already signed the new agreement with Megabox,” SIPFF developer Kim Seung-hwan said during a press conference held at the Artnine Theater in Sadang-dong on Thursday.
Although the decision to change the venue was inevitable, the festival’s promoter emphasized that it was for the better. As Megabox Seongsu, SIPFF has more auditoriums to screen in, seven compared to the previous five.
A total of 133 films from 29 countries will be screened this year during SIPFF.
“Since the festival will return to normal after three years, we will have a proper opening ceremony, receptions and forums. We have prepared various events,” said Kim.
This year’s festival will hold a master class with Korean-American queer filmmaker Andrew Ahn and screen his five films, including “Spa Night” (2016) and “Driveways” (2019).
Kim noted that there are some shifting trends among queer films this year, and said the opening film is a good example of that changing trend.
“The director of the opening film is a man and he introduced a trans woman as his muse in the film. In the past, it was usually male directors who featured gay men and female directors with lesbians as their muse,” the developer said.
This year’s opening is “Peafowl” directed by Byun Sung-bin.
“Peafowl” features the story of transgender woman Shinmyung, who is also a passionate dancer. One day, she learns that her father, a master of traditional Nongak, has died. Shinmyung returns to her hometown and discovers that she can only inherit her father’s money if she learns to make Nogak for her father’s memorial service. Since he needs money for gender reassignment surgery, he rises to the challenge.
Closing the festival is “Closer” by Lucas Dodd, a film about teenage love that won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes this year.
The festival will also premiere 12 films about people with disabilities in the Open Pride section, which was established in 2018 to present films about social minorities other than queer.
“It’s so heartbreaking that there are still people who have to fight for movement rights in Seoul, Korea in the 21st century,” said SIPFF Executive Committee head Kim Jo Gwang-soo. “We chose people with disabilities for the section this year because we wanted to show that we support them through films.”
The struggle Kim Jho referred to is the protest organized by Solidarity Against Disability Distribution, a disability advocacy group, at subway stations mainly during the morning rush hour, calling on the government to develop more detailed plans to guarantee basic rights of people with disabilities.
Group leader Park Kyung-seok, who attended the press conference, said, “In this society, I believe that people with disabilities and LGBT people have a shared experience of discrimination. By building solidarity, I hope that the voices of those who are discriminated against and the target of hatred in society can be heard clearly.”
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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