Film Festival

Winners of the 18th Seoul International Women’s Film Festival

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We present the list of winners of the Seoul International Women’s Film Festival that took place in Seoul from June 2nd – 8th, 2016.

Asian Short Film & Video Competition
Grand Prize

Nagayo

Nagayo by Cha Jeong-yoon – South Korea | 2016 – 29 min.

Da-hyun is a single lady in her twenties who lives alone and has a passion for rap music. She finds herself in a very unfamiliar space when she tried a new part-time job. In that strange place, at the end of one long autumn night, Dahyun makes a choice of her own.

What the jury said:
“The biggest gift is found in the way the film takes a subject matter and a character that could appear all too familiar, but transforms them into a reality so full of life. The part-time work the protagonist chooses may evoke criticism from many, but she seems alright for now, being able to get eggs on her way home in the morning. Now we must wait and see in silence what other choices she’ll have to make as a result. Even after we leave the theatre, we continue to wonder about things to come. Without exaggerating, the film conveys calmly and poetically the changes and tumultuous emotions that she experiences deep inside, and the unfaltering gaze of the director no doubt stems from her love toward the character. “

First Prize

Nailing It

Nailing it by Lee Na-yeon – South Korea | 2016 – 33 min.

I changed the light bulbs in my house to calm my worries. But there is one nail that is stuck and cannot be removed, so the old light bulb remains hanging next to the new one. In our family group chat, we also have a nail that cannot be pulled out. It is the person we cannot invite to join the group chat, Ms. Kyung-hee, also known as our ‘mom’. Amidst all this, we are about to have a new family member.

What the jury said:
Nailing It is the only documentary to receive an award this year. In this story of a family torn apart by unfortunate circumstances, we encounter people that we easily identify with, remembering that we too are members of families that may or may not live together. That is where the true power of the sincerity of this documentary is found. The family members do not live together and have the kindest words for one another during the group chat. The tears and laughter that they bring forth have been made possible because the director strives to explore and understand the issue in depth rather than simply resolving it.

Nothing Happend

Nothing Happened by Kim Min-sook – South Korea | 2016 – 24 min.

Jun-hee lives alone. One day, an intruder breaks into her house. She grows fearful ever since, but all people do is ignore and turn away from Jun-hee’s apprehension. Then, late at night one day, Jun-hee hears the sounds of an intruder inside her house once again.

What the jury said:
It was also important to us to award a movie of a very promising filmmaker whose work already shows a great formal cinematographic potential but more than that in this short movie the director tackles in a very special way the issue of violence against women – and above all fear. This film leads us in the style of a thriller, providing us with the excitement of watching a genre film. Did something really happen? We will never know but what we do know is that every woman has the right to live in a society that respects, loves and protects herself.

Audience Award

Leeches2

Leeches by Payal Sethi – India | 2016 – 27 min.

Raisa lives with her Ammi and three younger sisters in the ghettos of Hyderabad’s Old City. When Ammi promises her 13-year old daughter, Zainab, in marriage to a foreign businessman, Raisa decides that she must save her little sister. She hatches a dangerous and irreversible plan involving an archaic remedy that promises to restore a girl’s virginity.

Special Mention

A Grandma

A Grandma by Hong Ae-jin – South Korea | 2015 – 15 min.

To revive the ailing cat, Bok-ja go to take a picture of a trot singer.

What the jury said:
Of all the films selected for this section, it feels most like a true short film. With extraordinary composure, the story portrays an elderly lady and her cat – her only companion. The grandma tries her best in the face of the sudden tragedy and embarks upon an adventure in the course of this short film, but she is only able to gently stroke the cat in the end. Her face stays with us long after the film ends. The acting is imbued with sincerity, and we’re particularly impressed with the director for the way she allows us to experience the beauty of the short film genre.

I-Teens Award Section
Korea Broadcasting Art School Award

Wiggle Wiggle

Wiggle Wiggle by Yim Seo-young, Jang Hey-ji, Hong Dae-ui – South Korea | 2015 – 4 min.

After mother passed away, father and daughter are left alone, having an awkward relationship. They try to improve their relationship. However, their efforts always get to fail as tiny bugs keep bothering them.

Between2

Between by Kim Da-bin – South Korea | 2015 – 20 min.

There is a girl called A-yeon who gets bored with her friends. One day, she became interested in So-min who has a little glass bottle containing lavender. A-yeon suggests So-min to hang out with her friends but So-min feels uncomfortable around them.

Audience Award

Between2

Between by Kim Da-bin – South Korea | 2015 – 20 min.

Special Mention

Sudam2

SUDAM by Kim Eun-kyung – South Korea | 2015 – 15 min.

One day, So-young joins Yoo-jee’s Go club. Yoon-jee, who is social and friendly learns how to play Go from a quietintrovert, So-young and they slowly open up to each other.

Pitch & Catch Section
Megabox Award

Man on the heel

Man on the Heel by Sun Park – Producer: Ja Myung Park – Comedy, Drama

This is the last chance for Cheol-soo, who is a long-term job seeker who finds everything in life to be unfair. Cheol-soo dresses as a woman and goes to work as an intern at a women’s shoe company. While he often faces conflict with his boss So-young, he eventually started getting used to his work life, and offers a last resort to the company that is experiencing financial strains. To live in this age as a youth, and as a woman, is so complicated and difficult. But it’s not as if we can simply complain about our life and squander your time away. Wear your heels, and let’s run.

Audience Award

Be my eyes

Be My Eyes by Jinyoung Choi – Romantic Comedy

Yoo-il is serenely waiting for [his/her] breathing to stop. The alarm on the phone is what breaks this strangely tranquil silence. It is the push notification for the app, ‘Be My Eyes.’The person on the other end of the app is the overly cheerful and bubbly visually impaired Ha-eun Park. Having lied to Ha-eun that the ‘let’s break-up’ note that her boyfriend wrote to her in the café was the marriage proposal Ha-eun dreamed of, Yoo-il is belatedly shrouded by regret and remorse. After Yoo-il uses all possible means and asks around in order to get in touch with Ha-eun again, Yoo-il eventually is able to visit Ha-Eun… only to find Ha-eun demanding to Yoo-il for a compensation for the lie and casting a weird spell.

Documentary Pitch & Catch Section
Ock Rang Award

For Vagina's Sake

For Vagina’s Sake by Boram Kim – Producer: Heejung Oh – Current Affairs Documentary

The half of human race is designed to bleed 5 days a month; 500 times a life. Dealing with blood that comes out of their body has been the oldest women’s labor, whereas menstruation has been a taboo because of its relation to sexuality. In 2015, women has put an end to the long silence; new technologies developed; new laws proposed for well-bleeding.

Post Fin Award

Toe Walking

Toe Walking by Woojung Kwon – Producer: Jihyun Kim – Essay Documentary

I am a documentary film director who starts striking conversations with mothers of children with disabilities in order to find an explanation for the toe-walking behavior of my daughter, who is now a symbol of my guilt and uneasiness. A film that initially began out of the personal needs and curiosity of the director, eventually becomes this stepping-stone that bridges these mothers’ stories together, and the interviews and podcasts that disclose their confessions and stories are transformed into this ‘performance reading,’ turning these mothers of children with disabilities who have been ‘other-ed’ into the main characters of the stage, as well as their own life.

Audience Award

Arbeit Workers Union

Arbeit Workers Union by Yun Ga Hyun – Producer: Kim Soo Mok – Current Affairs Documentary

I have been working as a part-time for eight years. When people think of ‘part-timers,’ they think of students who are working short-term to earn their allowances; but I am no student, and have actually worked long-term at my part-time job to earn a living, not an allowance. Now has come the time where everyone form all generations are working part-time jobs. Now we must all come together to declare that part-time laborers are laborers too. We start our cheerful uprising as part-timers, who all suffer from wages that are too low, a treatment that’s too undeserving, and firing from work that occur too frequently.

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