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20 Films you cannot miss at the 21st Seoul International Women’s Film Festival (Part 1)

siwff2019filmsaWe present a list of twenty Films you shouldn’t miss at the 21st Seoul International Women’s Film Festival which will take place from August 30th until September 5th (2019) in Seoul, South Korea.

About the festival:
Since its inception of 1997, SIWFF has tried to live up to its slogan, “See the World through Women’s Eyes,” by focusing on the discovery of female cineastes and secured its position as a hub of women’s film network as well as one of renowned international women’s film festivals.

Opening a new chapter, SIWFF prepares for making a new leap forward based on the 20-year progress. The slogan “20+1, Faces Breaking Down the Walls” holds the festival’s commitment for the next ten years. This year SIWFF has changed its period and venue from spring to summer and from Sinchon to Sangam. There are full of freshness in the program.

In the 21st edition, SIWFF presents 119 films from 31 countries. There are four competition sections thanks to last year’s addition of International Competition and Korean Competition. The number of submitted films is a record high this year. Significant progress has been witnessed in terms of the diversity of subject matters and the quality of films.

Recommended Films:

A bedsore

A bedsore by Shim Hye-jun – Korea | 2019 – 110 minutes
Section: Korean Feature Competition

Retired civil servant Gang Changsik lives with his wife Na Gilsoon, who suffered a cerebral haemorrhage a few years ago, and her caretaker Yu Soook, an illegal Korean-Chinese immigrant. One day, a bedsore develops on Na Gilsoon’s body which does not seem to heal properly. Even through Gilsoon’s health is in jeopardy, Soook insists on taking time off on weekends and Changsik realizes she has found a romantic interest. Some time later, Soook decides to quit her job in order to enter a sham marriage so that she can get a new visa. Upon hearing this, Chang-sik suggests that they get married instead. Changsik’s daughter Jisoo, son Moonsoo and his wife Jiyoung all raise objections. At the family meeting, they fail to reach an agreement and end up reopening old wounds.

Schedule:
August 30th | Friday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 8 | 20:00 pm (with Guest Visit)
September 3rd | Tuesday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 9 | 14:00 pm

Trailer:

 

A Corner Shop

A Corner Shop by Lee Sukgyung – Korea | 2018 – 75 minutes
Section: New Currents

The ‘Cats on a Picnic’ social enterprise helps young people who haven’t gone to university to find independence, with youths and adults gathering, preparing and delivering lunch boxes for the past 8 years. In the spring of 2014 the small store, which had never achieved 10 million won in sales, amazingly exceeded 50 million won within 3 years. Yet what happened between the shopkeepers during that time? This is a story of people making choices about both money and their own humanity while a small store grows.

Schedule:
September 2nd | Monday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 8 | 14:00 pm
September 4th | Wednesday | MEGABOX SangWorldcup 9 | 20:00 pm (with Guest Visit)

Trailer:

 

A Dog Barking

A Dog Barking at the Moon by Xiang Zi – China, Spain | 2019 – 107 minutes
Section: Queer Rainbow

Coming back to her broken family, pregnant writer Huang Xiaoyu and her French husband, Benjamin, finds herself trapped between her cult brainwashed mother, Li Jiumei, and her secretly homosexual father, Huang Tao.

Schedule:
August 30th | Friday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 5 | 20:00 pm
September 2nd | Monday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 5 | 14:00 pm

Trailer:

 

A Haunting Hitchhike

A Haunting Hitchhike by Jeong Heejae – Korea | 2019 – 108 minutes
Section: 10th Anniversary of Pitch & Catch

16-year-old Jeongae lives with her father in a redevelopment area in Seoul. Her father is diagnosed with terminal cancer but has given up treatment and is awaiting death. He tells her that everything becomes easy when you give up on life. One day, a letter arrives for her from her mother, who left home years ago. Believing that finding her long lost mother is her last hope, Jeongae decides to contact her.

Schedule:
September 2nd | Monday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 4 | 17:00 pm (with Guest Visit)
September 5th | Thursday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 5 | 11:00 am

Trailer:

 

A War of Memories

A War of Memories by Leekil Bora – Korea | 2018 – 80 minutes
Section: Korean Feature Competition

In central Vietnam, the massacre of 1968 is embedded in memory for those that live there. During Lunar New Year in February, the past returns to haunt the village, for at the same time and date that the villagers were massacred, the survivors hold a ‘Korean soldier’ ancestral rites ceremony. In the 1960s, South Korea entered the Vietnam War as an ally of the US and committed atrocities, yet all that’s remembered is the tremendous economic development Korea received due to being involved. The memories of the survivors linger, but have yet to become official discourse. The memory of war is a war of memory.

Schedule:
August 31st | Saturday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 9 | 13:00 pm (with Guest Visit)
September 2nd | Monday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 9 | 14:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Billie and Emma

Billie & Emma by Samantha Lee – Philippines | 2018 – 107 minutes
Section: Queer Rainbow

Set in the mid-90’s, the film tells the story of Billie, a troublemaker from the big city, who finds herself exiled to a small rural town to live with her spinster aunt who is also the town’s religion teacher. Determined to change her ways and get through the last year of high school without incident, Billie hides herself from the world until she meets Emma, the ambitious, star student who coaxes Billie out of her shell. They soon fall in love but things get complicated when Emma finds out that she’s pregnant. Together, they explore the fleeting nature of love and life on this journey of growth, laughter and music.

Schedule:
August 31st | Saturday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 9 | 21:00 pm
September 3rd | Tuesday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 3 | 17:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Bluebeard

Bluebeard by Lee Sooyoun – Korea | 2015 – 118 minutes
Section: 10th Anniversary of Pitch & Catch

Seunghun used to be a high earning physician whose clinic was extremely popular, yet after divorcing his wife he works as a hired doctor in charge of sleep endoscopy in a suburban area. One day while performing an endoscopy on a man in his 70s, Seunghun hears a story that sounds like a confession of murder. The detailed descriptions of how the patient chopped up a body makes Seunghun feel a deathly chill. After the incident with the old man, Seunghun, by chance, sees a young woman’s decapitated head wrapped in a plastic bag hidden in a butcher’s freezer. More suspicious events begin to occur and Seunghun suspects that the butchers might be serial murderers. Even worse, he learns that his ex-wife is now missing and the police arrest him suspecting his involvement. Bluebeard is a surreal thriller where a murder confession and middle-aged anxiety have a terrifying chemical reaction.

Schedule:
August 31st | Saturday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 6 | 12:30 pm (with Guest Visti)
September 2nd | Monday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 5 | 11:00 am

Trailer:

 

Coin Locker Girl

Coin Locker Girl by Han Junhee – Korea | 2015 – 110 minutes
Section: 10th Anniversary of Pitch & Catch

As a newborn-baby, ‘Ilyoung’ (KIM Koeun) is abandoned in coin-locker #10 in a subway station. Eight years later, she is sold to ‘Mom’ (KIM Hyesoo), the godmother of an underground criminal enterprise based in Chinatown, and becomes a member of her family. Only those who prove themselves useful can survive in Chinatown. Coin Locker Girl is a story of two women who have found their own ways to survive in a cruel, harsh world.

Schedule:
August 30th | Friday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 5 | 14:00 pm
September 1st | Sunday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 6 | 21:00 pm

Trailer:

 

House of Hummingbird

House of Hummingbird by Kim Bora – Korea | 2018 – 138 minutes
Section: New Currents

Set in 1994, the universal story of Eunhee, a middle school student facing a huge unknown world, is brought to life.

Schedule:
August 30th | Friday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 7 | 14:00 pm
September 3rd | Tuesday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 4 | 14:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Leakage

Leakage by Suzan Iravanian – Iran, Czech Republic | 2018 – 107 minutes
Section: International Feature Competition

Crude oil coming out of a middle-aged woman’s body empowers her on the one hand, but it also introduces uncertainty and paranoia into her life and the life of the people around her.

Schedule:
August 30th | Friday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 8 | 17:00 pm
September 1st | Sunday | MEGABOX SangamWorldcup 9 | 10:00 am

Trailer:

 

To see the second part of this article please follow this link: PART 2 – SIWFF 2019

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