12 Documentaries you cannot miss at the 16th EBS International Documentary Festival

EBS2019filmsWe present a list of twelve documentaries you shouldn’t miss at the 16th EBS International Documentary Festival (Korea) which will take place from August 17th – 25th, in Goyang, South Korea (an on the EBS TV Channel).

About the festival:
The EBS International Documentary Festival (EIDF) is hosted by EBS, a national public television featuring educational and cultural programs in Korea. EIDF is one and only documentary festival through both screening and broadcasting at the same time. As Asia’s prestigious documentary festival, EIDF began in 2004 and highlighted on the documentary films which were focused on Asia or were made in Asia. However, EIDF has extended the interest to a variety of countries from around the world since 2004.


A Step Forward

A Step Forward by Atsushi Kasezawa – Japan | 2018 – 100 minutes
Section: Festival Choice (Competition)

The 50m high cliff of Sandanbeki in Western Japan is a popular sightseeing spot and a well-known location for suicides. Pastor Fujiyabu has been working as a gatekeeper here since 1999. He listens to the troubles the would-be suicides have and assists them in rebuilding their lives while offering them a place to live.

August 20th | Tuesday | MEGABO Ilsan-Bellacitta | 18:00 pm
August 22nd | Thursday | EBS 1 TV | 00:40 am (TV)
August 22nd | Thursday | Gurumare Theater | 13:30 pm




Army by Kelvin Kyung Kun Park – Korea | 2018 – 90 minutes
Section: Festival Choice (Competition)

The film follows Woochul’s journey of the mandatory service to reveal how he is shaped into being a part of the collective. “You belong to the country for two years”, Woochul’s friend jokes as he follows him to the enlisting ceremony. The film follows the entire two years to draw a portrait of Woochul’s disenchanting struggle to find his identity. The humor drawn within the rituals of the military traverse against Woochul to embody his recurring nightmares.

August 21st | Wednesday | MEGABOX Ilsan-Bellacitta | 15:30 pm
August 22nd | Thursday | EBS 1 TV | 23:00 pm (TV)
August 24th | Saturday | MEGABOX Ilsan-Bellacitta | 20:30 pm



Dear My Genius

Dear My Genius by Koo Yunjoo – Korea | 2018 – 80 minutes
Section: Kids Docs

Once known as a science prodigy, I used to be my parents’ pride and joy. Now, after majoring in English literature, I sit around at home, unable to find a job. But then my little sister tells me that she wants to be a genius like me. She’s only a first grader at elementary school, but follows a tight study schedule in order to become “just like me.” And my mom is always right there next to her. It pains me to see their fierce everyday routine.

August 24th | Saturday | Gurumare Theater | 16:00 pm


Family in the Bubble

Family in the Bubble by Ma Minji – Korea | 2017 – 77 minutes
Section: EIDF Retrospective

My parents were real estate developers and dealers in the 80s. Thanks to the property market boom, they were able to realize their “middleclass dreams.” But after the Asian financial crisis, everything vanished into thin air. However, my parents still wishfully hope for a “jackpot” to help them make a miraculous comeback. I take out my camera to investigate the truth of the real estate business and of my family history, which seem inextricably bound together.

August 25th | Sunday | EBS 1 TV | 16:05 pm (TV)



Goodbye My Love

Goodbye My Love, North Korea by Kim Soyoung – Korea | 2017 – 89 minutes
Section: Korean Docs Panorama

An interlocking portrait of eight North Korean men who went to Moscow Film School in 1952, and sought political asylum in 1958 after denouncing Kim Il-sung. Three of them became filmmakers in Kazakhstan and the Soviet Union. Choi Kuk-in in particular established himself as an acclaimed director with The Year of the Dragon (1980) and a voice of solidarity with the resistance movement of the Uighur. Han Jin became a writer at the Koryo Theater for ethnic Koreans in Central Asia. The film stands as a memorial for the people who met their last moment in a foreign land.

August 20th | Tuesday | MEGABOX Ilsan-Bellcitta | 15:00 pm



Last Night

Last Night I Saw You Smiling by Kavich Neang – Cambodia, France | 2019 – 77 minutes
Section: Festival Choice (Competition)

One decade after Cambodia’s independence and amid a movement of New Khmer Architecture, Cambodian architect Lu Bun Hap and Soviet architect Vladimir Bodiansky constructed the Municipal Apartments, also known as the White Building. When director Kavich Neang learns the 493 families of the White Building have agreed to vacate for a condo development, he decides to document the last days, starting by following his parents and family.

August 20th | Tuesday | Gurumare Theater | 13:30 pm
August 23rd | Friday | EBS 1 TV | 21:50 pm (TV)
August 23rd | Friday | MEGABO Ilsan-Bellacitta | 15:30 pm



My Dearest Okhee

My Dearest Okhee by Ja Woonyung – Korea | 2019 – 74 minutes
Section: Korean Docs Panorama

Having served years in prison as an unconverted long-term political prisoner, 80-year-old Park Jong-rin has been living in South Korea for over 60 years. He lives alone in Bupyeong, Incheon—a decrepit area set aside for urban development. Every day, he eats alone and takes a walk alone. When it becomes difficult to go outside, he does light exercises at home. His body aches all over—probably as a result of the harsh torture he endured in prison. When he’s in pain, his mind goes back to the family that he left behind in North Korea. On the days he feels particularly lonely, he writes to his deceased wife, explaining why he had to leave his newborn daughter, Ohkee, and go to South Korea.

August 22nd | Thursday | MEGABOX Ilsan-Bellacitta | 13:00 pm


My Little Dancing Shoes

My Little Dancing Shoes by Bryan Kristoffer J. Brazil – Philippines | 2018 – 52 minutes
Section: Kids Docs

Dance sport has been big in Cebu since the year 2,000, and especially for kids from unprivileged families, becoming dance sport athletes means opening doors to their future. This documentary features kids training to win at world-class dance competitions, sharing tears and laughter while learning about survival, defeat and victory.

August 22nd | Thursday | EBS 1 TV | 13:35 pm (TV)
August 23rd | Friday | Gurumare Theater | 16:00 pm
August 24th | Saturday | EIDF Outdoor Screening | 21:00 pm



Portraits of the Rainbow

Portraits of the Rainbow by Ayumi Nakagawa – Japan | 2018 – 79 minutes
Section: Now in Asia

Photographer Leslie has been deeply troubled by the way LGBTQ people have suffered by persistent discrimination. Since Leslie had realized that he was gay, he wanted to change Japanese society to make people aware that there are many LGBTQ people, like him, around them. He offers photo shooting for 1,000 LGBTQ people in Japan.

August 18th | Sunday | Gurumare Theater | 16:00 pm



The Breathing of the Fire

The Breathing of the Fire by Ko Hee-young – Korea | 2019 – 93 minutes
Section: Intangible Heritage in Docs

The documentary of a potter who struggled with fire for his entire life to make a singular piece of crockery and his daughter who developed her own power to inherit the fire from her father. The potter wishes to meet the misfortunate bowl “Maksabal,” which became a national treasure of Japan. On the other hand, his daughter wants the father’s fire. Would their desire be fulfilled?

August 23rd | Friday | MEGABOX Ilsan-Bellacitta | 10:30 am


The Sea of Itami Jun

The Sea of Itami Jun by Jung Dawoon – Korea | 2019 – 112 minutes
Section: Urban City & Architecture

“Hello. I´m Itami Jun. I apologize for my poor Korean.” Itami Jun (Yoo Dongryong), a Korean architect who was born in Japan. This film follows his life through heartwarming architectures for people that he had tried for all his life. The architecture of time that exists for the people, space and the story of an architect who walked his own way between Korea and Japan, Shimizu and Jeju.

August 18th | Sunday | MEGABOX Ilsan-Bellacitta | 20:30 pm
August 19th | Monday | MEGABOX Ilsan-Bellacitta | 15:30 pm



Under Construction

Under Construction by Jang Yumi – Korea | 2018 – 90 minutes
Section: Korean Docs Panorama

There is a worker who has devoted his life to construct buildings. He believed that everything would be OK if he works hard. His labor for a lifetime, and his mind of one time.

August 24th | Saturday | Gurumare Theater | 13:30 pm
August 25th | Monday | EBS 1 TV | 02:50 am

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