Transcending Borders with Sincere Passion
In this present age of diverse media overflowing with all kinds of images, genre classifications such as fiction and non-fiction, documentary and drama are merely formal or conceptual. What is a moving image? What kind of recording tools, old and new, do we choose to use, and how do we approach the subject matter? And how do we present the resulting material to our audience? What should we regard as “real” in this age?
The works selected and screened for this International Competition approach these fundamental questions passionately and sincerity, without being bound by narrow-minded genre classifications. This year, 15 ambitious works are further added to the list of works that have featured in this program for a quarter-century since the inception of YIDFF.
Some of these new works capture people as they go about their lives closely linked to their memories of home and of the land in spite of, or perhaps because of, natural disasters, political and social change, or other challenging circumstances. Other works retrace the histories and roots of directors’ own families, or explore the contradictions and weaknesses of people buffeted by a flood of images and visual media, highlighting the realities of contemporary society. Some are acclaimed works of up-and-coming directors with a brave new approach to the lives of people at the mercy of the state or nature, while others are innovative works by veteran directors who are breaking new ground.
Six of the 15 works are from Asia, reflecting YIDFF’s continuing commitment to the development of artists from this region. Director Kim Dong-ryung, whose previous work was awarded the Ogawa Shinsuke Prize in the YIDFF 2009 New Asian Currents program, debuts in the International Competition this year with Tour of Duty, co-directed with Park Kyoung-tae. They are the first Korean directors selected in this competition. Taiwanese directors Lo Shin-chieh and Wang Hsiu-ling, whose work screened in the YIDFF 1999 New Asian Currents, also feature in this year’s International Competition. All 15 works are ambitious, high-quality films that hold their own.
As in previous years, this stimulating, unique lineup has been carefully selected by a diverse 10-member selection committee of both amateurs and experts. Between them they watched a total of 1,153 films over four to five months, deciding on 15 works after much debate and deliberation. I would like to take this opportunity to thank every member of the committee for their whole-hearted dedication and valuable work. And finally, I sincerely hope that this YIDFF’s main program will allow you to experience contemporary film art from around the world, and the tireless spirit of these directors, who daringly transcend the borders of genre, nation, and society.