Sunday, July 08, 2007

PiFan 2007

It is getting pretty close to this year's Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, or "PiFan" as it is known. Although PiFan is always quite enjoyable, this year I will be experiencing the festival more in depth than usual because I have been asked to write for their daily publication. I am not quite sure what that will entail, but I guess I had better figure it out pretty soon.

You can read about PiFan at its website here.

(Strangely, this poster was originally red. No idea what uploading it caused a color shift into purple/blue. If anyone has any theories, please let me know).

In case you do not know, PiFan is a Fantastic Film Festival -- meaning a festival specializing in fantasy and related genre films (science fiction, horror, just plain weird). In fact, there are a lot of festivals of this sort in Europe (see their Federation here), but they seem to be less common in this part of the world. Japan had two (in Yubari and Tokyo), but both have fallen on hard times and are pretty much done.

Anyhow, Bucheon is not far from Seoul, and the festival is quite worth checking out. The all-night screenings can be particularly fun (if a tad grueling). I am personally more a fan of the older film retrospectives. Lots of stuff for everyone.

Note: You need to be a little bit careful because some of the films will not have English subtitles... in particular the Japanese giant robot films and the Dario Argento movies.


Seoul Art said...


Were you at the opening? Curious set up. The English program/website completed only a week before the opening and the deadline for the opening and closing ceremonies was in June.

Some of the 'introductions' at the podium during the opening party (at Tiger, new indoor ski center) were translated in English...people milled about drinking 'green beer'...(no champagne...and foreign filmmakers (in the minority) ambled around not introduced to Korean counterparts and chewing on the kimbap in the buffet feeling possibly a bit out on a limb. (If I were a UK director I'd want to meet some Korean investors and know? Maybe visa versa)

For a 2.5 million dollar budget, i thought the opening party was pretty lame. When volumes is spoken of the desire for this festival to be 'a world leader' there is clearly no real understanding of how to 'glamorize' the event and make information accessible to foreigners in Korea, abroad and foreign journalists months in advance.

There is a 'desire' to do that perhaps and huge potential, but who questions the boss...he's always right no?

Expat Filmmakers said...


I hear the opening film was a success, did you go to the party afterwards at Tiger, the new indoor ski center?

I met a few foreign directors there...and the sense was, the party lacked any of the style which one expects from high-profile parties. Where was the champagne? Instead there was green beer in plastic cups.

Whilst the film program looks like a quality line up, I have to say that the opening party event could be so much better! Organizers could build more on really helping 'foreign filmmakers' feel involved and personally welcome through facilitating networking with investors and Korean filmmakers. Fair play to PIFAN that they paid for foreign filmmakers to attend! But it doesn't exactly end with that, does it really that superficial?

When organizers claim, as they did, that they want PIFAN to be a world class event - it seems hollow words when the internationals are left lingering in groups alone! If you've lived here long enough you'll understand it, but foreign press or filmmakers it's all culture shock and possibly a feeling of alienation.

PIFAN success on an international platform in my opinion hinges on their ability to understand and include the local and foreign international community. Once they crack that...I think the event will be more accessible and creative.

Mark Russell said...

Yeah, the opening party was odd. But, to be fair, it is always odd. At the old location, the only beer on hand was Cafri, so the move to Hooch was definitely a lateral one.

Tiger World was an interesting idea for an opening, but it did not work. And why on earth would a party underneath a giant artificial ski slope be so hot? Should have had the best air conditioning in town. But it was fun when the manager took us up to the slope to hang out for a while.