Programs -> Country Focuses

Romania and South Korea

RO - Romania

Following its total demise after '89, the Romanian film scene began an enormous upsurge in 2000, evident primarily in awards at innumerable international festivals. In 2004,

COFFEE AND CIGARETTES by C. Puiu won the Golden Bear at Berlinale, and C. Mitulescu's TRAFIC won the Palme d'Or at Cannes . Success continues in 2007: The film WAVES won the main awards in Locarno and Sarajevo , and the next generation is standing at the starting block. This focus program includes short films by directors who have already made full-length films (like C. Porumboiu's 12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST, Camera d'Or Cannes 2006) as well as films by students at Romania's only film school, UNATC Bucharest

These films often portray modern Romanian life - with all of its contradictions - in a tragicomical way. A recurring theme is the strong polarity of city and rural life, and the slow extinction of traditional values. Some of the films were made with grants from the national film fund CNC; others were funded privately almost all of the filmmakers earn their living by working on the many foreign commercials and feature films made in Romania .


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SK - South Korea

In Korea, 15 film festivals take place every year with the Busan International Film Festival as the most reputed film festival. The short film plays quite a significant role in Korean cinema: Among those 15 film festivals, five film festivals such as the International Asiana Short Film Festival and the Busan Asia Short Film Festival are committed to the short film.

The history of the Korean short film starts in the 1970s when short films were produced in small film clubs. The 1980s saw the foundation of film circles at universities. On the initiative of universities and groups of the film movement, short films were produced that chose the social revolution as their main topic. Since the 1990s, the growth of the Korean short film in terms of quantity is apparent. Outstanding films such as “Promenade in the Rain” by director Lim Soon-rye and “A Bit Bitter” by director Jung Ji-woo made their appearance. The film award for “Homo videocus” of the directors E.J-yong and Daniel H. Byun at an international film festival in 1992 can be seen as a showcase for this development. The increase of talented people in the film industry generated a short film boom. This was spurred by the opening of film departments at universities, the foundation of film companies and various independent film festivals that emerged in 1996 in connection with the Busan International Film Festival.

The film distribution company Indie Story that was founded in 1998 and the Korean Film Council, an instrument for film promotion, have directly contributed to the revival of the short film since 2000. This enabled an advancement of the short film in terms of quality. The Seoul Independent Film Festival 2007 presented 553 new film releases in the category of the short film. This can be attributed to various factors and complex processes that aim at the promotion of the short film. Today, the Korean short film does not content itself with its growth in terms of quantity but it takes pains to reach a new abundance in terms of quality through education, critical discourse and discussion in the field of cultural studies.         


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