Monday, May 21, 2007

Jeonju Film Festival Photos The Third!

Final set of Jeonju pictures:

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The Indie Vision jury--Korean filmmaker
Lee Yoon-ki, me, and Czech filmmaker Jiri Menzel. The lone girl in the group is Festival Vice-Director Ancha Flubacher-Rhim. This was outside some cultural center for our Juror's Dinner.

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The Juror's Dinner. I'm seated between Festival programmer Yoo un-sung and Jiri, in a traditional Korean meal of epic proportions (to get this shot I had to either cut off the picture's sides or shrink the people in it to the size of cockroaches, and I didn't want cockroaches). Poor Jiri couldn't eat anything, so for most of the dinner he lounged in his chair and struck a pose not inappropriate to the cover of GQ Magazine.

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Standing in front of the ice sculpture at the festival's closing ceremony reception (they served whole platters of fresh salmon sashimi, and huge bowls of bright red strawberries (Jeonju, apparently, is famous for its strawberries)), crammed between filmmaker
Yoshiharu Ueoka (The Look of Love) and Takushi Tsubokawa (Aria). On extreme right is Kazakhstan's most famous film critic, Gulnara Abikeyeva, who was kind enough to present me a copy of her book, The Heart of the World: Films From Central Asia.

I pulled Takushi aside and tried out my
theory re: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz being the inspiration for Aria and in reply--he could just be trying to be polite--he put a finger to his lips and whispered: "don't tell anyone!"

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I had to pull Korean actor
Jung Chan (Jeong Chan) away from the mob of schoolgirls and pretty autograph hounds surrounding him to take this picture, thinking: this might lend the blog a much-needed influx of Korean fangirl readers. Note the "V for Victory" hand signal, customary in Korean photos.

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Outside the crematorium--sorry, that was
Jiri's joke, but I couldn't resist--the complex where the festival was to have its closing ceremonies, I prevailed upon poor Areum Jeong (her official title was, if I remember right "jury coordinator;" I called her "nanny and nursemaid to sixteen cranky foreigners," heroically obliging gal that she was) to stop herding us for a moment and snap this photo of us three: Jiri, his lovely wife Olga Menzelová-Kelymanová, and I, moments before we stepped on that damned red carpet/shooting gallery.

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And of course, Jiri was kind enough to lend me his wife for a moment to take this pic. Yes, Olga, if you're reading this blog, I'm a shameless sexist pig, so sue me.

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All good things must come to an end, the more wonderful the more inevitable I suspect, and the Jeonju Festival was no exception. The festival did have this lovely tradition--all the volunteers (they gave us plenty of souvenirs, but the one I really wanted were those cool yellow rain jackets) lined up outside the crema--sorry--arts and culture complex and sang us a specially composed song that wished us farewell and hoped we would come again. I couldn't resist; I had to grab poor Areum again (or was it Jeong Chan?) and ask him/her to take this picture of me with the volunteers.

Couldn't sing the song (though I did manage to wave the "V for Victory" sign), but for a moment there I enjoyed the illusion that I was one of them, singing the guests goodbye until next year's festival. Till then--an-yeong ni gaseo, or in Tagalog, paalam.


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the picture-story of your Jeonju adventure! Ahahaha, so many bigwigs! The links on your blog helped elucidate who was who. Just read the last installment this morning so these comments will be directed towards that.
Hehe, though I was tickled by that Gilbert story in the 1st installment...and Cinema Street was awesome! would be nice to have that kind of a budget. Okay...back to the last installment. Gods, that was an ice sculpture? Jiri looked so ancient (what's his normal diet?) and Olga was gorgeous...kaw ha! hehe...I loved that part abt Aria & the Wiz of Oz. I'd say he gave away enough clues in your he wasn't just being polite, hehe. The yellow slickers...the pic w/ the Korean star to draw his fans to the site...then asking him to take your pic w/ the volunteers! Ahahaha! That was rich.

Mariel V.

Noel Vera said...

Thanks, Mar! The ice sculpture must have been six feet tall and eight wide.

Jeonju gives huge support to its festival, much as Rotterdam Film Festival did when I visited there. Wonderful when a city really supports its festival--now if only Manila would do the same with Cinemanila...

Oggs Cruz said...

I wonder what will happen to CineManila now that Lim is mayor again. Will he be as encouraging as Atienza? Let's wait and see...

Noel Vera said...

He is? Lito Atienza was very supportive of Cinemanila, according to Tikoy. Hopefully Lim too...

minhlun said...

wow, i really enjoy your blog. i like Jung Chan and google leaded me to this blog!

you had a blast tho! :)

Noel Vera said...

Thanks! I did.