The third Jecheon International Music & Film Festival will kick off its six-day schedule on Aug. 9, introducing 71 flicks from 23 countries and 30-odd music performances, blending film and music.
"The festival, Asia's first ever music-oriented film event, will continue to offer fresh opportunities to enjoy both movies and music at the same venue, providing various music performances as regular festival programs", the organizing committee said in a statement.
Jecheon, a city of 140,000 in North Chungcheong Province, is known for its serene landscape and clean environment, and the festival's success has earned the city the official support from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism this year.
JIMFF, which will run through Aug. 14 at the multiplex theater TTC Cinema, Jecheon Culture Center and Cheongpung Lake Stage, stresses the city's relaxing atmosphere that differs from other film festivals held in big cities like Seoul and Busan. The Jecheon festival will open with the 2006 Irish film "Once", an art house musical directed by John Carney. "Once" emerged as a sleeper hit at the Sundance Film Festival this year, winning the World Audience Award for its unpretentious tale that depicts wispy romantic relationships between a street musician and an immigrant girl amid attractive original tunes.
The closing film, "Copying Beethoven" by Agnieszka Holland, portrays the final years in the tortured life of the legendary composer along with moments of great aural and visual beauty. A fiercely committed performance from Ed Harris as the embattled composer accentuates the film's theme -- paying homage to Beethoven's music -- and also notable is over nearly 10 minutes of screen time devoted to the first performance of his Ninth Symphony.
One of the sections that stress the festival's musical side is the Cine Symphony that features 12 music-oriented films, including: "Electroma" a fantasy tale by French house music outfit Daft Punk about two robots embarking on a journey in a world where there are no humans; "From the Sea", by Miguelanxo Prado of Spain, featuring a dreamy Cello
performance in the middle of the sea; and "Noo-hin: the Movie", a big-screen adaptation of a popular cartoon series in Thailand, with director Khomkrit Treewimol pulling no punches in creating slapstick comedy.
The Music Insight section, meanwhile, specializes in music documentaries. Babara Kopple and Cecilia Peck's "Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing" makes an Asian premiere at the festival. Also notable is "When the Road Bends", a documentary-cum-Road Movie
that captures a six-week-long journey of five Gypsy bands in the United States.
Other popular events include a series of outdoor concerts entitled "One Summer Night", introducing local and international musicians. The concerts will be followed by outdoor film screenings.
The tickets are 5,000 won per screening and 15,000 won for an outdoor concert. Online ticket reservations will be available from July 30 at the festival's official website at Open the link
, and for further information, call (043) 646-2242.
By Yang Sung-jin