Held for the first time in August last year in Cheongju and Chungju in a significant success as the only film festival in martial arts and modern action genre in Korea, the inaugural Chungju International Martial Arts and Action Film Festival was applauded by many martial arts and action film fans.
Due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, period of the 2nd Festival is postponed from August to October, and films will be screened both online and offline via Wavve, an online screening platform, as well as at drive-in theaters and cinemas in the city. And, for safety and comfortable viewing of the audience, the Executive Committee of the Festival is taking all necessary preventive measures against the epidemic.
To enhance unique identity of the Chungju International Martial Arts and Action Film Festival, the Executive Committee recently redesigned its emblem based on the three-legged crow, an auspicious bird in imagination. The new emblem is arranged with formative characteristics of film that symbolize movies along with a symbol of the three-legged crow. It expresses materialization of phantasies into films.
The official poster of the Festival is created based on three keywords; dynamicity, continuity and availability. It is designed with an intention to create an identity of the Festival that satisfies all of these key words – dynamicity that represents martial arts with kinesthesia and sense of beating which touches the heart, continuity which represents rolls of films that are created by connecting numerous image cuts and the film festival that is continued every year, and availability that can be flexibly used at various contact points which apprise of the film festival, while maintaining consistency.
Under the slogan of ‘The Spirit of Martial Arts, Blossom into a Movie’, a large number of martial arts and action films, which are yet to be introduced in Korea, will be shown in collaboration in programs with other international film festivals in martial arts and action genre, including ‘The Fighting Spirit Film Festival’ in the United Kingdom and the ‘Universal Martial Arts Film Festival’ in France.
And the Festival will screen more than 70 martial arts and action films from many countries, including ‘Fist of Fury’ and ‘The Way of the Dragon’ featured by Bruce Lee, the icon of action, as well as family action films that can be enjoyed altogether by family members. These works will be shown in 6 sections, such as ‘Korean Action Films: Hall of Fame’, ‘Special Show in Honor of Bruce Lee’, ‘World Action Films’, ‘Action! Indi-days’, ‘Family Action Films’, and ‘Programmer Choice’.
As the opening film to be unveiled for the first time in the world (world premiere) at the forthcoming Festival, ‘Dragon Inn’, which looks like an ordinary Chinese restaurant, deals with story of a civil militia that serves justice on cases in which justice couldn’t be served by the judicial authority. This film is produced by Director Choi Sang-hun who directed ‘The Therapist Fist of Tae-baek’ which was nominated as one of competitors in the Korean Fantastic Category at the 24th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival.
Honored with the award for best direction, award for best actor and audience award at the Rincon International Film Festival, the closing film ‘The Man from Kathumandu’ directed by Director Pema Dhondup will be screened for the first time in Korea (Korea premiere).
Featuring anecdotes of a Nepal-ancestored main figure who visited Kathumandu to look for his father, the film depicts his experiences in contacting his country’s tradition, culture and root.
Kim Yun-sik, Senior Programmer, said that the Chungju International Martial Arts and Action Film Festival selected a world premiere film and a Korea premiere work as the opening and closing film, respectively, because it aims to demonstrate its direction growing as an internationally competitive film festival that discovers and publicizes diversified martial arts and action films hidden in each country.
Having been organized in June this year, the Executive Committee of the Chungju International Martial Arts and Action Film Festival has been working on preparation for the Festival. Director Lee Du-yong who led growth and transformation of the film industry in Korea in the 1970s and 1980s with works, including ‘The Last Witness’ and ‘The Hut’, was elected as the Chairman of the Executive Committee following last year and Prof. Kim Gyeong-sik at Cheongju University was named as the Vice Chairman of the Committee. In addition, a host of prominent specialists who are active in a range of film and culture fields joined as members of the Committee. New committee members include Jo Dong-gwan, President of Korea Society of Cinematographers; Jo Chang-hi, Director of Korea Culture and Arts Management Research Institute; Ahn Tae-geun, President of Korea Bruce Lee Foundation; Jeong Seong-il, film critic; Jang Cheol-su, film director; Pak Hyo-geun, President of Chungju Chapter of Federation of Korea Filmmakers; Kim Yong-cheol, division director at SBS; and Kim Dong-won, Vice President of Taewon Entertainment. And those who were entrusted again this year include Prof. Lee Se-chang at Far East University who led last year’s festival in a stable manner; Kim Woo-seok, an action actor who is well known as ‘Bruce Khan’; and Kim Eun-seob, President of Korea Savate Federation.
Actor Oh Ji-ho was designated as the honorary ambassador for the Festival this year. Oh Ji-ho demonstrated impressive actions in daily soap operas ‘Fantastic Couple’ in MBC TV and ‘The Slave Hunters’ in KBS2 channel, and he showed splendid actions in films, ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘The Therapist Fist of Tae-baek’, this year. Having featured in the opening film, ‘Dragon Inn’, he is closely related to the Festival, and he is expected to actively take part in a variety of publicity activities for the Festival. More information on the Chungju International Martial Arts and Action Film Festival is available at its website (www.cimaff.kr), official YouTube channel and SNS.