Thursday, May 31, 2012

6th Annual Korean American Film Festival Preview

Next week, from June 5th to 10th, the 6th Annual Korean American Film Festival, which boasts a lineup of nine features and 20 shorts will take place in New York.  One of the highlights in the lineup is Magic and Loss, a feature that premiered at the Busan Film Festival in 2010 and features Korean indie stars Yang Ik-june (Breathless, 2009) and Kim Kkobbi (Life Is Peachy, 2011).

Given the changing landscape of cross-cultural cinema, events such as these, especially those that take a broad view on a diaspora's influence on global culture, are becoming increasingly important.  As such, the 6th KAFFNY, just as in previous years, promises to highlight the connections between very different cinematic global communities by showcasing a broad and eclectic array of independent cinema.  Only wish I was in New York myself to take part!

Below is a full press release on the event:

JUNE 5-10 at Anthology Film Archives

Now in its sixth year, the annual Korean American Film Festival New York (KAFFNY) is the first and only film festival in New York City showcasing the diversity of Korean American and Korean diasporic perspectives in film. Since its first annual festival in 2007, KAFFNY has continued to broaden its focus on emerging filmmakers to include international films by both Korean and non-Korean filmmakers.

This year, the program reflects the strong offerings in new Korean American filmmaking as well as cross-cultural Asian independent cinema. “We’re very proud to have so many premiere screenings of homegrown New York and American talent, and feel our filmmakers are now truly coming-of-age along with our festival,” says founder Dave Kim.

Hosted at Anthology Film Archives this year, KAFFNY presents New York audiences with a challenging and innovative mix of narrative features, documentaries and short films with a strong focus on auteur-driven stories, and complex character studies, exploring such themes as loss and dislocation through journeys of discovery. KAFFNY also marks the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots with a special free program of films, to also screen online for the duration of the festival.


Anthology Film Archives: 32 Second Avenue New York, NY 10003 (All films)

White Box, 329 Broome Street, New York, NY 10002 (GIRL WALK // ALL DAY on Wednesday, June 6 at 8:00pm)

Please visit for program updates and final schedule


KAFFNY’s opening night presentation is a double feature including the International Premiere of SHOULD’VE KISSED and the U.S. Premiere of MAGIC AND LOSS co-presented with Japan Society.

SHOULD’VE KISSED is the debut feature of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts alumnus Jinoh Park who sets a new standard for independent auteurist Korean American filmmaking. Park directs and stars in this offbeat story of a lonely soul adrift in Manhattan’s dive-bar scene with another forlorn actor, having hallucinatory conversations with Robert De Niro on a movie poster of “Taxi Driver” by another NYU alumnus, Martin Scorsese.

The Japan Society co-presents MAGIC AND LOSS, an impressive international Asian co-production (Japan/Korea/Malaysia/Hong Kong/France/USA/China) starring breakthrough Zainichi Korean indie actress/rising producer Kiki Sugino (Hospitalité), Korean indie writer/director/actor Yang-Ik June (Breathless), award-winning Korean actress Kim Kkobbi (Breathless) and directed by Malaysian-Chinese filmmaker Lim Kah-Wai.

KAFFNY will also present the World Premiere of ULTIMATE CHRISTIAN WRESTLING in which directors and NYU alumns Jae-Ho Chang and Tara Autovino skeptically venture to rural Georgia to document the culture of a pro-wrestling Christian ministry, and return having learned some surprising and moving ways Americans use faith to guide them through dire personal and family circumstance.

KAFFNY includes a special interactive presentation of Jacob Krupnick’s GIRL WALK // ALL DAY, produced by Youngna Park, a cutting-edge, feature-length dance music video set to the iconic modern party album All Day by innovative mashup DJ Girl Talk, exploring the border between documentary and reality, pitting remix culture and creative spirit versus the modern digital copyright scheme and unflappable New Yorkers.

In remembrance of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, and building on last year’s “LA Riots: 19 Years Later” panel with veteran directors Dai Sil Kim-Gibson and Charles Burnett, KAFFNY presents a special program marking the 20th anniversary, to also screen online for free during the festival week. The riots or “429” (“Sa-I-gu”) a Korean nomenclature denominated for the date of the riots, is the single most devastating event for the Korean American community, and is widely considered a re-awakening of Korean American identity and leadership. KAFFNY will present films by new voices from the Korean American community, the second generation, including those whose parents' businesses were burned in the riots. The program includes Alex Ko’s POKDONG, and Kathy Choi, Dae Hoon Kim and Hosik Kim’s work-in-progress, LAR20, and more.

This year, KAFFNY has invited 20 short films from the Korean American community and beyond that were awarded and screened in Cannes, Sundance and the DGA Student Film Awards. Amongst the festival’s stellar line-up is GHOST by Dahci Ma and I AM JOHN WAYNE by Christina Choe.

“Short film is the first step that most filmmakers take, and thus they need to be promoted and cheered,” says Hosik Kim, KAFFNY Programmer. “KAFFNY started out six years ago as a shorts film festivalwith that mission at heart.”


KAFFNY Launch Party – Tuesday, June 5 at 11:00pm at Venue To Be Announced

Dance Party – Wednesday, June 6 at 10:00pm at White Box following Interactive screening of GIRL WALK // ALL DAY

Party – Friday, June 8 at 11:30pm at Venue To Be Announced.

KAFFNY Closing Night Party – Sunday, June 10 at 10:00pm at Venue To Be Announced

For festival updates and more information on special events please visit

Tickets: $12 General admission, $10 Students.

Reviews and features on Korean film appear regularly on Modern Korean Cinema.  For film news, external reviews, and box office analysis, take a look at the Korean Box Office UpdateKorean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-up, which appear weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (GMT+1).

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