Korea Times, 2014-11-18

The inaugural Korea Indie and Expat Film Festival (KIXFF) will take place in Seoul in June with organizers now accepting submissions from both here and abroad.

The event is scheduled to run from June 19-21, with Itaewon scheduled to be the primary screening location. The festival is the creation of a dedicated group of expat filmmakers based in the capital alongside the Seoul Players theater group.

Speaking to The Korea Times this week, chief organizer Kevin Lambert revealed his vision for KIXFF.

“We are still finalizing everything, but the current plan is to have the opening and closing nights in a theater. The other screenings will be selected depending on the different themes,” Lambert said.

“Music videos will be screened in a late-night venue; anything with a food theme might be shown in a restaurant,” he added.

A filmmaker himself, having released a feature film entitled “The View from Here” in June, Lambert has lived in Korea for the past five years. Noticing a schism between Korean filmmakers and their expat counterparts, the festival is a means of addressing that divide.

“We have an Asian X category for cross-cultural films, particularly from Korea. We wanted to promote Korean films that emphasize multiculturalism. Also, Korean films that use strong acting with the English language,” he said. “The festival is for expats worldwide too; not just those in Korea. The indie category is to promote low- or no-budget filmmaking.”

“When you say ‘low budget,’ really you would be talking about anything from $100,000 up to several million dollars. ‘No budget’ could be anything from $500 to maybe $20,000, which usually comes from filmmakers’ own pockets and are a real labor of love,” he said.

Having also produced a short film recently, “Caliban’s,” it has been a busy year for the film graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Now with a movie festival ahead of him too, being busy is something to which he’ll have to get accustomed.

“As this is our first year, my main aim is simply to have the event run well. I want it to be fun for the filmmakers and the audience, giving an opportunity for the two sides to meet,” he said.

“There’s a lot of work ahead in getting filmmakers on board, getting films submitted, getting sponsors, then getting the audience. Ultimately, if we have a good response and ticket sales reflect that, then we can think about year two and three after.”

For more details about the festival, go to: http://kixff.com/.

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