Expat and Korean independent filmmakers will be given a chance to rub shoulders at a film festival in June.

The Korea Expat Indie Film Festival is inviting submissions of films in three categories ― expat, Korean and no-budget, with the last being open to low-budget films from around the world.

Entries opened earlier in November, with the deadline being April 15, but already the festival has received film submissions from at least eight countries, with entries from Korea, Canada and Kosovo among those hoping for a screening.

Within those categories, there will be prizes for short and feature-length films as well as some subcategories, for example, Korean films that discuss migrant experiences.

“We are looking for stories that within the expat realm are about people who are outside their home countries, so stories of migration and immigration,” said festival director Kevin Lambert. “But also an award for Korean films that use foreign-language actors and the best representation of foreign-language acting in Korean.”

The festival was set up by Lambert, after a discussion with a fellow filmmaker about ways to improve networking opportunities.

“My idea was to create a film festival that connects the expat film scene with the Korean film world,” he said, but what was intended as a small event grew into something a little larger.

“It started off as something that was really small. My original intention was technically a microfestival. And so I applied for a grant for a very small film festival. And ended up not getting the grant because they were looking for something even smaller.”

But he still thought the idea had potential, and recruited expat theater troupe Seoul Players to help manage a larger event.

While the festival might not be quite as tiny as it started out, he is hoping to use unusual venues to keep an indie vibe.

“What we are really hoping to do is maintain that microfestival feel,” said Lambert, giving the examples of Couchfest, an international event that takes place in people’s living rooms, and the Rooftop Film Festival in New York.

“I wanted to shoot for something that is a little more DIY, with a more intimate feel and a less conventional setting, so our goal more or less is to find unconventional venues that are appropriate for film screenings, but tying the theme to the venue and curating it based on where we host them,” he said.

This means that, for example, food-related films might be in a restaurant.

There will be more events leading up to the festival, including a screening and talk for filmmakers in January and a tie-up in March with Seoul Players, who are helping to run the festival. The theater event will feature 10-minute versions of full-length movies.

For more information and details about making a submission, visit filmfreeway.com/festival/KIXFF or kixff.com.

By Paul Kerry (paulkerry@heraldcorp.com)

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