Jeonju International Film Festival

Support Local Businesses and Local Ads
Pyeongtaek Living 101 Advertisement

Are you a film buff? Did you know that Korea has a variety of smaller film festivals across the country? Here is one in Jeonju to put on your list.

About Film Festivals in Korea

Korea’s film festival journey started in 1954 with the inaugural Daejong Film Awards. The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) then entered the scene in 1996, spotlighting new films and first-time directors from Asia.

Building on this momentum, the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) launched in 2000. JIFF established itself as a haven for independent and experimental cinema. Based in the historic city of Jeonju, JIFF provides a platform for fresh and alternative voices in filmmaking. The festival’s focus on innovative cinematic expressions has garnered international acclaim.

Over time, additional festivals were founded such as the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, the Seoul International Film Festival, and the Korea Queer Film Festival. Today, such festivals stand as vital platforms for Korean and international filmmakers. Such festivals promote creative exploration and cultural exchange and affirm Korea’s place in the global cinematic landscape.

Support Local Businesses and Local Ads

About Jeonju, South Korea

The vibrant city of Jeonju, which hosts JIFF provides a perfect blend of traditional charm and modern energy. For example, Jeonju is also known as the birthplace of the Joseon Dynasty. Such history makes Jeonju a historical treasure. In keeping with this history, the city holds over 800 new and old traditional Korean ‘hanok’ houses in it’s Hanok Village.

But Jeonju’s appeal extends beyond history. It is also a culinary hotspot, famous as the home of bibimbap, a beloved Korean dish. Food lovers from around the world gather here to explore its rich and diverse food culture.

An integral part of Jeonju’s cultural landscape is the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF). Launched in 2000, JIFF has swiftly established itself as a beacon for independent and experimental cinema. Each spring, the city buzzes with film enthusiasts who flock here to discover new cinematic voices. Through JIFF, Jeonju champions creative innovation and cultural exchange, solidifying its position as a vital hub in the global film community. In essence, Jeonju is a city where the past, present, and future harmoniously coexist, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler.

About the Jeonju International Film Festival

Since 2000, the Jeonju International Film Festival and Jeonju Digital Project, now Jeonju Cinema Project, began as a platform to showcase and produce films in the Asian Film Industry but has since expanded to include countries around the world. While JIFF recognizes around 200 films per year, the number of countries involved has more than doubled since the film festival’s inception twenty-three years ago.

The area around Ogeori Culture Plaza comes to life at this time of year. You’ll see live music performances and interviews with actors and directors. As a cinephile, I enjoy attending film festivals, but the festival also includes free events for movie fans. Events may include such things as…

Types of Events at the Jeonju International Film Festival

Master Classes may be held with individuals who have made outstanding cinematic achievements and pioneered their own areas. A Master Class runs for 90 minutes after the film screening. It is provided with simultaneous interpretation in Korean and English and consecutive interpretation in French. The participation fee includes the film screening and Master Class goods​.

JIFF’s representative may offer talk sessions, a casual discussion open to everyone, even those who did not watch the film. Attendees can enjoy listening to professionals share their vivid experiences of filmmaking. These sessions last for 40 minutes, and interpretation is not available. The participation fee does not include a film screening​.

Special events to honor current events around the film industry. For example, Star Wars Day. Jeonju IFF 2023, in honor of the 40th Anniversary Celebration and theatrical rerelease of “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”, celebrated Star Wars Day on May 4th, otherwise known as “May the 4th Be With You” day. This was a super fun event that I attended.

My Experience Attending A Special Event

The day’s schedule included parades and picture-taking with the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion Korea, a marching band that played music from the Star Wars Soundtrack on the second level of a Star Wars Dome built across Ogeori Culture Plaza. The Star Wars dome included photo zones, of course, Star Wars Collectables Museum, with costumes signed by the actors themselves, such as Ming-Na Wen, who plays Fennec Shand, Star Wars trailer theater, a Star Wars Merchandise store, and a stamp tour which allowed players to go home with 2 Star Wars posters. My toddler enjoyed collecting stamps as much as earning new Star Wars posters.

Things To Do Near The Jeonju International Film Festival

From Ogeori Culture Plaza, we walked towards Jeonju Movie Street and Youth Culture Street, where we found restaurants, cafes, shopping, rides, arcades, and, of course, theaters, more photo zones, and free film festival merch.

If you visit in the evening, you’ll also see movies projected on the walls of various alleys in the area. Additionally, if you have more time to spare, visit Palbok Art Factory, the Royal Portrait Museum, and Jeonju Hanok Village nearby.

If you’re searching for Western cuisine, Ilu Ka, or Illu Car on Naver, offers steak and seafood. There’s also a Nomadic Brewing Company! We didn’t find many spots for street parking during this event, however, the Ramada Hotel, which is next to the film festival kiosks, offered parking from W1,000 to W3,000, depending on the length of stay. The public parking lots in this area also have reasonable rates and accepted foreign bank cards.

For more information, such as films, event schedule, program, performances, and tickets visit the JIFF website. You may also purchase tickets to the film festival at the ticket box in Ogeori Culture Plaza.