SAN FRANCISCO, October 28, 2003 -- California is home to the largest Korean American community in the country, yet few outside that community know about its emerging film industry. That could soon change as scholars in broadcast and communication arts, and Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University prepare to stage the only media arts festival in the country that celebrates the works of Koreans and Korean Americans in the field.
S.F. State's Korean Studies in Media Arts (KIMA) program will present the 3rd Annual San Francisco Korean American Media Arts Festival beginning Nov. 4-9. This year the festival will showcase 22 films and videos -- by filmmakers from Korea and across the United States -- and host a series of media forums open to the public featuring influential Korean Americans in the media industry and film industry officials from South Korea. The events, sponsored by major funding from the Koret Foundation, reflect the festival's theme: "Bridging Koreanness: Telling Korean and Korean American Stories Through the Media Arts," said Chul Heo, the festival's program director and assistant professor of broadcast and electronic communication arts (BECA) at SFSU. "The objective of this year’s festival is to encourage and facilitate dialogue between Korean filmmakers, Korean American media artists and the general public," he said.
A highlight of the festival will be a series of public forums featuring Korean and Korean American filmmakers, film industry veterans and SFSU media arts experts. Forum I will be held on Friday, Nov. 7 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the University Club on campus and will focus on issues and problems facing Korean Americans working in the media industry. The panel includes independent filmmakers and broadcast journalists such as SFSU alumni Sung Kim and Luci Kwak and Sabrina Kang, KRON 4's business reporter and CBS 5 reporter Sue Kwon.
The second forum will look at globalization and Korean film industry with panelists Choon-Yun Lee, chair of the Korean Film Community; Gina Yu, president of the Coalition for Cultural Diversity in Moving Image (CDMI); and Roy Lee, producer of "The Ring," sharing their experiences with the screen quota system in the Korean film industry. Forum II will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 3-5 p.m. at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street.
The public also will be able to meet Korean filmmakers such as Jae-Yeon Yoon, director of "Wishing Stairs" in Forum III on Friday, Nov. 7 from 4.30-5:30 p.m. at BECA Studio I on the SFSU campus where she will discuss her works, background and artistic visions.
In addition to forums, the festival includes screenings of documentaries, narrative, animation and experimental videos as well as feature films from South Korea. Works by SFSU faculty and alumni also will be shown, including Heo's "Between Two Worlds," a documentary that focuses on the identity conflict of young Korean Americans; Associate Professor of Asian American Studies Grace Yoo's documentary on the Korean War, "Stories Untold;" alumnus Sung Kim's "Book of Rules" and alumna Lisa Kwak's "The Theater of Martin Lim." Director Jay-Yeon Yoon's mega-hit horror film "Wishing Stairs" also will premiere in the United States at the festival.
The festival's opening night on Nov. 4 on the SFSU campus features the film "Robot Stories," by Greg Pak and winner of the best screenplay award in 2002 from the Hamptons International Film Festival.
The festival films will be shown at several locations in the Bay Area: SFSU's Coppola and McKenna theaters on the campus, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the Four Star Movie Theatre in San Francisco and the Camera 3 Cinema in San Jose. In addition to the Koret Foundation, the festival's sponsors include the Korean Film Commission, the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco and SK Telecom International Inc.
The Koret Foundation supports organizations and initiatives in the San Francisco Bay Area and Israel that advance economic and educational opportunities, individual freedom, personal initiative and entrepreneurial values. The foundation's grant-making helps to develop and enhance vibrant and thriving communities, with a special focus on the Jewish community.
For more details and ticket prices, go to 3rd Annual San Francisco Korean American Media Arts Festival Web site or contact David Park at (510) 599-2291 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student writer Audrey Tang contributed to this release
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