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DMZ documentary fest gets underway Thursday with closed-door screenings

Sept. 15, 2020 - 17:01 By Kim Hoo-ran
The 12th DMZ International Documentary Film Festival poster (Courtesy of festival organizers)

After a week of repeated changes of plan due to the resurgence of COVID-19, the 12th DMZ International Documentary Festival released its final schedule Tuesday, two days ahead of the kickoff.

Originally slated to take place entirely on-site with members of the general public in the audience, the weeklong festival will now have closed-door screenings, with each screening limited to 30 people.

The official festival lineup -- comprising 122 films from 33 countries -- will be screened at the Megabox Baekseok branch in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province. Other events, including the opening and closing ceremonies, will be held behind closed doors and livestreamed online through the festival’s YouTube channel.

While the festival organizers announced last Wednesday that the screenings would not be open to the general public, a new announcement posted on the official website Tuesday said those with preregistered festival badges could receive one ticket per screening, with each day’s allotment limited to four screenings.

Badge registration can be carried out through the festival website until Wednesday at noon. Previously reserved tickets for individual screening sessions will be canceled, and there will be no online reservations or on-site reservations, organizers added.

For those who cannot attend in person, the organizers have prepared a selection of 15 films outside the official lineup that will be streamed through YouTube. Under the title “Da-rak,” three South Korean music documentaries will be streamed between Friday and next Thursday. Twelve educational documentaries, including “Kids on the Silk Road -- Nepal: Poonam’s Fortune,” will be available until the end of the year.

The organizers said the government’s social distancing guidelines for enclosed spaces will be followed, with disinfection taking place three times a day and with all venues being ventilated for 10 minutes after each screening.

By Choi Ji-won (