Send to

Experimental Film and Video festival explores cinematic conventions

July 18, 2022 - 18:09 By Hwang Dong-hee
A scene from “Night Scene Charminar” (EXiS)

A total of 34 films are in the running for awards at the Seoul International Experimental Film and Video Festival (EXiS), which kicked off last Thursday.

This year, 12 films were selected for the Korean Competition Section and 22 films for the International Competition Section from more than 1,400 submissions from 72 countries.

Among the films premiering at EXiS are “Night Scene Charminar” by Gautam Valluri, which features a sleepwalker roaming around a night market in Old Hyderabad, India, as well as “Flight and Frame” by Johan Chang, a nine-minute clip of 8mm film footage shot in Taiwan and Japan that he spent months converting into 16mm film.

“Three Circles with the Whale” by Im Go-eun is another video getting its premiere at EXiS. The filmmaker and visual artist explores how humans sense, speculate and respond to signs of life and death by following a whale.

Wang Ji-eun’s “Playing Time Played” looks into the perception of time through relation of power and images, in the form of an optical sound performance.

A scene from “Flight and Frame” (EXiS)

A total of 137 pieces from 27 countries are being screened during the eight-day film festival dedicated to experimental films.

Held on-site for the first time in two years, the festival opened last Thursday in Seoul with a trailer made by Simon Liu, who was the winner of the Best EXiS Award in 2021. Liu is a Hong Kong-born video artist who creates short films in alternative documentary formats and multi-channel videos.

This year’s opening film was “Recollection” by Palestinian director Kamal Aljafari.

The film shows a series of scenes featuring the town of Jaffa from the 1960s to the 1990s, where all the characters disappear from the original scenes, leaving them as empty sets.

Kamal Aljafari and Faraz Anoushahpou, judges and participants in this year’s EXiS, also attended the opening ceremony.

“I am thrilled and thankful to be at the opening ceremony after COVID-19. I hope films come as a comfort in times of pandemic and war,” said the festival executive chairman Park Dong-hyun at the opening ceremony.

The winners of four awards will be announced during this Thursday’s closing ceremony at Seoul Art Cinema: Best EXiS Award, given to a film in the international competition section, Korean ExiS Award, JungWoon Award commemorating the late director Kwong Jung-woon given to a filmmaker introduced for the first time at EXiS and Jury Special Mention.

Kamal Aljafari, Solomon Nagler, and Faraz Anoushahpour are serving as jury members for this year‘s competition.

The EXiS festival, launched in 2004, is one of the oldest and largest in Asia to showcase experimental films and video work of contemporary artists.