Docu fest zooms in on school life
By Rachel Lee
In today’s society, school violence and bullying have become major problems.
EBS, the Educational Broadcasting System, is airing a number of socially conscious documentaries from around the world for its nineth festival.
“Education has become a very important concern around the globe,” said Kwak Duk-hoon, CEO of EBS, during a press conference held in Seoul on Tuesday. “And many countries have become interested in integrating education and documentary films.”
Launched in 2004, the EBS International Documentary Festival (EIDF) started with 115 works and gradually grew to become one of Asia’s favorite docu-fests.
Under the theme “Play the World,” the EIDF is to showcase 48 works from 31 countries. The films are to be shown on TV and in movie theaters.
According to the TV network on Tuesday, the total number of films submitted jumped to 710 this year, compared with 664 last year and 536 in 2010.
This year, the festival will open with U.S. director Lee Hirsch’s controversial film “Bully.” The 98-minute film features disquieting day-to-day lives of five kids and their families while examining the problem of school violence. The director is also to attend a conference at Seoul Museum of History on Aug. 20 to talk about the social issue.
Edu Choice, one of the two competitive sections this year, will have five works from around the world vying for the Grand Prix (with around 11 million won in prize money). The films include German director Edda Baumann-von Broen’s “Tall Girls — A Story of Giants,” which portrays the life of five girls standing above 1.85 meters; Polish director Pawel Wysoczanski’s “We Will Be Happy One Day,” about a young man from the poorest town in southern Poland; American filmmaker Judy Lieff’s “Deaf Jam,” which follows an Israeli-born deaf girl dreaming of seeing the world.
For the official competitive section Festival Choice, 10 works will compete for various prizes, including the Grand Prix (around 11 million won). The selected movies include Danish filmmaker Mads Brugger’s “The Ambassador,” and Swedish director Fredrik Gertten’s “Big Boys Gone Bananas!”
The festival opens on Aug. 14 and runs through 24 at EBS SPACE, Seoul Museum of History, Art House MOMO, Indie Space and Yongsan Art Center in Seoul. The films will be also screened on EBS channel. For more information, visit www.eidf.org.