[Filmfestivalresearch] Fwd: A Statement from Korean Film Group’s Emergency Committee for BIFF

Jean-Michel Frodon jmfrodon at gmail.com
Mon Mar 21 08:54:44 CET 2016

A strong move...

Jean-Michel Frodon
Professeur associé à Sciences-Po Paris
Membre du comité pédagogique de SPEAP
Professorial Fellow, University of St. Andrews. Scotland
Professor of Global Cinema and Creative Cultures, IGCCC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: KFPA <kfpa at kfpa.net>
Date: 2016-03-21 8:51 GMT+01:00
Subject: A Statement from Korean Film Group’s Emergency Committee for BIFF
To: Jean Frodon <jmfrodon at gmail.com>

A Statement from Korean Film Group’s Emergency Committee for Defending
BIFF's Independence

March 21, 2016

*The Entire Korean Film Community will boycott BIFF unless the Busan city
guarantees the festival’s independence!*

Does the city government really want to go for the worst? The city
government accelerated interfering Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)
by submitting a legal application for injunction to suspend the efficiency
of 68 new committee advisors consisted of Korean film professionals and
refusing to have the special assembly meeting for amending the articles of
association. In addition, the recent city gazette published by Busan city
government is filled with criticism of the festival and insulting the film
professionals who support BIFF as if they are the intruders with ulterior
intension. The city government provoked the regional antagonism by
spreading rumors that the film professionals from Seoul are trying to
control the Busan’s festival. This is beyond defamation of the Korean film
professionals. It is the worst way of ruining the festival which is a
valuable cultural asset for all of us.

We have watched ever since Mr. SUH Byung-soo, was elected as the mayor and
became the organizing director of the festival as ex officio in 2014. And
he has never stopped political retaliation against BIFF since the screening
of The Truth Shall Not Sink with Sewol (aka. Diving Bell). We have
patiently tried our best for peaceful solution between the festival and the
city government. But SUH deceives people as if those film professionals are
outsiders with wicked intention attempting to alienate between Busan
citizens and the film professionals.

BIFF is not a property of Busan city government. It is true that the
government’s financial support to the festival is a part of the reason for
the success of the festival, but the festival is entitled to make decisions
on how to run it autonomically without any outside interference. BIFF does
not only belong to the Busan citizens but also to every cineaste in Korea.
It is a cultural asset to be shared with everyone who loves cinema from all
over the world. That is why the festival’s independence and autonomy have
to be protected. That is why amending the articles of association is so
important to guarantee its independence and autonomy.

We were enormously shocked and grieved by a series of discouraging events
including practical ‘censorship’ from outside and unfair dismissal of the
festival director, but we still believed that we should be able to provide
institutional gird to prevent the recurrence of this unfortunate condition
with all our efforts. That’s why many of us willingly agreed to be
committee advisors in hoping to acquire basis for the festival’s autonomy
and independence via revision of the article at the special assembly
meeting. As we witnessed SUH promised that he would step down from the
organizing director voluntarily, we were truly stuck to our belief in
peaceful end to the situation,

However, Busan city government abruptly started arguing legitimacy of the
special assembly meeting. The city government defamed us as intruders with
ulterior intension though every media they can muster up and eventually
submitted application for an injunction to suspend the efficiency of 68 new
committee advisors. We cannot help resenting and lamenting to see the
city’s attempt to distort the situation to some sort of power game among
film professionals. We patiently maintained our support for BIFF to make
the festival back on track, but we are afraid that our patience was for
nothing after all.

It’s unimaginable to see BIFF without film people. However, if Busan city
government still believes that they ‘own’ the festival just because they
are the biggest sponsor and if Busan city keeps insulting our efforts in
finding solution as ulterior interference from outside, we cannot find any
reason to be attending BIFF. We, Korean group of film associations, will
try to pass a resolution for boycotting BIFF2016 after collecting consensus
of all associations. The world will witness the empty red carpet for the
first time in 20 years of BIFF’ history and the audience from all over the
world will stop coming to Busan for the festival any more. It takes quite a
long time to build a festival, but it does just a blink of an eye to be
collapsed. Do SUH and Busan city government want to see BIFF disappear just
like that? By all means, we truly hope our desperate outcry and ultimatum
will be taken seriously.

We strongly demand the followings;
- The mayor, SUH should resign from the BIFF’s organizing director
immediately and agree to revision of the articles for the festival’s
autonomy and independence!
- The city government must stop unjust interference on BIFF and withdraw
the legal application for injunction against suspension of efficiency of 68
new committee advisors!
- SUH should make public apology for his continuous wrongful actions
damaging the festival and promise that it will never happen again!
If the city government does not take significant actions on our demands
above, there will be none of the Korean film community attending this
year’s Busan International Film Festival.

Korean Film Group’s Emergency Committee for Defending BIFF's Independence

What's happening to BIFF? You can find the answers at *www.isupportbiff.com

* 해당 첨부파일은 2016년 04월 04일 까지 다운로드 가능합니다.
   ( Following attached files can be downloaded until *04.Apr.2016* )

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