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KAIST Independent Film Festival
[ Issue 127 Page 13 ] Saturday, December 28, 2013, 16:39:15 Ah Hyun Kim ahhyunk@hanmail.net

On November 22, KAIST Independent Film Festival was held in Terman Hall of the Creative Learning Building (E11). Many interesting short and long independent movies were screened as the Undergraduate Student Council and movie related clubs prepared for the event. The KAIST Herald met with one of the members who arranged the festival.


▲ Jung Bae Park, the film festival organizer | Ah Hyun Kim
Please briefly introduce yourself.
Hello. My name is Jung Bae Park, and I am in the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering. I am the executive member of the planning department in the KAIST Undergraduate Student Council and also the leader of this year’s film festival taskforce.
Can you explain how this year’s independent film festival was arranged?
I recall that this year’s festival was the fourth independent film festival held in KAIST, and it is settling as one of KAIST’s annual events. We first had to make a budget request and then came up with the theme for this year’s film festival. We cooperated with other movie related student clubs, Eun Mak and Ye Young, and it was nice. We chose this year’s theme to be “Love, Dream, and Rights.” The main theme was love, and we tried to show many different kinds of love in correlation to the other two topics, dream and rights. After choosing the theme, we carefully chose suitable movies that correspond to the theme and overall, the KAIST film festival. To explain more in detail, the first part of the film festival was about love and dream. We showed four short independent movies that dealt with love toward different dreams and goals, such as music, photography, and engineering model planes. Then there was an intermission where Eun Mak prepared one of their own movie productions that was related to the theme. After the intermission, the second part of the festival began and screened another set of four short movies, but this time, it was about love and rights. The movies dealt with different issues of rights, such as rights for the elderly, teenager abortion, comfort woman, and military soldiers. When the second part of the film festival was over, it was around midnight. These two parts and the intermission made up the official program of the film festival, and for the finale, we screened one long movie that encompassed all three themes.
What is the purpose of opening an annual independent film festival?
As a member of KAIST Undergraduate Student Council’s planning department, I have to come up with many different programs to entertain and satisfy undergraduate students. Students all have different interests and tastes, so it is impossible to satisfy every one of them. Therefore, we try to come up with various activities and contents within the budget, and the film festival was one of them. Furthermore, good feedback from the previous film festivals, and efficient use of time and budget are also the reason why film festival is the preferred annual event to prepare.
How many students participated in this year’s film festival?
More than 50 students made reservations to see the movies, and approximately 100 students participated. We had other fun small events such as promotion goods and chicken to boost up the participation of KAIST students.
Were there any difficulties in organizing the festival?
The biggest challenge that we faced while preparing for the film festival was choosing the theme. Since most independent movies deal with sensitive, controversial issues, we wanted to expose the students to some of the problems and yet, cover sensitive issues. However, it was important for us to also consider the entertainment and popularity aspect as well because we did not want the festivals to be too serious or heavy. We did not want the theme to be too centralized to a parochial audience, but at the same time, we also wanted add some meaning to the festival by giving the audience a chance to experience independent films, not just a free chance to see funny commercialized movies. Our goal was to narrow the gap between the independent movies and KAIST student by balancing between entertainment factors and problem arousing aspects.
How do you evaluate this year’s film festival?
First, the frustrating part was when the movie director could not make it to our festival. We invited one of the movie directors to give a talk after the movie, but the meeting was canceled due to his schedule. The good part was that we screened more movies this year, and I think the events went well and students enjoyed the film festival without feeling that it was loosely planned.
Is there any last comment you want to add?
One thing I hope for this festival is to have its own consistency. For example, the location of the festival can be fixed to one place every year. I want the KAIST Independent Film Festival to have its own specialty and symbolic meaning so that it could have brand power. It is now in the phase of settling down, and I will hand it over to next year’s organizing member with good feedback and advice to work on to make the festival better and better as time goes by.
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