If you tell someone that you’re attending a film festival, there’s a good chance they’ll think of something like Cannes or Sundance (or perhaps Tribeca). These behemoths have dozens upon dozens of movies of all sorts and styles. Festivals like NYAFF and Japan Cuts are still pretty big, but they’re far more focused. Then there are the super-small, hyper-focused ones like the New York Korean Film Festival. I like all of the different kinds of festivals, but I think the smallest ones are those that need to be promoted the most heavily. When you’re screening 50+ films over the course of a few weeks, people are going to find out about it one way or another, but the three day festival that’s only showing around half a dozen movies? You’re probably not going to hear about that one.
Such is the case with the Korean American Film Festival [in] Los Angeles, which will be taking place at the end of next week (August 9th through the 11th) in, well, Los Angeles. Showcasing Korean-American work, this year’s KAFFLA has as its focus the 1992 LA riots, headlined by a new documentary as well as a series of shorts. It’s not all about the riots, though, and there’s some pretty cool looking stuff that’s going to be playing. We’ll be doing our part and letting you know what is and is not worth your time and money.
So if you’re in LA and all of that sounds interesting to you, you should check it out. The official press release can be found below.
KOREAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL / LOS ANGELES
ANNOUNCES 2012 1st ANNUAL INAUGURAL PROGRAM
Cinema from across the Korean-American diaspora
including a centerpiece program on the 20th anniversary of the LA riots.
LOS ANGELES – July 20, 2012 – KAFFLA (Korean American Film Festival Los Angeles) is
pleased to announce the inaugural program for its first annual festival conceived in partnership
with KAFFNY (Korean American Film Festival New York). KAFFLA is a newly formed affiliate
organization of KAFFNY, the first and only festival in New York City dedicated to supporting and
presenting the diversity of Korean American and Korean perspectives in film.
The 2012 KAFFLA will take place Thursday, August 9th through Saturday, August 11th, 2012,
at the Korean Cultural Center, 5505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 90036. Tickets will be available
for individual programs at the Korean Cultural Center during the festival, 6pm – 9pm August 9,
and 1pm – 9pm August 10 & 11.
“We are proud to showcase, nurture, and support the best of contemporary independent films in
the heart of Los Angeles. We aim to celebrate the diversity and vibrancy of multi-cultural Los
Angeles with a series of exceptional programs that highlight the Korean-American experience.”
said KJ Park, KAFFLA Director.
The 2012 KAFFLA will showcase 4 feature-length narrative and documentary films and 13 short
films in non-competitive programs throughout the inaugural three-day festival. Narrative,
Documentary, and Short Films representing a rich diversity of themes and talents from across
the Korean-American diaspora will be presented by filmmakers from around the world – from
veteran industry filmmakers to first time directors.
Programs include a Gala Opening Night Program, Closing Night, a Special Centerpiece
program of films and documentaries from the Korean-American perspective about the Los
Angeles Riots to coincide with its 20th anniversary, and a KAFFLA incubator screening allowing
Asian and Asian-American filmmakers to test screen their films and works-in-progress.
This inaugural KAFFLA festival is centered around a program of documentaries reflecting the
viewpoints of second generation Korean-American on the 20th Anniversary of the LA Riots.
The program is comprised of work from five Korean-American directors, each with a unique and
thoughtful perspective on the riots.
“The 20th Anniversary of the Los Angeles civil unrest represents a singular chance to use
cinema for cultural discussion and education, engaging filmmakers and audiences to look back
at history, examine the present, and move boldly into the future. Our first annual festival is
dedicated to generating important dialogue within the diverse Korean American community, and
also across the multitude of communities and generations of Los Angeles,” said Dave Kim,
KAFFNY / KAFFLA Founder and Executive Director.
“An important and singular new bridge is being created between KAFFNY and the newly
launched KAFFLA, bringing forth a wealth of potential for new programming that speaks to and
actively engages Korean American communities of Los Angeles and New York City.” said Susie
Lim, KAFFNY Director .
Further info on the KAFFLA program, purchasing tickets, and more can be found at:
OPENING NIGHT PROGRAM:
WEDDING PALACE: BEHIND THE SCENES – Director: David Spell (USA / 2011 / 23 min)
A documentary of the triumphs and struggles of financing and making the first independent US-Korean
film co-production, Christine Yoo’s Wedding Palace, shot in Los Angeles and Seoul,
Cast: Brian Tee, Bobby Lee, Stephen Park, Kang Hye-jung (Old Boy) and Christine Yoo.
SHOULD’VE KISSED – Director: Jinoh Park. West Coast Premiere (USA / 2010 / 80 mins)
Set in the cutthroat audition world of New York City, a confident, struggling Korean actor, Jun,
struggles to find acting roles, and after an intense meeting with a director, meets an aspiring
actress, Summer – they bond and share an intimate time together.
Cast: Jinoh Park, Marina Michelson
KAFFNY INCUBATOR PROGRAM:
A unique screening opportunity for local filmmakers to showcase their current or recent projects.
Audiences can experience the next generation of filmmakers who will showcase films with Asian
and Asian-American themes, and or made by Asian filmmakers and talent. Films will be shown
and discussed in a lively interactive audience event.
KOREAN SCHOOL REJECTS – Director: Peter Yun (USA / 2012 / 20 min)
BLUE – Director: Stephen Kang (New Zealand / 2011 / 14 min)
CITY – Directors: Young-geun Kim, Ye-young Kim (Korea / 2010 / 6 min)
RECORDER EXAM – Director: Bora Kim ( Korea / 2011 / 27 min)
SAENG-IL – Director: Jennifer Suhr (USA / 2010 / 11 min)
THE PROBLEM OF GRAVITY – Director: Trevor Zhou (USA / 2012 / 5 min)
HOOKED – Director: Stuart Howe (South Korea / 2011 / 10 min)
DOL – Director: Andrew Ahn (USA / 2012 / 11 min)
SPECIAL FEATURE PROGRAM:
Magic and Loss – Director: Lim Kah Wai (Japan / Korea / Malaysia / Hong Kong / France / USA / China / 2010 / 81 min )
While traveling in Hong Kong, two young women who are strangers, Kiki and Kkobbi, win a trip
to a vacation resort called Mui Wo. They bond amidst the mysterious and isolated atmosphere
of the resort. During the course of an unusual adventure, their conflicted and unpredictable
relationship evolves, and surprising conflicts and secrets emerge.
Cast: Kiki Sugino, Kim Kkobbi, Yang Ik-june
CENTERPIECE PROGRAM: LA RIOTS
THE LA RIOTS: REFLECTIONS ON OUR FUTURE – Director: Keun Pyo “Root” Park (USA /
2012 / 10 min)
CLASH OF COLORS: LA RIOTS OF 1992 – Director: David D. Kim (USA / 2012 / 81 min)
POKDONG – Director: Alex Dongwan Ko (USA / 2006 / 24 min)
LAR20 (work-in-progress) Director: David H. Kim. (USA / 2012 / 30 min)
I GOT MY MIND MADE UP / Music Video, Featuring rap group 429: Billy Chun, Regan
Farquhar and Rashad West (USA / 1992 / 4 min)
ULTIMATE CHRISTIAN WRESTLING – Directors: Jae-Ho Chang, Tara Autovino. West Coast
Premiere (USA / 2012 / 83 min)
Co-directors Chang and Autovino document a group of traveling evangelical pro-wrestlers from
rural Georgia, capturing a complex portrait of the three main characters and their individual
struggle to find acceptance, love, and means to a better life. Eschewing the media’s love affair
with religious controversy, this documentary explores the nature of faith, and the disappointment
of dreams both lost and realized.
About KAFFNY & KAFFLA:
Founded in 2006, KAFFNY is the first and only film festival in New York City to showcase the
diversity of Korean American and Korean diaspora. Since then, KAFFNY programming has
evolved and expanded to showcase a diversity of perspectives, local and global.
KAFFNY continues to showcase an expanding diversity of perspectives, create community
dialogues, broaden its focus on emerging filmmakers, Korean and Korean American filmmakers,
and support and present global cinema. KAFFNY also presents and support work by fine artists
and musicians who follow the mission of the festival. KAFFNY has also presented programs
globally, including Los Angeles, Seoul, Korea and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Festival highlights include the first ever retrospective of Korean diaspora filmmaker Dai Sil Kim-
Gibson, a live rescore of the seminal Korean Golden Age semi-feminist film “Madame Freedom”
(1956) with DJ Spooky and violinist Eugene Park, a screening of “Girl Walk // All Day”
film (2011, producer Youngna Park) set to the groundbreaking mashup album “All Day” by Girl
Talk, co-presenting iconic video artists Nam June Paik’s acclaimed project “Global Groove’, and
has presented films by emerging and established filmmakers, including Charles Burnett, Benson
Lee, Park Chan-wook, Kim Young-Nam, Gina Kim, Kiki Sugino, Soopum Sohn, Iris K. Shim,
Gerry Kim, Liz Chae, Lee Isaac Chung, Juwan Chung, Mynette Louie.
In 2011, KAFFNY presented a groundbreaking panel with veteran filmmakers Dai Sil Kim-
Gibson and Charles Burnett., as part of an on going annual series of screenings and events that
reflect on the cultural resonance of the LA Riots and Korean-Americans.
Past sponsors have included: Beautiful Foundation USA, Korean American Community
Foundation, Jewish Communal Fund, Korea Times, Red Mango, Village Voice, Japan Society,
Hey!Korean.com, Korean Cultural Service, Kim’s Video, Jinro/Hite, KoreAm Magazine, and
KAFFNY is an all-volunteer organization and 501(c)(3).
KAFFLA embraces and mirrors the mission of KAFFNY and expands the vision by presenting
Korean and Korean-American cinema in Los Angeles, home to the largest Korean-American
diaspora in the World.