KOFFIA 2018: Keys to The Heart

Although Korean Film Festival is not as grand as other large-scale film festivals in the traditional sense, it truly has the unique charm. This year, the Korean Film Festival lasted a total of 8 days in Melbourne. The content of the film varies from showing human warmth to suspense horror, which can be said to be a good embodiment of the theme of Korean films. It also gave me a good chance to understand film better and realize the cultural charm of the film as a film festival major student.


As the first formal film festival I attended, I was also full of excitement for the Korean film festival. We chose to watch the movie “Keys to The Heart” on the last day of the festival.


Six o’clock in the evening, the movie starts on time. The film Keys to the heart depicts the characters very well. Whether it’s the brother who hasn’t been loved by his father and mother since childhood or the little brother with secondary autism, each character is vividly acted and shown in the movie. As a brother, he witnessed many career ups and downs through his life. Although he was experiencing a tough life, when he met his mother, he showed more tenderness. He hoped to achieve equal motherly love from his brother, but he never shows. Every time mother misunderstood his kindness to his brother, he chose to forgive again and again. Facing his mother and little brother, he was such a kind-hearted person. That is the reason that he can find his brother’s talent for the piano and help him participate in the piano competition through his own efforts. The phrase “Impossible is not a fact, it is an opinion” appears repeatedly in the film. This is the soul of the older brother, but is more in describing the little brother’s life. Although he had defects, god gives him other aspects of talent. His flaws do not make people feel pity for him, but rather show more of his attitude towards life. In his eyes, the world seems to be pure and happy. It is also his defect that makes him love music simply and live happily every day. Piano gives him another meaning in life. He was always smiling when he plays piano. When he was defeated in the competition, he was not as disappointed as the others around him, but happily applauded. Perhaps this is also his happiness, living in the world of innocence.


Even though it is not a Hollywood blockbuster, the movie shows real love in common life, which is more impressive. There are two handshakes at the end of the movie. On a bus to a concert, the older brother held his mother’s hand tightly. She was as weak as a child. The older brother’s eyes were firm of responsibility. The second time is when the brothers were crossing the street. The little brother wanted to take a step, and the older brother stopped him and took his hand. For the first time, he forgives his mother for leaving him to live with his violent father, to eat alone, to cry alone, to endure beatings, to endure loneliness. The second time, he accepted his younger brother, promising to take care of him instead of his mother, protected, cared for him, and lived well with him, so that his music road can be broader. Although the plot is not new, I am still moved. Because our world needs genius and blossom, family affection and warmth, forgiveness and responsibility.


Preparation For A Film Festival

For film industry workers, film festival can be regarded as a common thing in their daily routine. In addition to the stars of the awards, film festivals often carry a variety of functions such as cultural exchanges, market transactions and film exhibition. Especially for practitioners in the film industry, film festivals are both opportunities and challenges.

I also had a general understanding of how to prepare for the festival after film maker Manila’s sharing in the previous class. From my personal view, the preparation for a film festival consists of three parts: registration preparation, media public relations and business considerations. For filmmakers and publishers, attending film festivals is an important way for films to attach the outside world. Once a film enters the festival system, it is followed by a news conference of communication significance, the building of influence through awards, and the opportunity to find buyers directly in the festival’s trading market. Therefore, attending a film festival is not only for simple exposure, but also for other economic effects hidden behind the festival.

To prepare for a film festival, the first point is to make clear the application requirements, referring to the preference of the jury. Before attending any film festival, the background investigation must be completed. Background surveys generally include two aspects: enrollment requirements and panel preference. Most film festivals will not offer specific limitations. There is no explicit requirement for the movie itself. However, some film festivals have special rules, such as requiring the film to be the director’s maiden work, or the length of the film cannot be longer than three hours, the film has not been shown elsewhere and so on. Before signing the application, make sure that these registration requirements are clearly understood. In addition, different film festivals have preferred aesthetic taste, which means jury members have a preference for a certain type of film. You can analyze the types and styles of historical award-winning movies in advance to better understand everyone’s aesthetic preferences.

After deciding which festival to attend, the second step to pay attention is the film you submit. It is also important to pay attention to deadlines, entry fees and premiere issues. The issue of premiere is also an important factor to consider. Obviously, a film has only one global premiere. Only if the quality of the film is high enough, then for the festival, it is worth letting it involved in. At the same time, film festival will welcome the high-quality films to make global premiere to help increase the reputation of the festival as well. Thus, the choice of premiere can be used as a bargaining chip to negotiate with the film festival you want most or the competition unit you want to enter. In addition, when applying for film festivals, it is necessary to classify the film festivals so that a film can be included in one of the festivals with as few applications as possible. After receiving an invitation to a film festival, you can also use it as a bargaining chip to negotiate with other film festivals for a more substantial invitation.

During the preparation process, your film will be told which unit to enter, the competition unit or the exhibition unit. Films entering the competition will be judged by members of the jury, which will be composed of critics, scholars, film practitioners and audiences. After watching the film together, they will discuss the results and announce them at the award ceremony. Therefore, in the early preparation, media public relations will become an important part of the award-winning. Large commercial studios usually pay huge public relations costs. Through the manipulation of the media, it is easier to guide public opinion to achieve the purpose of the award.

Therefore, for a filmmaker, preparing for a film festival is not simply a submission or an event, but a complete process that is integrated by several phased tasks.


Interpretation of Cannes

“A film trip, a life adventure” is perhaps the most accurate description of the Cannes Film Festival. Although I have never been to Cannes to experience the great event. I still have my own interpretation of Cannes.

Each year in May, the Cannes Film Festival will be open as scheduled. As one of the festivals recognized by the International Film Producers Association, the Cannes Film Festival, together with the Venice International Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival, is known as the three major international film festivals in Europe. The Cannes Film Festival, founded in 1946, is part of the most forceful international film festivals in the world today. In this most influential film feast, audiences will be able to get close to the world-famous directors and actors on the red carpet and close to the top filmmakers. In the world of film, people, judges and creative teams watch world-class film ahead of time, exploring the mysteries of various films to deepen the cultivation of filmmakers.

During the 12-day carnival, more than 4,000 journalists and commentators scrutinized each work with their own supervised opinions or harsh eyes. In the festival’s list, you’ll find many films with unique themes or surprising scales, but you won’t find them in the cinema next year. These films were born out of the box office, without considering the feelings of the public, just considering the artistry. And art comes from life. Movie has gradually evolved into an independent art form known as the seventh art, namely, the seventh art of literature, drama, music, sculpture, painting, architecture.

Aside from art, the Cannes film festival itself is a strange existence. For audiences, perhaps none of the five non-native-language film shown every day is understood. Nevertheless what’s interesting about art is interpretation and empathy; Europe may not be their market at all for commercial filmmakers; for stars, there may be no work on the red carpet and no invitations. At the Cannes Film Festival, the red carpet photos of many stars at the opening ceremony and the premiere attracted much attention, while many of them lacked work. The acts of the stars on the red carpet, which only raised the attention of the audience, also brought a lot of controversy about the festival, and even gave birth to some ironic words such as “blanket star”. So why did they come? It may not be true to say “come for art”. Cannes, can be seen as a high-profile business gathering, on the one hand can highlight the relationship between the circle, on the one hand, at least an equal dialogue. The media is less aggressive, the stars are less dodgy, and the film makers are less demanding.

Film belongs to the art form of this era, showing the world, expressing some kind of emotion and hope. In addition to audio-visual pleasure, the film brings people more of a reflection on life, not decades of entertainment. As someone has said, the invention of film has extended our life by three times. Guide them to seek the meaning of life and pursue higher, deeper and farther things. The existence of Cannes is not only to make people feel art, but to find art of life and social interaction.

“FIRST”—— What A Real Film Festival Looks Like

People who pay more attention to Chinese domestic art films and independent films should have heard about the name “FIRST” from some media reports in recent years. In my eyes, this is what the domestic film festival should look like. You may wonder what “FIRST” is? The answer is “Xining FIRST Youth Film Exhibition”.


However, a bit awkward and ironic fact is that such a good film festival at present cannot be called “film festival”, but can only be called “film exhibition”. The reason is that the film festival sponsored by our people like FIRST cannot reach the scale that can only be called “movie show” at present. However, this has become an advantage of FIRST. Unlike the well-known festivals, which are dominated by strong governments, “FIRST” has no grand speeches, no formal opening and closing ceremonies such meaningless decoration. What FIRST has is just movies and people who love films. Cui Yongyuan said that this is the cleanest Film Festival he had ever saw in China. The so-called “cleanliness” here is pure. In recent years, more and more young directors have come to prominence on this stage. Xin Yukun’s “Labyrinth of the Heart,” which won the FIRST Best Picture and Best Director Award, was the highest-rated Chinese film in Douban. Zhang Dalei’s “August” won the Golden Horse Award for Best Picture. The director of “I’m not the God of Medicine” Wen Muye is also famous from FIRST. It is no exaggeration to say that in recent years, FIRST has become the most important part of Chinese independent films. From here, the works are more and more frequently appeared in front of the public, attracting more people in the industry concern.

For a film festival, nothing is more important than a good movie. To judge whether a film festival is going well or not, there are only two points to think about: one is whether it can show enough good films, the other is whether the main reviewer can select good works that will appeal to the audience. Fortunately, FIRST has insisted on these two points over the years. Although it is only a young film festival, it has already acquired the vision and demeanor of the whole Chinese film circle. In the selection of judges, not blindly seek fame, but a very targeted annual invitation to photography, music, editing, art and other well-known film positions to participate in the evaluation, so as to ensure that a film as comprehensive as possible to judge the pros and cons. Such careful consideration and a highly professional attitude are the reasons why FIRST can pick out good movies.


What FIRST emphasizes is the youthful vigor of young people. Unlike most movie festivals with solemn slogans, FIRST’s slogan is “wild”. Because the vitality of this young man has given the film festival an atmosphere of hard film festival. And one of the most important qualities that these young people who love movies bring to the festival is respect and love for movies.  This respect and love is not simply to make the festival more luxurious and extravagant, nor to gain more media spread , but to implement in the selection, exhibition, screening, offline communication and so on. So, in my opinion, FIRST is just what a film festival looks like.