WRITER: THI NGUYEN
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Oct 21, 1999
Korean Culture, Film Festivals at UI to educate, entertain
IOWA CITY, Iowa Everything Korean, from food
and music to dance to film, will be featured during the inaugural Korean Culture
and Film Festivals Oct. 28-31 on the UI campus.
The two festivals are being held in conjunction with
one another to educate the local community about all facets of Korean culture,
according to organizers. This is the first Korean festival in Iowas
history, organizers believe. The Korean Cultural Festival is organized by
the UI Korean Student Association (KSA) and The Korean Film Festival is organized
by Kolors, the UI Korean communication studies group.
Korean professional performers from Des Moines, Chicago
and New York will come to Iowa City to participate in the Korean Cultural
Festival from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 29 and 30, in Hubbard
Park on the UI campus. A Korean art exhibition will begin Thursday, Oct. 28
in the Iowa Memorial Union, and a Korean Music Festival will be Saturday,
Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. in Harper Hall in the Voxman Music Building.
"Our association is very committed to introducing
our Korean culture in America," says KSAs vice president Min-Seok
Kang. "We realize that theres a lack of accurate information about
Korea here. Many American people think of Korea the way it was in the 50s
Along with traditional Korean music, dance, food and
games, the festival will feature Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Lee Hong Ku.
The ambassador, who is an expert on North Korean affairs, is expected to speak
about the new U.S.-Korean relationship. He will speak Friday, Oct. 29 from
3:30 to 5 p.m. on "Korea in the Crises of Transition" at Shambaugh
Auditorium in the UI Main Library. His lecture will be co-sponsored by the
University of Iowa Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, UI International
Programs and the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council.
The festivals opening ceremony will be Friday,
Oct. 29 at noon in Hubbard Park with opening comments by Yoon Man-Sig, KSA
president, and with the Korean National anthem sung by Park John.
In conjunction with the Culture Festival, the Korean
Film Festival will run Oct. 28-31.
Outside of big cities like Los Angeles or New York
City, Korean films are almost never screened in America, and not many Americans
know what distinguishes Korean films, says Myung-Keun Lee, vice president
"In America, Japanese, Indian and Chinese films
are so famous, but not Korean," says Myung-Keun. "Weve been
thinking about how to spread out our culture, and since we study media, we
think such a film festival will be the best way to inform American people
about Korean culture."
Myung-Keun says that because its the first time
Korean films are being introduced to the local community, Kolors members chose
not to pick a theme for the films, preferring to show a wide variety. There
will be three films with traditional and historical settings and three with
contemporary settings of Korean society, which have been among the most popular
films, according to box office records. All of the films will have English
One of Koreas most famous actresses, Soo-Youn
Kang, who acted in one of the six films, "Surrogate Womb," and Ji-Young
Jung, director of "White Badge," will participate in the festival
and join an academic seminar about Korean films.
Kolors is a group of 14 Korean students, most of whom
major in communication studies at the UI. The group was established in January
1999. "Now we have only Koreans in the group, but I hope some American
students will join us," says Myung-Keun.
The festivals are sponsored by the following: KSA,
Kolors, The UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS), the Institute
of Cinema and Culture, UI Office of Vice President for Research, New Life
Fitness Center, the UI Union Programming Board, the University of Iowa Student
Government (UISG) as well as the local Korean community including the Korea
America Friendship Society.
For more information on the Korean Film Festival,
call Kwang-Hoon Woo, Kolors president, at (319) 353-4962 or the Kolors office
at (319) 335-1307 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Korean Cultural Festival, call Min-Seok Kang at
(319) 351-3763 or send e-mail to email@example.com.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend
all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability
who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please
contact Myung-Keun Lee at 341-5751, Kwang-Hoon Woo at 353-4962 or
Jane Russell at 358-7636.
Following are the schedules of events for the Korean
Film and Culture Festivals, including brief explanations of each film to be
shown. All events are free and open to the public.
Thursday, Oct. 28: Events in Shambaugh Auditorium, UI
5:30 p.m. -- Opening presentation
by top Korean film critic Jina Yu, film professor at Dong-Kuk University in
6:30 p.m. -- Screening of the film "Surrogate
Womb" (1996, 95 minutes) followed by a question and answer period with
the lead actress Soon Youn Kang. "Surrogate Womb" is a drama about
the tragic life and love of a surrogate mother in the Korean history of the
Yi-Dynasty. This movie won Best Director and Best Assistant Actress (Kim Hyeong-Ja)
at the 32nd Asian Pacific Film Festival.
Friday, Oct. 29: Events in Room 101 Becker Communication
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. --
Meeting with Ji-Young Jung, director of the film, "White Badge"
4:30-6:25 p.m. -- Screening of the film "Beat"
(1997, 113 minutes) followed by a question and answer period. "Beat"
is a gangster drama featuring the lives of three teenagers caught in a violent
world of outcasts and fighters. This film won the Prize of Technology award.
6:50-9 p.m. Screening of the film
"White Badge" (1992, 124 minutes), followed by a question and answer
period. "White Badge" is a drama about war, and portrays the lives
of two soldiers and the traumatic impact the Vietnam War had on them. People
will have an opportunity to learn about the Korean point of view on the Vietnam
Saturday, Oct. 30: Events in Room 101 Becker Communication
11 a.m.-1 p.m. -- An academic
seminar on film will be held with Professor Jina Yu and other distinguished
2 -3:45 p.m. -- Screening of the film, "310,
302" (1995, 101 minutes) followed by a question and answer period. This
is a light feminist drama featuring two single, middle-aged women.
4:10-6:10 p.m. -- Screening of the film "Sopyunje"
(1993, 112 minutes) followed by a question and answer period. This is a family
drama set around the Korean War which portrays the important tradition of
Pansori, a musical expression of lament that is used to relieve a collective
sorrow, much like the Blues in America.
Sunday, Oct. 31: Events in Room 101 Becker Communication
3-5 p.m. -- Screening of
the film "Spring in My Hometown," (1998, 113 minutes) followed by
a question and answer period. This is a drama about two children growing up
in the aftermath of the Korean War, a world full of compromises and hardships.
This movie also illustrates the relationship between a town and American soldiers.
5:20-6 p.m. -- Closing ceremony
Schedule for the Korean Cultural Festival:
Thursday, Oct. 28:
-- Korean Art Exhibition, South Room of the Iowa Memorial Union
Friday, Oct. 29:
p.m. -- IMU North Room -- Korean Art Exhibition featuring North Korean
art, including a free, public reception at 8 p.m.
11 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Hubbard Park -- Korean
Food Bazaar: A variety of Korean food will be available for purchase at a
Noon -- Hubbard Park -- Opening Ceremony
12:30-1:30 p.m. -- Hubbard Park -- Cha-Jeon-Nori,
a unique traditional Korean war game will be played that includes 50 Koreans
and 50 other participants
1:45-2:30 p.m. -- Hubbard Park -- Tae-Kwon-Do
demonstration by a group from New Life Fitness World. This demonstration will
be lead by Master Jung and other local experts.
2:45-3:20 p.m. -- Hubbard Park -- Traditional
Korean music and dance with participants from the Music Institute of New York
3:30-5 p.m. -- Shambaugh Auditorium -- Ambassador
of the Republic of Korea to the United States Lee Hong Ku will speak on "Korea
in the Crises of Transition"
Saturday, Oct. 30:
11 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Hubbard Park -- Korean
11:20-noon -- Gil-Nori, a traditional Korean
road performance will take place from downtown to Hubbard Park with a group
of professional performers called Ma-Dang-Jip from Chicago
Noon-12:30 p.m. -- Hubbard Park -- Sa-Mul-Nori,
a performance which consists of four traditional Korean percussion instruments
12:40-1 p.m. -- Hubbard Park -- Traditional
Korean dance and song
1:10-1:50 p.m. -- Hubbard Park -- Han-Bok
Show, a fashion show with 15 models featuring Koreas national costume,
which reflects the culture and climate of the Korean peninsula
2-2:40 p.m. -- Hubbard Park -- Tae-Kwon-Do
2:50-3:30 p.m. -- Hubbard Park -- Cha-Jeon-Nori,
traditional war game will be played that includes 50 Koreans and 50 other
3:30 to 4 p.m. -- Hubbard Park -- Kang-Kang-Su-Wol-Lae,
an "all-in-one" -style Korean folk dance in which the audience is
invited to participate
8 p.m. -- Harper Hall, Voxman Music Building
Korean Music Festival featuring Korean lyrical and childrens