Hoicand Hare talk about the 16th KQFF and going “back to the queer”
The first queer movie I ever watched was Happy Together (1998) by director Wong Kar Wai. As its theme of homosexuality was a sensational topic back then, the authorities banned its import and the movie was released one year later, with all of its sex scenes edited out. When I finally saw it, I was so stunned I couldn’t leave the theater. It was my first encounter with LGBT culture. The Korea Queer Film Festival is a part of the Korea Queer Culture Festival, and I believe it is as important as the parade. I, personally, am a little disappointed that the film festival doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. I recently met with PR officials Holic and Hare to tell you everything you need to know about the KQFF.
Your slogan this year is "Back to the Queer."What does that mean?
Queer culture has been changing and even at the moment, it is shifting rapidly. In the midst of all this change, the meaning of the word “queer” has become rather vague. The era where we categorize gay, lesbian, transgender and queer separately is now gone. So we decided to go back in time, have a closer look at the movies that examined what the word means to us today. And that's how we came up with the slogan.
How many movies were submitted?
A total of 102 movies, including 82 foreign and 20 Korean, were submitted, and 19 of them were carefully selected after much deliberation. We used to only select the movies that were released that year, but this time we lifted the rule in order to screen movies that fit the concept of the festival the most. We did our best to select films that will let the audience learn more about the lives of queers and unfamiliar perspectives through diverse genres and cultures.
Any noteworthy names worth mentioning?
The movie 앨리스: 계절의 틈 (Alice: A Crack Between Seasons) depicts how an emotionally clumsy teenage girl comes to realize the value of her heart through beautiful images. Ultra Blue is a contemplative piece about the hardships that emerge in the process of a break-up as well as the deep issues that take place within relationships. Washakie and the Boy with Wet Hands is about a mysterious cowboy who is on his way to a forbidden land, fleeing an unprecedented drought, and the stories surrounding him.
It must be pretty hard preparing for a festival like this.
As society is for the large part ignorant about the Korea Queer Culture Festival, it's hard to get corporate sponsors. We submit a lot of suggestions to different companies and all we do is get is ignored. We operate on donations, but renting movie theaters is simply too expensive. (On top of that, multiplex theaters are just so incredibly expensive that we can't even imagine screening anything there.) Thankfully more and more people are attending and I am proud of that. Hopefully, we will be able to meet a lot of people in the audience at a big movie theater this year