During the very first Korean film festival, which took place from 12th to 24th of October 2012, numerous major movie directors such as Kim Ki-duk (Pieta), Bong Joon-ho (Mother) and Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) attended the grand event. The Korean film festival was organised by the Korean Department of the Goethe University in Frankfurt, the Korean Consulate General in Germany, members of the Korean-German- Network and local young people with an interest in the Korean culture. In total, 19 movies of different genres were shown on the university campus in Bockenheim. The festival presented several movies which have never been shown in German cinemas before such as the popular nostalgic romance “Architecture 101,” the opening movie of the Busan International Film Festival 2011 “Always” and the internationally honored drama of 2009 “Breathless”.
For the free opening movie, In celebration of the Douglas Sirk Awards for his lifetime achievement during the Hamburg Film Festival and his success in the Film Festival in Venice, Kim Ki-duk’s movie “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring” was shown. Beyond that, Kim’s movie “Pieta” was also presented during the festival. Project K was not only founded for sole purpose to promote Korean movies but also to increase appreciation for Korean culture. For that reason, this year’s festival offered various activities to introduce the Korean culture. Visitors had the chance to try traditional Korean clothes on called Hanbok, they could attend a traditional Korean tea ceremony or learn about the Korean alphabet. In addition, numerous Korean dishes (Hansik) were provided such as Bibimbap (rice with vegetables, meat and pepper paste) or Bulgogi (marinated beef). The program also offered Noraebang (Karaoke-Lounge) on the ground floor where visitors could experience Korean music; from PSY’s popular song “Gangnam Style” to older K-Pop classics. Due to K-Pop’s increasing popularity in Germany a “K-Pop Party” was organised in the Studentenhaus in Bockenheim. In order to set the right atmosphere DJ Seiji from Paris performed a unique mix of K-Pop songs and urban club music.
Beyond being Europe’s center of finance, Frankfurt also gained attention as a place of cultural exchange over the last few years. Since year 2000, the Nippon Connection, a Japanese film festival, has attracted thousands of visitors since its opening. This year, Frankfurt hosted the first China-in-Motion Festival.
The goal of the festival organisers is to increase interest in Korean movies not only in Germany but also in whole Europe. The total income of this year’s festival will be used to finance future festivals.