Look East Film Festival Korea

Description of The Look East Film Festival Korea

With the help of colleagues that are involved in film and entertainment, I attended the Look East Film Festival on June 23, 2012. The main focus of this film festival is on films from Korea.

I arrived in Hollywood on Saturday at between 4:40 and 4:50pm. After getting a small dinner at the local MacDonalds, I headed for the Grumman’s Chinese theater where a large crowd was already waiting some distance from the actual theater. It was already a somewhat large crowd with a mix of general audience and growing a bit with more emphasis on general audience. Soon enough the security allowed us through so that we could check in. Afterwards we headed towards the press area with my position being right at the entrance. While we waited for the guests to arrive, I talked a bit with other members of the press. It mainly involved introductions and describing a bit about Sci-Fi Japan.

A few minutes after six, the guests started to arrive, which included a mix of actors, directors, and the organizers of the festival. While most of them were unfamiliar names to Americans, a few of them were very familiar to me. One was Sandrah Oh of Grey’s Anatomy. The other was none other than Roger Corman, the legendary film producer. Director Brett Ranter was supposed to be there as well and perhaps I saw him but I don’t really know for sure. Some of the guests as well as the organizers of the film festival stopped by the press area for a few minutes to talk with the press before heading inside the theater with the general audience guests heading in afterwards. I managed to talk for a bit with the organizers of the festival and expressing how impressed I was along with clarifying a bit about myself.

As the clock ticked down to 7:00pm, security escorted us inside into the theater while some of the press, including myself, sat in row K, which was less than half from the front row. Once the last of the guests and the audience were inside, the show started.

With introductions by the hosts as well as the owner of Grumman’s Chinese theater, the opening ceremonies were on with a brief introduction to the history of Korean film from 1910. After that, the hosts re-emerged on stage to honor the first of three main guests, the Korean film actor AHN Sung Ki, who is one of Korea’s most famous actors, having been in the business for over 50 years since starring in his first movie as a child in 1957. While his finest years were in the 1980s, Ahn Sung Ki has stared in over 200 films throughout his career with an incredible diversity of roles. Alongside his work as an actor, AHN Sung Ki is also a UNICEF ambassador who has traveled the world while helping with the fight against poverty.

Afterwards, the festival treated the hosts to a performance by Action Drawing [HERO], a performing troupe that recently became famous in Korea. Dancing to three different songs, the group did truly impressive paintings with the first one that of Marilyn Monroe and the second that of a swan and a golden mask revealed itself after the performers cleaned up the remaining gold dust. For the third painting session, the troupe selected an audience member to participate in which the troupe first drew simple designs before the audience member drew a more complicated painting in the form of Spider-man. To the surprise of all, he manages to pull it off.

Next up was the honoring of the second of the three main guests, which was the Korean actor Byung Hun Lee. Already exceptionally popular in Korea for staring in a variety of Korean films, Byung Hun Lee first appeared on US screens in GI Joe: Rise of Cobra. After accepting the award, Lee thanked his family and friends before mentioning about his deceased father. Then he switched to thanking his fans, friends, and family and his hopes for his future careers in his native language.

After that, the festival honored its third main special guest, French director Pierre Rissient for his contributions to the Korean film industry. A short film opened the proceedings as it described his immense influence on world cinema with appearances by noted directors such as Clint Eastwood, Oliver Stone, Werner Herzog, and Quentin Tarantino as they described his influence on them all. When Pierre Rissient accepted the honor, he discussed his own beliefs about film in that he doesn’t deal with the designation of films by their nationality and instead he focuses on the people who made the film.

As the opening ceremonies wound down, Action Drawing [HERO] came back on the stage as one of its members drew a large picture that eventually became a near flawless match of the posters from the movie Gone with the Wind. Before the opening proceedings were closed, the hosts talked about the films that the festival was showing, including The Host in 3D in the very theater that we were all just in.

As we all emerged outside, the audience dispersed to into smaller groups. After personally thanking the hosts, I took several more pictures before calling it a night.

Photos from the Look East Film Festival

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nArchuleta 3 years ago from Denver, Colorado

This looks like a luxury film festival. I love all the pictures -- especially the performance shots. Thanks for sharing!

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