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South Korea

Korean Catholic film festival highlights importance of gratitude

The festival aimed to help people feel grateful in their daily lives, says Pauline priest

UCA News reporter

UCA News reporter

Published: November 05, 2021 06:25 AM GMT

Updated: November 06, 2021 02:48 AM GMT

Korean Catholic film festival highlights importance of gratitude

A scene from South Korean animation film Battery Daddy that won best prize during 8th Catholic Film Festival from Oct. 28-31. (Photo supplied)

The latest edition of a Catholic film festival in South Korea highlighted the importance of being thankful in life despite all the harsh realities.

The 8th Catholic Film Festival was held at the Daehan Theater in Jung-gu in capital Seoul from Oct. 28-31 with the theme “Thankful Life.”

Some 50 films including feature films, short films and animation films from various countries were showcased during the four-day event, garnering a great response from people, reported Catholic Times of Korea.

Father Cho Yong-jun, a member of the Society of St. Paul and the organizer of the festival, pointed out that the program aimed to help people count their blessings.

"This year's film festival was held in a difficult reality, but the purpose was to help people feel grateful in their daily lives,” Father Cho said, adding that there was a fear the festival would not be held amid a recent spike in coronavirus cases.

American film Feeling Through was featured on the opening day. The film, directed by Doug Roland, is a coming of age film about the unlikely connection between a teen in need and a deaf-blind man wandering New York's streets.

As I watched my child having fun with the toy for a long time, I wondered if the battery inside the toy was the one raising my child

It is the first film ever to feature a deaf-blind actor in a lead role. The film won 47 awards in major film festivals and was nominated for an Oscar.

Battery Daddy, a short animation film by South Korean director Jeon Seung-bae, won the best short film award worth 4 million won (US$3,370) prize money and a 1 million won equipment voucher.

The organizers said 518 short films were submitted for the competition and 18 were selected as finalists and screened during the festival.

Battery Daddy tells the story of Battery Dad, who works on children's toys, door locks and remote controls. One day he goes on a trip to the valley with Dong-gu's family. Sudden heavy rain begins to fall while they are having a good time, according to Zippy Frames, which promotes animation films.

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Battery Dad saving the family is the central theme of the film, director Jeon said, adding that he wanted to tell a story about “the energy that we exchange with each other."

"As I watched my child having fun with the toy for a long time, I wondered if the battery inside the toy was the one raising my child. When I looked around myself with this new perspective, I noticed that there were batteries everywhere, helping us by powering our lights and sounds,” he said.

Vivianna Lee Kyung-sook, president of the Catholic Filmmakers Association of Korea, expressed optimism that filmmakers who submitted their films will become the main driving force in the Korean film industry.

“I think that the directors who submitted their films at this festival will become the main characters to lead Korean films in the future. People greeted and cheered gleefully as the movies were shown,” Lee said. 

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