14th Annual Women’s Film Festival | April 19–26
Before you read on, check out the festival’s trailer. Now that you’ve absorbed the not-so-subtle reference to female anatomy coupled with the slicing blade (don’t worry, nothing graphic, just symbolic!) remember that it was also somewhat lighthearted. Likewise, the full range of human expression, from laughter to tears to pain, will be screened with special attention to women’s perspectives around the world. The festival also seeks to promote the work of up and coming female directors, a particularly noteworthy cause considering the fact that barely a tenth of Hollywood directors are women. This year’s theme is “Spring: Organizing Hope.” On our shortlist: The darkly captivating Bliss, fanciful and dreamlike 5 Memories, intriguing homegrown documentary Girl Princes, bittersweet Tsuyako and 3.11: The Moment, a documentary that shares intimate stories of last year’s tsunami survivors in Japan.
Earth Day with Bukhan Mt. Tree Preservation Project | Saturday, April 21, 1–5 pm
One of the larger volunteer activities organized by Mannam International is the Bukhan Mt. Tree Preservation Project happening this Saturday. From Facebook: “At Bukhan National Park (One of Seoul’s most famous, absolutely beautiful nature reserves) nature conservationists have informed us that 350,000 Oak trees are currently dying from what is called Wilt Disease—a viral disease, exasperated by air pollution and high carbon dioxide levels in the air and spread by insects that live in the trees bark. With your help, and hopefully over 500 other volunteers, Mannam International strives to wrap over 600 dying Oak trees with a special biodegradable film, to suffocate these insects, that will not only save the trees infected with Wilt disease, but will prevent further spreading.” Details and RSVP information is available via their website and Facebook.
Musicians unite for comfort women (”이야기 해주세요”) | Saturday, April 21, 6 pm
17 of the biggest female acts in the Korean indie music scene come together for a 3-part concert series that kicks off this weekend. These shows were planned ahead of the release of a collaboration album for Korea’s aging comfort women. Proceeds from the concerts will go to producing this album which will be sold to benefit the surviving halmoni. Expect to find newly-penned, unreleased songs, as well as familiar tunes which befit the cause. Saturday’s inaugural concert will take place at C Cloud (씨클라우드), which is located near Hapjeong Station exit 5 (see map). If you miss this weekend’s performance, there will be two more concerts on April 26 and 28 at C Cloud and SangSangMadang, respectively. Tickets for all concerts are 30,000 won at the door.
Nokha: An interactive performance | Saturday, April 21, 7 pm
Hanok traditional housing is disappearing in the quickly-changing landscape of modern Seoul. Composer Jee Soo Shin teams up with hanok activist David Kilburn to present this interactive performance, which raises awareness about the declining number of traditional dwellings and the constant fight against developers. Performed inside Kilburn’s own hanok home in Bukchon, the piece uses a combination of traditional and Western instruments and allows the viewers to dictate how the piece will be played—different segments of music are triggered by the body movements of its listeners. Performances will also be held in Jeonju on May 11 and Hamyang on May 12. RSVP via Facebook. Run time: 50 minutes; admission is free. An open rehearsal will be held at 3 pm and the performance is at 7 pm. Gahoe-dong 31-79, Jongno-gu. Visit nohka.org for details and directions.
Additional contribution by Ines Min.