Chapman Presents Pusan West (“Chapman Pusan West”) Brings Renowned Korean Filmmakers and Films to the United States For An Unprecedented Cultural and Cinematic Event

Orange, CA (November 9, 2009) – Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, recognized as one of the premiere film schools in the United States announced a groundbreaking partnership with South Korea’s Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF), Asia’s largest film festival, to launch a first-of-its-kind filmmaker showcase that will bring select Korean films and filmmakers from PIFF to the U.S. The announcement was jointly made today by Dodge College Dean Bob Bassett and PIFF Director Lee Yong-Kwan.

The inaugural Chapman University | Pusan West | Filmmaker Showcase (“Chapman Pusan West”) will be held at Marion Knott Studios on Chapman University’s campus in Orange, Calif., November 20-22, 2009.

Over the course of three days Chapman Pusan West will showcase contemporary and classic feature films and documentaries selected directly from the Pusan International Film Festival. The event marks an unprecedented venture to introduce the culture, look and feel of Asia’s largest film festival to an American audience in a celebration of vibrant and emerging Korean cinema.

The Chapman Pusan West program features invited directors from Korea, along with a special opening night event and a closing night reception, all designed to showcase Korean culture through food, music, and décor. Q & A sessions led by notable film scholars will guide the audiences in conversation with several of Korea’s most celebrated film directors who have committed to participate at Chapman Pusan West and personally introduce their films. They include:

Park Chan-wook (“Thirst” director's cut)
Kim Jee-woon (“A Bittersweet Life [director’s cut]”)
Lee Doo-yong (“Last Witness”)
Park Jin-sung (“Evil Spirit: VIY”)
Kim Dong-won (“Drifting Away”)
Kim Young-nam (“Don't Look Back”)

Award winning director/writer Park Chan-wook will be honored with Chapman Pusan West’s first Pusan West Icon Award. Park is one of the most acclaimed and popular filmmakers in Korea and has gained praise and recognition in the US as well. He is best known for his films Joint Security Area, Thirst and what has become known as The Vengeance Trilogy, consisting of 2002's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy in 2003 and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance in 2005. His films are noted for their immaculate framing and often brutal subject matter. 

Honoring a career that is not only seminal, but that has influenced other filmmakers worldwide, the Icon Award will be inaugurated with Park Chan-wook’s acceptance on Friday, Nov 20th, during the opening ceremony. Park will also participate in an exclusive Chapman Pusan West Master Class on Saturday, Nov 21st where he will discuss the topics of writing and directing with current Chapman students.

The complete lineup of Korean films showcased at Chapman Pusan West includes:

Thirst (Park Chan-wook, 2009, PIFF 2009 Korean Cinema Today-Panorama Section)

A Bittersweet Life (Kim Jee-woon, 120min, PIFF 2005 Korean Cinema Today-Panorama Section)

Mother (Bong Joon-ho, 2009, 129 min., PIFF 2009 Korean Cinema Today-Panorama Section)

The Chaser (Na Hong-jin, 2008, 125 min. PIFF 2008 Korean Cinema Today-Panorama Section)

The Old Partner (Lee Chung-ryoul, 2008, 75 min. PIFF 2008 Wide Angle-Documentary Competition Section, Mecenat Award)

Evil Spirit: VIY (Park Jin-sung, 2008, 110 min, HD, PIFF 2008 Korean Cinema Today-Vision Section)

Drifting Away (Kim Dong-won, 2009, 95 min, HD, PIFF 2009 Korean Cinema Today-Vision Section)

Like a Virgin (Lee Hey-jun, Lee Haeyoung, 2006, 116 min. 2006 PIFF Korean Cinema Today-Panorama section, Critics Award for first-time director)

Viva, Love (Oh Jeom-kyun, 2008)

Don’t Look Back (Kim Young-nam, 2006, 126 min, 2004 PIFF project for new directors 2006 Locarno International Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize and Netpac Award)


First Son (Lee Doo-yong, screened at the first PIFF in 1996 under "Korean Cinema Retrospective" section)

Last Witness (Lee Doo-yong, 1980, 154 min, recently rediscovered and released on DVD)

“In our increasingly interdependent global society, the language of film offers one of most direct ways in which peoples of different cultures can come to know one another, both in their differences and similarities,” says Dean Bob Bassett. “Dodge College of Film and Media Arts is focused on internationalizing our programs, giving students opportunities to not only experience different cultures by traveling abroad, but also by bringing significant international films and filmmakers here. Dodge College already has developed strong ties in Asia through its partnership with the Seoul Institute of the Arts. Each year students from Chapman travel to Korea to shoot films with students from the Seoul Institute of the Arts who then travel to the U.S. to help their American counterparts do the same.”

“Chapman Pusan West takes this global outreach initiative to another level and provides a new platform for Korean filmmakers and stars looking to break into the American market and seek true co-production opportunities with Hollywood,” he adds. Bassett continued, “Korean films that find enthusiastic and supportive audiences in Korea and many other parts of the world often seem to struggle to find a home in crowded U.S. cinemas. While there are many reasons for this, the Chapman Pusan West initiative is enterprising and bold in its endeavours to spotlight these amazing works from PIFF. We hope to reach an audience that often gets overlooked and widen the choice of films available to cinephiles and the general public alike.”

Dodge College Professor Nam Lee, an expert in Korean film, and Korean film critic and the Director of Cinematheque Film Forum Lim Jae-cheol are responsible for the selection of Korean films being screened at Chapman Pusan West while Dean Bob Bassett and the Dodge College team have played keyed roles in the structuring of the event itself. Students from Dodge College will also be involved in all facets of the event.

Nam Lee commented, “We are seeing a noticeable surge in popularity and a groundswell of support for Korean cinema in the U.S. Referred to as Hallyu (Korean Wave), in Asian communities, we feel compelled to support this movement so that our students and the public don’t miss out on the unique voices of this important national cinema. We know of no better partner in advancing this movement than the Pusan International Film Festival, which has been fully supportive and amazing to work with.” Tickets for the inaugural Chapman University Pusan West Filmmaker Showcase can be purchased online at, via phone 1-800-838-3006, or in person at Chapman University’s Marion Knott Studios. Individual movie tickets are priced at $12.00; a day pass is $40.00; and a weekend pass is $100. Discounted group and student rates are available.