By Jean Noh For

Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) has formed a partnership with Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts to launch a filmmaker showcase to bring a selection of Korean films and filmmakers from PIFF to the US.

The joint announcement was made Monday (Nov 9) by Dodge College dean Bob Bassett and PIFF co-director Lee Yong-kwan.

The inaugural “Chapman Pusan West” showcase of contemporary and classic feature films and documentaries will be held at on Chapman University’s campus in Orange, California, Nov 20-22, 2009.

The organisers stated: “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.”

“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 US 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,” said Bassett.

Directors attending will include Lee Doo-yong, whose First Son and Last Witness will be screened as retrospective films; Kim Jee-woon, who will screen his director’s cut of A Bittersweet Life; and Park Chan-wook, who is to receive the first Pusan West Icon Award which honors “a career that is not only seminal, but that has influenced other filmmakers worldwide.”

Park’s films include the recent Cannes-awarded Thirst, watershed hit Joint Security Area, and his Vengeance Trilogy – Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.

The Chapman Pusan West lineup of films includes the following:

Thirst (Park Chan-wook, 2009)

A Bittersweet Life (Kim Jee-woon, 2005)

Mother (Bong Joon-ho, 2009)

The Chaser (Na Hong-jin, 2008)

The Old Partner (Lee Chung-ryoul, 2008)

Evil Spirit: VIY (Park Jin-sung, 2008)

Drifting Away (Kim Dong-won, 2009)

Like a Virgin (Lee Hey-jun, Lee Haeyoung, 2006)

Viva, Love (Oh Jeom-kyun, 2008)

Don’t Look Back (Kim Young-nam, 2006)

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