Jeonju International Film Festival to invest in barrier-free films

Main poster for the 24th Jeonju International Film Festival [JEONJU INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL]

The Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) will invest in the production of a barrier-free version of the films for screening and signed a business agreement with the Korean Barrier Free Films Committee (Kobaff), JIFF announced Tuesday.

A barrier-free film is a film with an audio description that explains what is happening on the screen and subtitles that relay audio information such as speakers, dialogue, music, and sound for everyone to enjoy the film together.

JIFF decided to launch the “Director-Participatory Barrier-Free Production Project” at the 24th edition of the event to provide an environment for more audiences to watch films, according to JIFF. This is the first time a film festival in Korea made a direct investment in opening barrier-free films.

JIFF’s “Director-Participatory Barrier-Free Production Project” is expected to bring cultural benefits to both creators and audiences, according to the festival organizers.

“By creating the opportunity to enjoy culture for audiences who have difficulties in watching films, including the visually and hearing impaired, the elderly, and children, the barrier to entry into the film festival can be lowered and the audience base can be expanded,” said programmer for JIFF Moon Seok. “In addition, the creators who are participating in the production of barrier-free versions of films will experience the synesthetic method of providing audio commentary of visual information and visual commentary of audio information. This project is expected to help the creators develop new visions necessary for the growth of the Korean film industry.”

The films that will be produced in a barrier-free version this year and screened are three award-winning works in the Korean Competition for Shorts from the previous year’s edition of JIFF.

Kobaff, which signed a memorandum of understanding with JIFF, plans to participate in the production of the barrier-free version of films and training programs for barrier-free film production, according to JIFF. This business agreement includes the mutual exchange of films screened at JIFF and the Seoul Barrier Free Film Festival.

The 24th JIFF will be held for ten days from April 27 to May 6 in and around Jeonju Film Street.