15th DMZ International Documentary Film Festival Holds Official Press Conference

Published : Wednesday, August 23, 2023, 3:49 pm
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With upcoming opening ceremony on September 14, the 15th DMZ International Documentary Film Festival (hereinafter DMZ Docs, Chairman Kim Dong Yeon, Festival Director Chang Hae Rang) held a press conference and announced the opening films, characteristics and directions of this year’s film festival, and programs.

The press conference was held at CGV Myeongdong Station Cine Library, Jung-gu, Seoul, on August 22 (Tue) 4 p.m., and it was attended by Festival Director Chang Hae Rang, The head of Programming Jang Byung Won, Programmer Kang Jin Suk, Programmer Chae Hee Suk, and Producer Kim Sun Ah to introduce this year’s changes and main programs.

In the press conference, Festival Director Chang said, “Thank you for attending this press conference on a rainy day. We prepared this year's DMZ Docs with sincerity as opposed to seeking ostentation.” said festival director Haerang Jang. And he added nine keywords to his explanation of the 15th DMZ Docs' direction and stated, "we hope that the sincerity beneath the surface of our presentation can reach you. All of our festival's selections are not merely films, but rather the very actuality of this world.“

- Opening Film : The Eternal Memory Showing Deep Love of Long-Time Couple and Chilean Journalist’s Struggles with Alzheimer’s Disease

The opening film for the 15th DMZ Docs is The Eternal Memory about a journalist who recorded the fever of Chilean democracy movement, his struggles with Alzheimer’s disease, and deep love of long-time couple. The Eternal Memory highlights the couple’s contribution to Chilean journalism and democracy and asks the present meaning of legacy of the times. The head of Programming Jang Byung Won explained the reason for choosing The Eternal Memory as the opening film and said, "Since winning the Grand Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, The Eternal Memory has received high praise from audiences. The film weaves the situation of its protagonist, Augusto Gongora, a prominent journalist in Chile, with the historical events of Chilean history to tell us about history, memory, and democracy. Paulina Urrutia will be visiting the 15th DMZ Docs and meeting the audiences at the opening ceremony, guest visit, and stage greeting throughout the film festival.

- DMZ Docs Screens 147 Documentaries of 54 Countries
- Expanded Non-Theatrical Screening & Exhibition at Camp Greaves

This year’s DMZ Docs screens a total of 147 documentaries (83 features, 64 shorts) of 54 countries. In the new program sections, competition session includes International Competition, Frontier Competition, and Korean Competition, and non-competition session includes Verite, Docufiction, Essay, Expanded, and Special Exhibition. Especially, 7 documentaries screened in the Expanded Session will be also available in “Non-Theatrical Program” from September 14 to 20 at Camp Greaves located at Civilian Control Zone. This experimental program breaks way from the traditional theater screening and features moving images, artist videos, animations, and experimental films to provide new film experiences to the audiences.

- Ukrainian Theme Exhibition · Lee Kang Hyun Exhibition · Newstapa Archiving Exhibition
- 3 Exhibitions with New Special Exhibition Structures

There also have been changes in the structure of special exhibitions. The three categories include theme exhibition that covers timely issues, memorial exhibition that recollects traces of notable figures, and archiving theme that summarizes history of creation trends and specific groups.

The theme exhibition, “Unable to Settle or Leave: The Urgency of the War That Consistently Arrive” hears the voice of documentarists who record the Ukrainian War from different places and locations. The memorial exhibition highlights the world of Director Lee Kang Hyun who passed away last March. The exhibition screens The Description of Bankruptcy, The Color of Pain, and Possible Faces directed by Lee and The Fool Doesn’t Catch a Cold starring Kim. It will also publish a booklet with messages from peers and partners from different fields. The archiving exhibition, “Newstapa: The Witnesses with Camera” summarizes the history of Newstapa, which has been continuing notable activities in the independent journalism and documentary fields over the last 10 years.

In addition, the documentary streaming platform, VoDA, will organize online special exhibition, Robert Flaherty Reloaded. The exhibition will be screening 11 representative works of Robert Flaherty, who pioneered documentaries.

- DMZ Docs Documentary Market Holds Prior Workshop from September 10 to 13 and Main Event from September 15 to 19

DMZ Docs Documentary Market discovers, supports, and fosters outstanding Korean and Asian documentary projects. After holding a prior workshop from September 10 to 13, there will be a main event from September 15 to 19. It will be featuring DMZ Docs Fund (Korea POV 2023, The VoDA Fund) for projects in planning and early production stages and DMZ Docs Pitch Program for projects in production and editing stages. It also provides an opportunity for creators and global documentary industry people to meet and interact with each other throughout the film festival period.

- Academy Program for Documentary Education on Youth and College Students

After newly opening the Academy Program in 2022, DMZ Docs expanded the program for college film clubs this year. The program provides the film festival badge and educational program for the participating students to enhance their understanding on documentaries and offer opportunity to watch diverse works. It also features Youth Documentary Production Workshop for fostering future documentary makers, Special Experience Education Program - Talks&Docs, and Online Education Program “Docs School” focusing on educational values of documentaries. The Docs School participants will be watching documentaries and discussing them based on the worksheets for each theme.

Docs on Stage combines film screening and concert, and it will be held for two days at Goyang Flower Exhibition Center and CGV Goyang Baekseok lobby. The official screening films and Youth Online Education Program Docs School’s screening films are also available at online theater, VoDA.

The opening ceremony of the 15th DMZ Docs will be held at Pyeonghwa Nuri Stage in September 14 (Thurs). For the convenience of participants, there will be “DMZ Peace Train” that runs from Seoul Station to Imjingang Station. For detailed information of film festival, visit the official website,

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