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The Curtain May Have Closed, but the RUSH Has Just Begun
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date : 2017-11-02
The Curtain May Have Closed, but the RUSH Has Just Begun
Closing Ceremony of the 8th Film Festival for Women’s Rights “RUSH”
 
 
The 8th Film Festival for Women’s Rights (FiWom), entitled “RUSH” this year, ended on the evening of Sep 28, 2014. The four-day festival featured 29 films with diverse themes from 13 countries. 
The winner of the competitive section, Suzi, was shown at the closing ceremony. Yang Sung-eun, one of the members of the Audience Judging Panel, commented: “It’s highly gratifying. It tells us that there is hope, that we don’t have to be nice quiet doormats.”
 
The director, Kim Shin-jung, was modest about the result. “The film could have been better. The ending was really bold and exhilarating, almost to the point of absurdity, but I guess people liked it,” she said. “I would like all the Suzis in the world to let their anger and frustration out freely. I hope they won’t let the bastards get them down.”
 
Actress Park So-dam (second from left),
 who played the feisty teenage heroine in Suzi, at the closing ceremony
 
The Audience Award, bestowed to the festivalgoers’ favorite work, went to Glittering Hands, an autobiographical documentary by LEE Kil-bora on living as one of the hearing children (along with her younger brother Kwang-hee) of deaf parents. “This movie changes our stereotypical perceptions on disability and challenges the traditional notion of family,’” noted Ms. Yang. “I want to become a storyteller who tells heartwarming stories. I would like to thank Mom, Dad and my brother, who are my biggest supporters,” said Ms. LeeKil, “and to the assistant director and art director who worked with me on this project. Thank you.”
 
The awards presentation was followed by a movie clip that documented the last four days of the festival. From the faces of the hardworking staff members and the crowd who filled the theaters, it was evident that this annual event generated a lot of excitement and enthusiasm.
 
“It seems that this year’s FiWom was quite inspiring and refreshing to many people,” said Jung Choun-sook, the Executive Chairperson of the film festival, in the closing speech. “I saw so much passion and commitment in everyone who participated in the 8th Film Festival for Women’s Rights. I hope that they will contribute to making the world more equal and free from violence against women with that same level of energy. The ceremony ended with the performance of the gayageum singer-songwriter Jung Min-a.
 
Programmer Song Ran-hee at the closing ceremony of the 8th Film Festival for Women’s Rights
 
A number of people spoke up to talk about their impressions during the closing ceremony. Song Ran-hee, the senior programmer of FiWom, recalled the people we met in the films, such as Thulasi (Light Fly, Fly High), Deanna Walters (Private Violence), Suzi, as well as the cast of Wonder Woman! and Regarding Susan Sontag. “I hope their courage and enterprising spirit will inspire us in our daily lives. We also learned a lot from the issues our audience raised in the surveys.”
 
Dr. Jo Eun (Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, Dongguk University), who came as a public audience, commended Regarding Susan Sontag: “I admired and was touched by Sontag’s courage for pursueing her way of life. On one hand I sympathized with her pain, and on the other hand I wondered if any of us could do the same,” she said, adding that she would like more people to see this movie. Prof. Yu Jina (Department of Film and Digital Media, Dongguk University), one of the Judges of the festival this year, remarked that the film was “moving and heartbreaking at the same time” for her, and lightened the mood by concluding “it’s fun to be reminded that great women are everywhere in the world!”
 
It can be frustrating when it feels as if whatever we do is never enough to make things better, when things don’t seem to improve in spite of increasing efforts to promote women’s rights around the world. But through the struggles of the people portrayed in the films, this year’s FiWom taught us that seemingly small progresses will eventually lead to real social change. The festival may be over, but the “rush” for women’s rights and gender justice activism is on. The 8th Film Festival for Women’s Rights is a tribute to all of you who are in on the “rush.”