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> Anime > Film
> Press Releases

Zipangu Fest Film Festival announces Somi - The Taekwon-Do Woman for opening night

Date: Friday 31st August 2012 [10:44] | Posted By: Joe

Press release as follows:

London based anime fans looking for some Japanese based cinema should already be aware of The Zipangu Fest Film Festival. It runs from Friday 14th September to Sunday 16th September 2012.

They've just announced Somi - The Taekwon-do Woman will on the opening night.
Full Story


London - Friday 31st August 2012


Zipangu Fest is excited to announce that Somi - The Taekwon-do Woman (1997) directed by Chang Yong Bok will be screening as the centrepiece of our Opening Night.

Set during the turbulent years of the Koryo dynasty (918-1392), Somi - The Taekwon-do Woman tells the tale of an orphan seeking retribution for the deaths of her parents at the hands of a brutal government vassal. Taken in and raised by a master of martial arts, Somi trains as a warrior so that she may one day exact revenge on those responsible for her plight.

Whilst Somi - The Taekwon-do Woman adheres to the traditional template of the historical martial arts epic, Chang Yong Bok's film is unusual in that it represents an exceptionally rare collaborative effort in film between Japan and North Korea.

Initially intended for international release, Somi - The Taekwon-do Woman was screened only twice, once in Japan, at the Yubari Film Festival in 2001, and once in North Korea at its premiere on New Year's Eve 1997/98. The showing at this year's festival will be an exclusive opportunity to see a film that has never been shipped outside of Asia, let alone viewed by Western audiences, a historically significant event in itself.

To coincide with this year's Reel Zipangu strand, Somi - The Taekwon-do Woman will be shown from 35mm film on the Opening Night of the festival, Friday 14th September 2012. Other films set to appear on the night include; Takashi Motoki's Fukushima 8: A Letter From Our Past (2012), a poignant collection of 8mm home movie footage depicting life in Fukushima before the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent nuclear meltdown; Jason Gray's Yukuharu - The Fading of Spring (2012) a short film set in Tokyo which tells the story of a 10 year old girl facing the prospect of her first kiss when tragedy strikes; and the award-winning The Great Rabbit (2012), a hand drawn animation from Atsushi Wada, one of the featured animators in the CALF Animation programme that screened at the first Zipangu Fest in 2010. The Great Rabbit won the Silver Bear Award for Best Short Film at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.

In order to explore new methods of funding that will ensure long term financial viability for our activities, Zipangu Fest is employing a crowd funded ticketing scheme for the Opening Night. Zipangu Fest aims to raise 1200 by the 8th September 2012 with tickets available from Crowdfunder.co.uk priced at 10 a seat.

As a festival, we have always tried to bring attention to films that alter the discourse surrounding Japanese cinema, either by showing recent films that have slipped under the critical radar, or by bringing to light older, neglected or forgotten films. Purchasing tickets through Crowdfunder.co.uk is effectively the same as booking your tickets in advance, with your contribution not only helping us to cover the screening and shipping fees for Somi - The Taekwon-do Woman's 35mm reel, but more importantly, encouraging the rescue of yet more rare and unusual works from obscurity so that they may be shown to wider audiences in the UK.

The Opening Night of the festival promises to be an exciting and memorable occasion with ticket holders invited to mingle with the staff of both the Cinema Museum and Zipangu Fest whilst enjoying a few drinks in the Cinema Museum's bar alongside our guest filmmakers. Zipangu Fest is also delighted to offer free popcorn courtesy of Joe and Seph's Gourmet Popcorn to festival-goers to be enjoyed during our screenings.

Source: Zipangu Fest

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