Call for Papers – Korean Film and Festivals: Global Transcultural Flows


Film festivals for over seventy years have been the driving force behind the global circulation of cinema. Film festivals are also a place where cultures are translated and transported into other cultures. Work on film festivals is a burgeoning field of interest in Film Studies. Much cutting edge work is currently being published on film festivals in relation to world cinemas, yet the relationship between Korean cinema and film festivals so far has been relatively neglected.

Until recently, the work on this subject has mainly focused on European and North American Film Festivals, with presumptions and expectations about different global film cultures being shaped there. Asia is slowly becoming more prominent in the international festival world, and so it will be crucial to investigate how film festivals in Korea are engaging in this new global prominence of film festivals in Asia, and how this in turn is transforming what an international film festival is.

We hope the following volume will expand upon and enlarge the current work that has already been done on film festivals in Korea. There are also numerous small film festivals that are held in Korea, which would be beneficial to research to reveal the role they play in Korean film culture, and compare their structure and operations to the larger Korean film festivals.

Korean cinema has been making large waves in international film festivals for over a decade now, not to mention having had a long history at European film festivals that began in the 1960s. However there has not yet been a systematic study on the ideas and problems related to curating Korean films at international film festivals.

Along with this focus on the growing role of film festivals in relation to Korean cinema and lack of research on film festivals within Korea, this edited volume “Korean Film Festivals: Global Transcultural Flows” aims to address the following blind spots:

  • What constitutes the term ‘world cinema,’ and what issues are at stake when Korean cinema enters foreign lands with (different) values attached to it?
  • How are national narratives created around Korean cinema at international film festivals? Although Korean cinema has a long history of screenings at international film festivals, why is it that only in the past decade has Korean cinema started to win major festival prizes and gain a firm place within the rubric of ‘world cinema’?
  • If the film festival is the place that aims to exhibit certain kinds of films, what place does Korean cinema have within the exhibition network, and what type of cinema and images are being sought from Korea by international festival curators?
  • How is Korean cinema’s global success related to the film industry side of film festivals, where business deals are made for the worldwide distribution of Korean cinema?
  • How can issues of cultural translation be analyzed when looking at what exactly Korean cinema represents to international audiences, and what those audiences desire from it?
  • If we compare how Korean cinema is curated within film festivals in Korea itself and at international film festivals, what does this reveal about the transcultural flows that emanate from Korea to the rest of the world?
  • How is Korean culture translated through cinema via the festival distribution network?
  • On the other side of the scale, how do film festivals within Korea operate and fit into the international festival world?

The above questions will be explored in this edited volume. Other papers related to Korean cinema at international film festivals or Korean film festivals but with different angles will also be considered.

Proposal should include an abstract of 300 words and the name, institutional affiliation, a 100 word biography of the author, and the title of the paper.

Please submit the abstract by 10 January 2018 to Dr. Hyunseon Lee: hs53[at]

The deadline for full chapter submission is the 1 September 2018. The length of article should be 6000-8000 words including footnotes and bibliography.