Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Your KOFFIA Experience

Happy 2013 from everyone here at the KOFFIA Team!

Last year we had a great festival which once again managed to connect with audiences. After the festival period, we asked the attendees of KOFFIA 2012 to tell us about their experience. We had a wide variety of entries, and here we are highlighting a couple. Overall we are delighted that everyone had a great time at the festival, and cant wait for #KOFFIA2013!

Im In Sook 
To some, 2012 will be known as the year of PSY and it definitely was for Im In Sook who had a boatload of fun at last year’s KOFFIA and won a DVD prize pack for telling us who was the global phenomenon behind “Gangnam Style”. She had a great time watching “War of the Arrows” and enjoying the Korean traditional dancing. 

Cassie Lee 
A big fan of movies, Cassie gave Korean films a try, but found that the quality of Korean cinema over the decades was quite a mixed bag, that is until she attended KOFFIA 2012 and realised that things had changed! 
“First of all, the venue at Dendy Circular Quay was a good choice. The spectacular backdrop of Sydney Harbour put you in an elated mood even before you saw the movie. Secondly, I thought the variety of genres, themes and time periods represented in the selection of films for KOFFIA 2012 was truly impressive. Thirdly, I found the movies themselves to be of high quality in their artistic merit and ability to entertain, awaken and move the viewer. For me, that is the mission of good movies - giving the audience an opportunity to come away from the viewing richer and wiser after having experienced both the pleasure and pain of entertainment and insight.”
Not only that, she and her friend praised the KOFFIA volunteers for their enthusiasm; commitment; dedication and pride! Maybe we should consider changing KOFFIA to stand for “Korean Outstanding Films For International Admiration” as per her suggestion? 

How was your experience?

Therese O’Leary 
For Therese, her Korean film-addicted friends would watch Korean films all the time while she thought munching on soda, chocolate and nuts would be the more rewarding experience. They took her to one of our weekly movie nights to watch a horror film full of neverending blood, murder and carnage till she thought she could never watch a Korean film again. Nevertheless her friends’ enthusiasm brought her back again and again until she saw “Miss, Please Be Patient” and she has finally found a film she can award five gems to. It’s great to hear that Therese has enjoyed her time at the film nights and film festival and become interested in Korean culture. 

Stanley Pronczak 
“I saw more films at this event than I have seen in the last 15 years.” 
For someone who doesn’t attend film screenings, becoming a member of the Korean Cultural Office last year certainly made some changes for Stanley. He participated in our many events such as Cinema on the Park, pARTy on the park and the cooking classes as well as attending the cultural shows hosted by the Korean Cultural Office. 
"I attended opening and closing reception at KOFFIA in Sydney and together saw 7 films and also the 2012 KOFFIA Short Film Competition. It made me feel that I wanted to see more and I will be back, next year, to take in everything that's on offer. “So, in part, I lived and breathed KOFFIA 2012 and very much look forward, to again participating in a bigger and best KOFFIA 2013.“ 
Not only that, Stanley’s even joined in on our “Gangnam Style” flashmob at Martin Place, an event forever immortalised on youtube. 

Soo Jung Kim 
Soo Jung heard about KOFFIA when her friend asked for some suggestions on what films to watch during the festival. She eagerly researched the site as it was a good opportunity to be able to see Korean films on the big screen. It would also be a good chance to lure some more friends into Korean culture and media and just a good excuse to hang out. After creating the event on facebook, she even bought membership to get cheaper tickets. 
“Unfortunately, I ended up making a loss because it turned out I just didn't have that many friends...“ 
Although she didn’t quite break-even on that strategy, she had a splendid time watching “Sunny”, “All About My Wife”, “Leafie”, “The Client” and “War of the Arrows” with family and friends. She also found the quiz portion of the event to be exciting. Although she blames herself for not being fast enough to answer the quizzes, she deserves some applause for her quick response for the question about popular films in Korea. 

“The Thieves” was the second most successful Korean film this year, what was the most successful Korean film? 
“I had actually read an article saying that “The” Thieves became the second most successful Korean film, and I had read another article saying that “Avatar” was the most successful film of all time in Korea. I missed the bit about The Thieves being the second most successful KOREAN film, which of course would not include “Avatar”... I had written on my Facebook about how “Avatar” was the most successful film in Korea and “The Thieves” was second… Which my friend had read... And we both put our hands up and called out "AVATAR" as the answer! But the answer was actually “The Host”! How embarrassing...” 
Fingers crossed that she will be able to see her request “A Werewolf Boy” on the big screen for KOFFIA 2013, which she tells us is the third most successful film of 2012, and also the most successful romance film to boot! 

Audience Award winner Kim Lee Ngo

A KOFFIA Experience
Looks like everyone enjoyed their experiences at KOFFIA last year and thumbs up to those who continue to enjoy a weekly treat at Cinema on the PARK every Thursday. It’s really enlightening to hear when our attendees tell us how much they have enjoyed experiencing Korean culture and learning about Korea through watching films and participating in the Korean Cultural Office’s events. And we hope everyone is looking forward to KOFFIA 2013 just as much as those who sent in their comments. 


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