This week, Cannes Docs – Marché du Film occurs online, from 22 to 26 June. Partnering with some of the most renowned documentary festivals in Europe, this year Cannes Docs – Marché du Film has expanded out welcoming two new festivals and, in turn, markets to their slate.

Of those festivals, South Korea’s DMZ DOCS becomes the first Asian festival to partner with Cannes Docs – Marché du Film and will participate in a variety of activities throughout the week, drawing a wider exposure to this most interesting of filmmaking regions. The appearance continues the primary mission of DMZ DOCS, to support Korean documentary production and discover new talents and filmmakers, promoting them to the world stage. DMZ DOCS does this itself through the festival and the industry program, becoming a bridge between Asia and the world. As the festival’s title, DMZ – Demilitarized Zone, indicates, DMZ DOCS operates through its embodiment of 3 keywords: Peace, Communication, and Life curating its many programs around this philosophical trifecta. As the Korean peninsula is still divided by South and North, DMZ DOCS is one of the primary destinations to advocate peace and life through cinema, now bringing this to the Europe-based Marché du Film.

At Cannes Docs – Marché du Film, DMZ DOCS will be involved in a variety of activities throughout the week. Festival representatives from its programming and industry teams will be actively taking part in meeting documentary filmmakers via various Cannes Docs – Marché du Film programs such as Docs-in-Progress and Co-Pro Speed Meetings. It will also present one Korean project under the Spotlighted Projects banner – 1989 Berlin, 2019 Seoul (dir. Wooyoung Choil; prod. Sinae Ha), which won the first prize of «DMZ Project Fund» last year.

DMZ DOCS Festival Director Jung Sang-jin
DMZ DOCS Festival Director Jung Sang-jin

On DMZ Docs participation in this year’s Cannes Docs – Marché du Film, Festival Director Jung Sang-jin told Modern Times Review: «Our goal is to let our friends and colleagues know that DMZ DOCS is a go-to window on the Korean market as well as Asian documentaries. The festival runs various programs to introduce international documentaries to Korean audiences. Industry events help Asian filmmakers and their projects to have more visibility on a global scale and assist industry professionals in reaching out to Asian documentary filmmakers with more ease. We hope that they can make the most of networks, programs, and events hosted/backed by DMZ DOCS and its industry platform, DMZ Industry.»

This affiliation between DMZ Docs and Cannes Docs – Marché du Film came as a very natural choice to work closely with Cannes Docs – Marché du Film. Jung Sang-jin told us, «with a focus on encouraging more active networking or co-production, we started a discussion over feasible collaboration with Cannes Docs since last year. And we are very much glad that we finally work together this year. If we are not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we could’ve been able to take part in various programs in a more active way. However, we decided to start off from a very basic level. But I believe we will take it up the notch one by one to build up a more specific partnership in the coming years.»

DMZ DOCS will take place 17- 24 September in Goyang City, South Korea, as it has for the past 11 editions.

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