2nd Seoul Human Rights Film Festival (1997)

2nd Seoul Human Rights Film Festival (1997)

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2nd Seoul Human Rights Film Festival (1997)
1997/09/27 (Sat) to 1997/10/03 (Fri)
Hongik University


The Second Seoul Human Rights Film Festival screened 24 films at Seoul Hongik University and 12 other cities in Korea from September to December 1997. Unlike the first film festival, the government reacted very sensitively to the second film festival and exerted a great amount of pressure on the event. Hundreds of battle police surrounded the University, inspected the entering participants, and prevented them from entering the university. The University which was under government pressure, put barricades around the auditorium and cut the power supply. There were many efforts to carry the festival forward despite government pressure. Nonetheless, the festival had to end one day early.

In November of 1997, the public prosecutors' office arrested Mr. Suh Joon sik, the chairperson of the Human Rights Film Festival Committee, asserting that [Red Hunt]- a documentary shown at the festival-presented clear and present danger to the Korean society. The incident caught immediate attention from the world in exposing the human rights conditions of Korea. Mr. Suh was released February of this year after posting bail and is still going through trial.

Mr. Suh was awarded Hellman/Hammet Grant(by Human Rights Watch),Nation Culture Award, Film Award (Cine21 Magazine), and other two awards related to human rights and films. The film [Red Hunt] had special screenings at Berlin International Film Festival. Despite the pressure from the government, 50 organizations and 600 sponsors had sponsored the festival.


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