Mongolia’s Kharkhorum International Film Festival readies first edition

The inaugural Kharkhorum International Film Festival (KIFF) is set to kick off on Thursday (December 7) with Korean director Chung Ji-young’s crime drama The Boys, in line with its focus on human rights.

KIFF takes place Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, until December 12 and is organised by the Film Bridge Development Association in collaboration with the Mongolian National Film Council.

The human rights theme is in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year’s Human Rights Day falls on December 10 and KIFF will host an open discussion forum on that day titled Declaring Human Rights Through Cinema.

KIFF’s film line-up also focuses on human rights, equality and non-discrimination. A total of 22 films will be screened, comprising 10 in a featire competition section; four in a documentary competition; four gala screenings; and four out of competition.

Four Mongolian films are running in the feature competition: Galbayar Dashkhuu’s Woman’s Case; Battumur Dorj’s Trio; actor Amarsaikhan Baljinnyam’s directorial debut Harvest Moon, which was submitted as Mongolia’s Oscar entry last year; and DoP Baatar Batsukh’s directorial debut Aberrance, which had its North American premiere at SXSW.

The programming team is led by Tsogtbayar ‘Tsogo’ Namsrai of US-based sales company Mongol Films Distribution and Ulaanbaatar-based distribution company Filmbridge. Oscar-winning director Malcolm Clarke, Korean actress Kim Hye-na and Mongolian filmmaker Uranchimeg Nansal are among the jury members.

“It is named after Kharkhorum because it suits our vision to have this festival as the centre of the gathering of filmmakers around the world,” Tsogo told Screen. “Kharakhorum right now is a tourist destination with the ruins of the ancient city rather than an actual city with significant population.”

Kharakhorum, also known as Karakorum, is the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire and is located 350km from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s modern-day capital. From next year, the festival will begin in November.

Source: Screen Daily

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