Last yearfs successful event brought the widest possible range of Korean independent films and video to Tokyo: from narrative fiction to documentary, from animation to avant-garde, from student work to the most sophisticated computer-generated images. You were kind enough to tell us that you liked what you saw, so herefs another week of outstanding, ground-breaking work, most of it produced within the last year. Fans of gYon-samah wonft find much to please them here, but therefs plenty to surprise and delight everyone else. (And itfs all subtitled in English as well as Japanese.)

Everyone knows that independent film-makers have a hard time getting their work financed, distributed and screened. These events at Image Forum are designed to draw attention to talents whose future depends on -- and deserves -- your interest. But therefs also a larger motive behind this yearfs selection. Mainstream Korean movie-making has been so popular at home and abroad in the last couple of years that the independent sector has been almost totally eclipsed. We start from the presumption that the indies are actually better than the mainstream:  smarter, funnier, sexier, scarier.  More engaging.  More rewarding.

As youfll see, our selection this time includes four indie features, two portmanteau projects and three programmes of shorts.  Once again, the range couldnft be wider. We have a mystery thriller with a sharp political undertow, a strange fantasy about the desires and frustrations of children (it has echoes of Terayama Shuji and Miyazaki Hayao), funny/sad accounts of gay experience, and a hilarious deconstruction of the logic of consumerism. We have video-letters exchanged between elderly sisters in Korea and Los Angeles, some disturbing alpha-male violence in a menfs room, and a seriously provocative essay on the lessons to be learned from history. Oh, and some truly knockout animation.  Come see!

Tony Rayns
(London-based film-maker/critic,@programmer of Korean Independent Cinema 2005)