Attending GUKIFF in Seoul

I still feel bad for the attendees at the glamorous red carpet event to mark closing night of the Guro International Kids Film festival (GUKIFF) in Seoul earlier this year, who whipped out their smart phones and excitedly took photos of the Australian guy very early in the red carpet parade before the South Korean acting and K-Pop royalty started to arrive. The festival fans will no doubt have long since thought: ‘Who is that nobody?’ … (delete.)

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Taking part in a filmmaking workshop for local kids in the Guro district of Seoul, South Korea

But hey, I had fun, and got to see what I can only assume are the Korean Spice Girls perform live! Even more mysteriously, mid red carpet, I distinctly heard the comments gator say among a stream of Korean ‘Kevin Costner’. It’s very likely he was saying, ‘This guy? He’s no Kevin Costner.’

I was in Seoul as a guest of the festival and it was brilliant to visit Seoul for the first time, joining a filmmaking workshop for local kids, taking part in an international forum on how film can act as a cultural bridge, and meeting some extremely talented filmmakers and festival directors.

Mostly, I was there to¬†hopefully build a friendship and professional relationship between GUKIFF and Little Big Shots, Australia’s largest and most popular international film festival for kids.

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Korean Spice Girls? Sadly, Psy was a no-show.

Years ago, I founded Little Big Shots, which continues to fly (thanks to the tireless work of the festival directors, and Board members, past and present). Little Big Shots brings amazing film making from around the world, and where possible films made by kids, to Australian audiences. It runs at ACMI in Melbourne and at the Sydney Opera House every year, and tours from there.

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It is one of my proudest achievements, showing windows into the lives and worlds of other kids that Australian kids otherwise could never have experienced.

I am writing a travel piece about Seoul for Royal Auto magazine, and hopefully achieved the Little Big Shots goals while there, so it was a great trip.


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