KOFICE 'Korea Joa Project': Day 1 -
Hangul Celluloid Travelogue
Arriving at Heathrow on 29 September to fly to Seoul for the Korea Joa Project, I have to admit to feeling a certain amount of apprehension of what lay ahead. The form my Korea Joa coverage could/should/would take had been repeatedly changing in the weeks leading up to the trip, and how I'd cope with an 11 hour flight was also very much still in the balance. Not only that, but the fact I could easily be described as 'geographically challenged' - put me on a road, tell me to find the end of it and I can almost guarantee I'll find its start, instead - added a whole 'getting lost in Seoul' paranoia to proceedings. I of course shouldn't have worried (though I'd likely do so again, at the drop of a hat). The flight went like a dream - helped, of course, by a number of VOD Korean films - and with no issues at Incheon airport Immigration, I was met as arranged by a member of KOFICE's staff in arrivals and whisked off by taxi to the opulently stunning Ritz Carlton hotel in Seoul.
And so, after a brief respite allowing me to catch my breath, the main event of Korea Joa's first day got underway: The Korea Joa Project orientation and welcome dinner.
All the Korea Joa members - 15 websites from 9 countries - gathered together to introduce themselves, become acquainted with each other and be given an overview of the myriad of incredible daily events comprising the KJ Project, including attending the Opening Gala of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF); watching K-Pop idols EXO and Sistar in concert (interviewing Sistar, in the process); visiting locations featured in hugely popular K-Dramas such as 'My Love from the Star'; and so much more.
Mr. Kim Deok-jung, the Director General of KOFICE, gave an impassioned speech about the Korea Joa Project and the increasing importance of online media coverage of Korean culture, all of which was followed by an utterly sumptuous Welcome dinner.
I was also privileged to be able to briefly interview Mr. Kim Deok-jung and ask him a couple of, I feel, pertinent questions about the current perceived balance of online Korean culture promotion with that of traditional (print) media, and indeed the process that led to specific website and media organisations being chosen to be part of the 2015 Korea Joa Project.
With such an incredible 10 days ahead, the ongoing Hangul Celluloid coverage of Korea Joa 2015 will be split into daily events, so do keep visiting the site for updates.
Click the links below to access the other Hangul Celluloid Korea Joa Travelogue articles, on a day-by-day basis: