Best known for its commissioning and screening of annual digital short film troikas, JIFF has for nine years endeavored to discover and promote newcomers' innovative filmmaking.
With the Work In Progress section this year, the fest will support eight of its alumni directors by showing their films in production on May 4 during the festival's upcoming edition (May 1-9).
JIFF conjectures its new showcase is different in that potential investors and co-producers will get to see how the filmmakers are proceeding with their visions, instead of merely depending on scripts and proposals.
The showcase will feature images from the films, with directors on hand presenting their projects.
The fest says it will start small, with a $5,000 award for one film this year, but plans to have varied prizes and support from next year on the occasion of its tenth anniversary.
Although according to the festival the number of participating directors might change, the eight directors at the moment include Lee Chang-jae, whose shaman documentary Between won CJ CGV's theatrical release award in 2006 at JIFF and went on to break the local box office record for documentaries; Liu Jiayin, whose Oxhide was awarded in Berlin and Jeonju, and John Torres, whose Todo Todo Teros won awards at Vancouver and Singapore.
JIFF program director Jung Soo-wan said: 'This [section] has great significance in that it will give directors the opportunity to get support, producers to participate in the making of promising independent films, and festival programmers to get advance information on new films.'