Announcing the 2023 23rd Korea Queer Film Festival’s KQFF Choice Selections.


※ There is an error in the fourth image (<Dive into you>). The directors of this film are "KWON Minsung and LEE Hyunbin". We apologize for the missing director KWON Minsung's name.

First of all, we would like to thank everyone who participated in the 23rd Korea Queer Film Festival. It is thanks to everyone who submitted entries for this year's film festival, the directors, the actors, the staff, and audience members, that the horizon of queer films can continue to expand.

Hence, we are announcing the KQFF Choice Selections for this year with great gratitude in our hearts and best wishes for everyone going forward. The KQFF Choice Award is given to what we define as the “Queer films of the year,” selected by the KQFF Executive Committee, and the Honorary Mention from the Executive Committee Award is given to what we define as “Queer films to keep an eye on,” also selected by the Executive Committee.

This year, two films, <Narcissism: The Auto-Erotic Images.> and <Love in Zoom>, were selected for the KQFF Choice Award. Four films, including <Tank Fairy>, <Reflections>, <Safe Word>, and <Dive into you>, were selected for the Honorary Mention from the Executive Committee Award. Congratulations to all winners!

Waiting for the day we can meet again, the KQFF Executive Committee will happily prepare for next year. Thank you.

* Works within the same category are listed in alphabetical order.

1. KQFF Choice Award

1) Love in Zoom(Director: Eunhye Kim)

<Love in Zoom> is a film that questions heteronormativity in a lighthearted, uncontrived way. The main character, Youngsoo, feels a connection with Jihyeon and develops a crush on her. The film’s musical form allows the character’s feelings to be expressed by letting scenes of love seep into beautiful melodies, and vice versa. However, the moment the object of unrequited love changes from someone of the opposite gender to someone of the same gender, the main character Youngsoo begins to question “What is love? Could this be love?” Musical films are often thought of as having a weak underpinning narrative or awkward acting. This film, however, defies all such bias. After watching the movie, you will find yourself humming the main theme song.

2) Narcissism: The Auto-Erotic Images.(Director: Toni Karat)

In this film, queer people from all over the world visit an old attic to discuss their gender and narcissism. <Narcissism> points the camera at the intersection of the internal gaze toward the self and the external gaze placed on the body. It explores the relationship between queer identity and narcissism through the narcissistic experiences and concerns of each queer individual. As evinced by the vast amount of sources used to create this film, Narcissism can also be seen as the documentation of a rigorous exploration process. Narcissism succeeds in making the viewers empathize with some stories and be at conflict with others, and opened up the floor for a passionate discussion during Q-Talk. As the queer community faces a variety of issues that go unnoticed, the Korea Queer Film Festival is more than willing to be a venue for exploring and discussing these pressing issues through a film like Narcissism.

2. Honorary Mention from the Executive Committee

1) Dive into you(Director: KWON Minsung, LEE Hyunbin)

Sometimes sincerity can become a mistake, of little consequence, or nothing at all. Sometimes queer sincerity is bound to be an unspeakable secret. <Dive into you> is a film that depicts a time of sincerity that has no choice but to hide itself. It gives the audience a distinct aftertaste in a short running time.

2) Reflections(Director: Kane Kwik)

<Reflections>, which compares the lives of queer people to a double-sided vinyl record, is a film full of contrasting images. Rebuke and pleasure, guilt and pride, and the queer life that exist in between these polarities are condensed into strategic images for the screen. <Reflections> calls into question the practice of appropriating queerness from queer images while hiding actual queerness in films. It allows creators, audiences, and film festivals to reflect on the unique geography of queer films. We hope that the reflections from <Reflections> can have wide, lasting impact.

3) Safe Word(Director: Christopher Cunetto)

<Safe Word> is a film of surprising warmth that combines BDSM play with simple, plain narrative storytelling. The film sets out with a sensual atmosphere but ends on an earnest note about relationships, showing the various possibilities of a BDSM narrative. It explores queer sensuality in a delicate manner that stimulates and awakens the five senses.

4) Tank Fairy(Director: Erich Rettstadt)

Tank Fairy leads Jojo, a boy who feels left out both at home and at school, into the world of colorful dance and drag. When the two dance together, the city becomes their own sparkling stage. Neither the seemingly inflexible social class system nor the cisheteronormative standards that plagued Jojo can stop these two from dancing. Nothing can stop them from being themselves. The two outstanding dancers and splendid artistic direction of <Tank Fairy> capture the attention and excitement of the audience. Though a sense of resignation and disappointment towards their city exists beneath the flashy facade, <Tank Fairy> offers its hand to the dark reality of the city first, and a very colorful hand at that.