Animal-themed film festival to open in Suncheon Bay

A film festival to promote the coexistence of people and animals will be held at Suncheon Bay, South Jeolla Province, from Aug. 21-26.

The "Animal Film Festival in Suncheon," in its second year, will screen 50 animal-themed films from 20 countries. The movies will deal with the preservation of nature and interactions between humans and animals.

Japanese film "7 Days of Himawari & Her Puppies" directed by Emiko Hiramatsu, will kick off the festival. The film is based on a true story and depicts an animal welfare officer's relationship with an abandoned dog and her three puppies at the animal shelter. They develop mutual trust and love.

Korean actor Jung Kyung-ho and actress Jo Yoon-hee will advocate for animal rights and protection as goodwill ambassadors dubbed "Animal Friends" during the festival.

"As I have raised my own pets, I have had interest in homeless animals abandoned by their owners," Jo said in a press conference for the festival on Monday. "I would like to make people realise the necessity of providing help and adequate shelter to many animals."

The film festival's programme is divided into four sections.

"Reality Tales" groups films that highlight nature's mystery and beauty by focusing on wild animals and rare animals. "Animals Beside Us" introduces films about pets and humans living together. "Close-up" sheds light on animal rights issues. "Kid's Dream" consists of kid-friendly movies.

Special programs include the "Healing Bus-Train-Camp" for those who have difficulty traveling with their pets and spending time together while away from home.

"Healing Buses" and "Healing Trains" will transport participants and their pets from Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju and Daejeon to Suncheon on Aug. 23.

Once in Suncheon, they will spend one night at a campground doing various activities together.

Films will be screened outdoors as well at Suncheon Bay Garden throughout the festival.

The festival will take place in Suncheon Bay Garden and other parts of the city from Aug. 21-26. For more information, visit