Debuting this year, the Close-up program is dedicated to celebrating and supporting the work of inimitable auteur-directors of our time. YI Ok Seop and KOO Kyo-hwan, two young cineastes whose collaboration dates back to 2014, are the inaugural year's heroes. In 2019, the pair raised the level of their joint effort further with Maggie, a feature-length film shot with YI in the director's chair and KOO acting opposite actress LEE Joo-young.
PIPFF has selected for screening eight short films, along with Maggie, by the two directors. Welcome To My Home (2012) and Where Is My DVD? (2013) are shorts directed by KOO, where his "geeky" imagination and whimsical visual aesthetics are in full display. YI's 2012 documentary RAZ on Air chronicles the day-to-day goings-on of a "controversial" BJ, or an independent broadcaster, skillfully developing the real-life figure into a screen character. A Dangerous Woman (2014) saw the start of YI's theatrical universe, with distinctive traits that include unique characters, unexpected twists and editing, and the subtle intercrossing of sound and image.
Co-directed by KOO and YI are FLY TO THE SKY (2015) and Girls on Top (2017), each blending their signature aesthetics into a heartwarming story. They have split roles since then, with YI "directing" solo and KOO "acting," while working jointly on screenplay and editing. The first product under this new system was Leave a Message after Beep (2018), in which KOO played the role of an animal communicator. Their first-ever feature film Maggie (2019) explores rather serious themes in a fun and light-hearted manner. The duo is to appear in Special Talk session.