Marathon of independent films, in-person esports and calming teas

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Short animation “Battery Daddy”, directed by Jeon Seung-bae (SIFF)

With the winter chill set to continue this weekend, how about watching independent films at the 47th Seoul Independent Film Festival at CGV Art House Apgujeong and CGV Apgujeong in Seoul.

The film festival kicked off Thursday and will run until December 3.

Those who missed the opening film “Sprinter”, directed by Choi Seung-yeon which premiered on Thursday, can watch it at 3:20 pm Sunday.

The film centers on three track athletes – Hyun-soo, Jun-seo and Jung-ho – who compete for the national team. Hyun-soo was once Korea’s fastest 100-meter sprinter. Jun-seo is still a promising talent in high school and Jung-ho is the fastest in Korea.

Cinephiles will also be able to watch “Log in Belgium” by actor-turned-director Yoo Teo on Saturday at 6 pm, before its commercial release. Yoo created the film while he was in Belgium in February last year to shoot a movie. Shot while Antwerp was in total lockdown, the documentary examines Yoo’s notion of identity in the context of his acting career during the pandemic.

There are also short films that show the creativity of directors in various ways.

Jeon Seung-bae’s “Battery Daddy” animation featuring felt dolls is one of the standout shorts recommended by members of the SIFF program committee. The film will be screened this weekend at 8 p.m. Friday and 10:40 a.m. Sunday.

A total of 120 films are shown at the festival.

Before purchasing tickets, you can check if English subtitles are provided. Films with English subtitles have the letter “E” next to the film title on the SIFF website.

Discover Korean esport up close

Afreeca Coliseum in Jamsil, southeast of Seoul (AfreecaTV)

Afreeca Coliseum in Jamsil, southeast of Seoul (AfreecaTV)

Escape the cold of November at an indoor esports festival.

Local streaming platform AfreecaTV welcomes gamers, content creators and esports fans to the FreeCon festival.

The event is scheduled to take place November 25-28 at Lotte World’s Afreeca Colosseum in Jamsil, southeast Seoul. This will be the first time Afreeca Colosseum has opened to in-person visitors, since the first edition of FreeCon was held online in 2020.

Watch incredible performances from popular BJs or broadcast jockeys, and pro players competing in some of your favorite games – League of Legends, StarCraft, Tekken7, FIFA Online 4 and more. A special gift will be offered to visitors.

The four-day festival begins with an everyday talk show, where esports pros will share their stories and experiences with fans.

If you’re a LoL or FIFA Online 4 fan, Saturday is a great day. Players from Afreeca Freecs, a Korean LoL esports team, will face five fan-voted BJs in an All-Star game. The kickoff of the match is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

The highly anticipated matches between famous FIFA Online 4 users will start at 7 p.m.

LoL and FIFA Online 4 matches will be broadcast as they are during the regular esports season.

Tekken and StarCraft players may want to head out on Sunday instead when the AfreecaTV Tekken7 League Finals feature stars such as Knee, considered the greatest Tekken player of all time.

The esports festival will conclude with StarCraft event matches, played by popular AfreecaTV BJs.

Tickets are priced at 9,000 won and can be reserved on the local Ticket Link ticketing website.

Tea and beauty meet in Gahoe-dong

A view of Bukchonro Osulloc and the Sulwhasoo (Amorepacific) flagship store

A view of Bukchonro Osulloc and the Sulwhasoo (Amorepacific) flagship store

If you are planning to visit Bukchon Hanok Village in central Seoul this weekend, there is a new place to visit in neighboring Gahoe-dong. The new Bukchonro Osulloc, an upscale tea house and flagship store of Sulwhasoo, Amorepacific’s skin care brand, offers an architectural experience as well as a unique menu of desserts and teas.
A view of Bukchonro Osulloc and the Sulwhasoo flagship store (Park Yuna / The Korea Herald)

A view of Bukchonro Osulloc and the Sulwhasoo flagship store (Park Yuna / The Korea Herald)

The tea house and flagship store includes two renovated buildings: a modern western style house from the 60s and a hanok, or traditional Korean house, from the 30s, as well as a small garden with ancient stone pagodas, flowers and trees. Located next to Bukchon Hanok Village, you can sip a cup of hot tea while enjoying a unique view of the hanok-filled district.

“Both architectures show the history of Korean modern homes which are now nearly 100 years old,” said architect Choi Wook, CEO of One O One Architects, who designed the space. “Both buildings are 50 meters long and high so it’s about a 500 meter walk if you take a look around the buildings, balcony and garden which will be a great trail.”

At the tea room on the second floor, don’t miss their signature desserts, such as the giwa-inspired green tea waffle plate, or the tiles of traditional buildings. Tea Atelier on the first floor offers pure tea, mixed tea and herbal tea.

Camellia Pinacolada alcohol-free tea cocktail at Bukchonro Osulloc (Park Yuna / The Korea Herald)

Camellia Pinacolada alcohol-free tea cocktail at Bukchonro Osulloc (Park Yuna / The Korea Herald)

Non-alcoholic tea cocktails are served at the Sulloc Bar on the third floor, which also serves appetizers. From a seat on the balcony, you can admire the view of Gahoe-dong.

Pass by the adjacent hanok where Sulwhasoo’s flagship store is to stock up on beauty supplies.

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