MY LOVE, DON’T CROSS THAT RIVER Sets New Korean Indie Record

INTERSTELLAR Finally Crosses 10 Million Admissions The hit documentary My Love, Don’t Cross That River, about an elderly couple who have been married for 76 years, has become the most successful Korean independent film of all time after crossing the three million admissions mark on Christmas Day. The previous record holder was the 2009 documentary Old Partner with 2.93 million admissions, a mark that My Love, Don’t Cross That River eclipsed in only 29 days. Yesterday, the film, which was ranked fourth on the daily chart, added 261,016 viewers to its tally, indicating that it has yet to burn off demand and should continue to perform strongly. Further down the chart, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar sold 17,474 tickets in tenth place, which was enough to finally bear the sci-fi blockbuster over the ten million admissions milestone after nine weeks in theaters. Interstellar is the third film to cross the threshold this year, the third non-Korean film to do so since records began an

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New Film from EUNGYO Director JUNG Ji-woo

What It Means to Be in 4th Place Director JUNG Ji-woo of Engyo (2011) is in post-production for his newest feature, Fourth Place (translated title). Fourth Place features child star YOO Jae-sang (The Divine Move) and Hwayi: A Monster Boy and TV series Misaeng’s PARK Hae-joon. YOO plays a young swimmer who constantly only succeeds in reaching the fourth place in races, while PARK took on the role of a coach who had a failed career as a professional swimmer. The story is wrapped around the lives of the swimmer, the coach and the child’s mother, while touching on a sensitive topic of Korea’s competitive society. Although PARK Hae-joon has been in large projects prior to Fourth Place, this will be his first as the main protagonist. PARK played one of the ‘dads’ in Hwayi: A Monster Boy, but his recent casting in TV drama Misaeng in particular has led him to stardom. Fourth Place started shooting on September 28th and wrapped up on November 27th. It is scheduled to be released in the

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MOURNING GRAVE to Hit Cambodia Screens on January 2nd

Korean Films Galore in Cambodia OH In-chun’s horror flick Mourning Grave will be released in Cambodia nationwide on January 2nd. Mourning Grave is about a young man with an ability to see ghosts who meets a girl with a forgotten past. As they build their friendship, they discover the mystery behind a masked ghost. With his recent role in the popular drama series Misaeng, lead actor KANG Ha-neul has of late been expanding his fan base. KIM So-eun plays the ghost girl alongside him. Mourning Grave is director OH’s first commercial film. He previously received an award at the Seoul International Short Film Festival in 2011. He has been directing horror films throughout his career and continues to be recognized following his Méliès d’Argent from the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival this year and his invitation to the 18th Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, as the only Korean commercial film in the program. On the other hand, the 8th Korean Film Festival in C

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Korean Films Top 100 Million Admissions for 3rd Year Running

Overall Ticket Sales Exceed 200 Million for 2nd Time Korean films topped 100 million admissions for the third year running on December 23rd, while overall sales exceed 200 million for the second year on the trot. While the figure is expected to climb higher in the coming days with a strong end of year showing for local releases, the mark was reached slower than in 2012 (November 20th) and 2013 (October 5th). Korea’s market share also dipped down to 48.9% as foreign titles exceeded the 100 million mark for the first time on December 6th. Driven by the phenomenal success of period epic Roaring Currents, which far exceeded previous record holders by clinching 17.61 million ticket sales, attendance for local films rebounded in mid-summer following a period of Hollywood dominance. Tinseltown currently holds the second and third spots for the year with Disney’s Frozen (10.3 million viewers) and Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi Interstellar, which is expected to cross the 10 million m

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HONG Sangsoo’s Hill of Freedom Released in Japan

KASE Ryo Expresses Sentiments   HONG Sangsoo’s Hill of Freedom was released in Japan on December 13th at the Tokyo Cinemart Shinjuku and will expand its screen number in the coming days. On the day it opened, director HONG Sangsoo and actor KASE Ryo attended the screening in person to promote the film. During the talk, KASE expressed his sentiments towards the project, saying, “I wonder if there will be another film shoot like Hill of Freedom, I loved every moment of it. There wasn’t a lot of staff but everyone came together for one single goal and could focus just on the film. It was a good experience for me and has become a warm memory.” Hill of Freedom is about a Japanese man named Mori (KASE Ryo) who travels to Korea in search of his past co-worker and lover KWON (SEO Young-hwa) and meets the cafe owner Young-sun (MOON So-ri).  

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Pune Stages 1st Korean Film Festival

Coincided with Korean Cultural Festival in Indian City Film lovers in the Indian city Pune got a taste of Korean cinema last week when the 1st Korean Film Festival in Pune was held from December 9th to 11th. Taking place in the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), the event was organized by the Korean Consulate General of Mumbai, the Korean Association of Pune as well as the NFAI. Coinciding with Pune’s 1st Korean Cultural Festival, the three-day event was part of an effort to strengthen Indo-Korean ties in the local community. In addition, the festival was seen as a gateway to Korean culture for locals who may have limited knowledge of Korea. Opting for commercial dramas and comedies, the festival screened CHOI Equan’s multi-strand melodrama Mama (2012), KWON Chil-in’s romantic drama Wonderful Radio (2012), HAN Ji-seung’s multi-cultural drama Papa (2012), LEE Jeong-hyang’s A Reason to Live (2011), featuring SONG Hye-kyo, LIM Chan-ik’s cop comedy Officer of the Year (20

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JK YOUN’s ODE TO MY FATHER Invited to 65th Berlinale

Korean “Modern History” and “National Trauma” to Be Introduced in Panorama Announced on December 16th, the Berlin International Film Festival confirmed 19 films for its Panorama section. Eleven features and eight documentaries were invited, and out of the features, JK YOUN’s most recent epic Ode to My Father made the cut. Labeled by Panorama Head Wieland Speck as Korean ‘modern history’ and ‘national trauma’, Ode to My Father takes a journey through the life of a single man who lives through major contemporary Korean history milestones. From the hardships of the Korean War, to working in Germany’s grim coal mines, to the Vietnam War, the man struggles to support his family despite all his hurdles. Relying on the strong attachment of Korean society towards family ties and the unfortunate fate of the breadwinner, YOUN draws out local tastes while focusing on the universal language of love and loyalty. With strong star casting that includes HWANG Jung-min (A Good Lawyer’s Wife [200

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Bounty of Awards Recognition for SNOWPIERCER

Bong Joon Ho’s Sci-Fi Lands on Numerous Year-End 10- 10s Hot on the heels of its Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress win for Tilda Swinton from the Boston Online Film Critics Awards, Bong Joon Ho’s Snowpiercer is shaping up to be a surprise awards contender with the film landing in numerous top 10 shortlists and critics group awards ballots. To date the sci-fi pic has received seven wins or nomination (with some yet to be decided) from five North American awards groups while five prominent critics have listed the film on their year-end top 10s. Swinton, who plays the memorable Yorkshire-accented Mason in the film, has been drawing particular notice for her role. The Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association nominated her for Best Supporting Actress last week, a prize that eventually went to Boyhood’s Patricia Arquette. Elsewhere, she has been nominated for the 18th Annual Online Film Critics (OFCS) Awards and the 19th Annual Satellite Awards, the winners of which will b

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SNOWPIERCER Wins Top Honors from Boston Online Film Critics

Tilda Swinton Earns Best Supporting Actress Prize Ushering in the season of regional awards from critics that set the stage for the Academy Awards in March, the Boston Online Film Critics have given their top award to Bong Joon Ho’s dystopian sci-fi Snowpiercer. The film also picked up the Best Supporting Actress prize for Tilda Swinton. Other big winners included Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s Birdman, which picked up four accolades, including that of Best Director. Though the film was strongly received by critics in North America, with a rating a 95% fresh on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, and was submitted by regional distributor TWC-Radius for awards consideration, Snowpiercer was a surprise winner. In 2013, the Boston group favored eventual Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave but this year’s choices tended more towards the arthouse, with Best Actor and Actress prizes going to Calvary’s Brendan Gleeson and Two Days, One Night’s Marion Cotillard from Ireland and France,

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Best Actor for ALIVE’s PARK Jung-bum in Mar Del Plata

Indie Drama Also Picks Up Obra Cine Award PARK Jung-bum has been awarded the Silver Astor for Best Actor at Argentina’s Mar Del Plata International Film Festival for his role in Alive, which he also directed. Beyond the official awards, PARK’s film also picked up the Obra Cine Award for best first or second feature. Meanwhile, the Golden Astor for Best Film was awarded to the Turkey-France-Germany co-production Come to My Voice by Hüseyin Karabey. Following his sensational debut The Journals of Musan (2011), which picked up numerous awards around the world, PARK made his sophomore film Alive as one of the first feature length Jeonju Digital Projects which were presented at this year’s Jeonju International Film Festival. Subsequently, PARK’s three hour drama has been in high demand on the festival circuit, screening at the Toronto, Busan, Vancouver, Locarno and Singapore International Film Festivals among others. Alive takes place in the mountainous Gangwon Province of Kor

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WAY BACK HOME, BROKEN and THREAD OF LIES Invited to Hanoi International Film Festival

Korean Films at Vietnamese Biannual Event Way Back Home and Broken were invited to the 3rd Hanoi International Film Festival, which close curtains on November 27th. Way Back Home was a part of the competition section while Broken was in the World Cinema program. Hanoi International Film Festival is a biannual event and the only film festival in Vietnam. The Vietnamese government organizes the event and the opening and closing ceremonies are shown on national broadcast on VTV, attracting a lot of attention from the public. Previously in 2012, the 2nd Hanoi International Film Festival invited Korean films Helpless and My Way, in competition and world cinema categories respectively. BANG Eun-jin’s Way Back Home has JEON Do-yeon and KO Su as lead actors. The story is based on a real event where a married woman gets herself in trouble when she gets caught at the Orly Airport in France for smuggling in drugs and is sent to jail in Martinique. Broken stars JUNG Jae-young and LEE Sung-m

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UHM Jeong-hwa and SONG Seung-heon to Play Husband and Wife

LA Mi-ran, KIM Sang-ho, SEO Shin-ae Confirm Roles in MEOT-JIN AK-MONG Director KANG Hyo-jin has cast UHM Jeong-hwa and SONG Seung-heon as a couple in Meot-jin Ak-mong. Due to a mistake from the heavens, Yeon-woo, who used to be a successful lawyer is reborn as a housewife upon her death. The accomplished lawyer is played by UHM while her new husband will be SONG. Character actors LA Mi-ran and KIM Sang-ho join in supporting roles while young actress SEO Shin-ae will play the daughter to UHM and SONG. UHM has consistently starred in films for over 10 years andwas cast in notable works such as Marriage is a Crazy Thing (2002) and Singles (2003). In 2012, she ruled the box office with Dancing Queenby bringing inover 4 million admissions,and with her role in Montage last year, she won the Best Actress award from the 50th Daejong Awards (Grand Bell Awards). SONG had an interesting year with a more daring role in Obsessed. He has been getting a lo

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