20 Korean Films to Screen at 44th Rotterdam

From Shorts, Documentaries and Features to Retrospective   At the 44th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), 20 Korean films will be screened, making it a big year for Korean cinema.   The only Korean short invited to the festival is CHO Seoung-ho’s B.1 which intimately studies the male body. This short will have its workd premiere in the As Long As It Takes: Short program.   The Bright Future section will include PARK Jung-bum’s second feature film, Alive. Bright Future will also include the international premiere of LEE Kwang-kuk’s A Matter of Interpretation and the European premiere of KIM Tae-yong’s Set Me Free.   The Korea-France co-production film by ROH Gyeong-tae, Black Stone, was selected for the Spectrum program, as well as JANG Kun-jae’s Korea-Japan co-production, A Midsummer’s Fantasia.   Concerning socially conscious works, BOO Ji-young’s film about temporary supermarket workers, Cart, was invited to screen in the What the F?! program, whil

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Four More Korean Films Confirmed for Rotterdam

BLACK STONE, CART, A MIDSUMMER’S FANTASIA and SET ME FREE Bring Count to 7 The 44th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) is onlyfive days away. Joining the previously announced Alive, Made in China and A Matter of Interpretation are four more Korean films, including a world premiere and an international premiere. Screening for the very first time will be Black Stone, a French-Korean joint production from director ROH Gyeong-tae. The project initially took part in the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)’s Asian Project Market in 2009, as well as the 5th edition of KOFIC’s Ko-Production in Paris in 2012. ROH previously went to Rotterdam with his films The Last Dining Table (2006) and Black Dove (2011). Black Stone, which is ROH’s fourth feature, was invited to the Spectrum lineup. Also in Spectrum will be JANG Kun-jae’s film A Midsummer’s Fantasia, which will be presented as a European premiere. The Japan-Korea co-production d

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Seoul International Youth Film Festival Attends Doha Giffoni Youth Summit

Reaching out to International Film Institutions The Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit took place during the Ajyal Youth Film Festival in Doha, Qatar. Held over December 2nd and 3rd, the inaugural summit brought together youth festival directors and industry delegates in order to discuss challenges and opportunities around cultural events that base their core audience and subjects on youths. The Seoul International Youth Film Festival (SIYFF) attended the event as the representative from Korea and had an opportunity to share Korean IT technology and its importance in youth media education. Other attendees of the youth-based event included Italy, Canada, the UK, the United Arab Emirates and Japan for a total of 26 countries. Not only was the summit important in sharing knowledge about their own cultural events, but it also created a chance for organizations to discuss partnerships for future endeavors. Especially with the recent MOU signing between SYIFF and Asia Internationa

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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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CHOI Min-sik’s THE GREAT TIGER Begins Shooting

Period Hunting Film Aims for Late 2015 Release Hot off the dizzying success of period naval war blockbuster Roaring Currents, which has netted him Best Actor accolades from the Korean Association of Film Critics and the Grand Bell (Daejong) Film Awards, CHOI Min-sik began shooting his next film last week. Entitled The Great Tiger (literal title), this new work is also a period piece and is being directed by New World’s PARK Hoon-jung. CHOI plays CHUN Man-duk, a hunter who was enlisted to catch the last remaining tiger on the Korean peninsula during the Japanese occupation in the early 20th century. Co-starring with him are JUNG Man-sik (Miracle in Cell No. 7), KIM Sang-ho (Haemoo), LA Mi-ran (Hope) and Japanese actor OSUGI Ren (KITANO Takeshi’s Fireworks, 1997). Director PARK previously worked with CHOI on his hit gangster thriller New World. He also wrote KIM Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil (2010), another CHOI film, as well as RYOO Seung-wan’s The Unjust (2010).

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HAN Hyo-joo Takes on Gisaeng Role for Next Project

Next Film from MY MOTHER, THE MERMAID Director PARK Heung-sik Rising star HAN Hyo-joo has chosen Hae-eo-hwa as her next project. The busy actress already has two projects lined up for release next year but that hasn’t stopped her from signing on for the next film by director PARK Heung-sik. Set in the 1930s, when Korea was a Japanese colony, Hae-eo-hwa will feature HAN as a gisaeng (the Korean term for courtesan) who quickly makes a name for herself with her beauty and artistic talent. The film’s Korean title is a term that refers to both a gisaeng and a beautiful woman. Following her 2003 discovery in a beauty pageant, HAN worked both on the big and small screen but since 2011 she has focused exclusively on films, forging an impressive filmography with credits such as Masquerade (2012) and Cold Eyes. This year she made her Japanese film debut in Miracle: Devil Claus’ Love and Magic while she recently wrapped the rock biopic C’est Si Bon and is currently filming th

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HILL OF FREEDOM Makes New Yorker End of Year List

Deemed One of 10 Best Undistributed Films of 2014 Richard Brody, who runs the Front Row column on newyorker.com, has listed HONG Sangsoo’s latest work Hill of Freedom in his annual rundown on the best films of the year. While not released in North American theaters this year, Brody ranked the film among his 10 favorite undistributed films of 2014. Following its premiere in the Orizzonti competition of the Venice International Film Festival, Hill of Freedom has exhibited a similar popularity on the festival circuits as HONG’s recent works, garnering invitations to the Toronto, Busan, Vancouver, New York and BFI London Film Festivals, among others. The film features Japanese star KASE Ryo as man who travels to Seoul to reconnect with an old flame. While he waits for a response to his letters, he meets many people including a cafe owner play by MOON So-ri. The film was listed along with new works by Spike LEE (Da Sweet Blood of Jesus) and TSAI Ming-liang (Journey to t

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SCARLET INNOCENCE Preparing for February Release in Japan

Directed by Hansel and Gretel (2007)’s YIM Pil-sung, Scarlet Innocence has set its date for the Japan release. Although its domestic box office records weren’t as successful, the film has been receiving positive criticism from international film festival scene. It had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, followed by Busan and Hawaii International Film Festivals. JUNG Woo-sung of The Good, The Bad, and The Weird (2008) and Cold Eyes (2013) takes the lead role of this rewritten folk tale, where JUNG plays the irresponsible father SHIM Hak-gyu. To take time away from rumors at school between him and a student, SHIM is sent to a remote town to teach and he finds Deok, an attractive young woman. They get involved despite the fact that SHIM has a family back in Seoul. Although for SHIM this is just a fling, it’s not that simple for Deok who slowly turns into a sexually obsessed monster, played by a new face E Som. As Japanese filmgoers ar

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