Korean Films Premiering at PIFF

A slew of Korean features will have their World Premiere at the 12th Pusan International Film Festival, which opens October 4 for a 9 day run. A special highlight of the festival is "The Friends", a long-awaited second feature from director Lee Yeong-jae, whose debut was the endearing classic "The Harmonium in My Memory" (1999). "The Friends" is the story of three 6th graders who, curious about death, decide to visit a dying old man.

Films from new voices and recent film school graduates include Kim Sun-hee's "Drawing Paper", her HD feature debut - a coming-of-age story about the members of a girls high school band, and "Nowhere to Turn" by debut director Lee Seung-yeong, a similar-themed story of a young musically inclined girl discovering life.

The documentary "Lineage Of The Voice" follows two boys from very different backgrounds as they develop their talent for the traditional singing practice called pansori. It is directed by Paik Yeon-ah, who was the editor on Daniel Gordon's "A State of Mind". Continuing the theme of music is documentary Billboard Records by Bae Chang-dong, a memoir revolving around a record shop.

Others world premiere films include gangster-actioner "Spare", the feature debut of Lee Seong-han; "My Song Is...", a drama of struggling youth, the sophomore effort from "Five Is Too Many" director Ahn Seul-gi; "Hello, Stranger", the second feature by Kim Dong-hyun-VI, director of "A Shark" (2005), tells the story of outsiders and social outcasts as their live intersect in Seoul; and "Milky Way Liberation Front" is the feature debut of award-winning short filmmaker Yoon Seong-ho, and is a light-hearted tale of a struggling young filmmaker.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)