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Korean Hits on U.S. International Watch List

2008/12/31 Source

Two of South Korea's top box office winners for 2008 have made it into the International Watch List, a survey of the American film industry's favorite foreign films from the past year. The list is put together based on votes from over 50 US film executives. Director Na Hong-jin's debut thriller, "The Chaser", placed third in number of votes received while Kim Jee-woon's kimchi-western "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" was seventh.

The stated aim of The International Watch List is "to highlight new filmmaking talent from abroad, to inspire creativity and spread the word about the international favorites of the year". Number one on the list was Swedish horror, Let the Right One In, which had its Korean release last month.

KIM's "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" was the top-grossing film of 2008, selling 6.68 million tickets. It revolves around a treasure map, and stars Korea's top male leads, Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun, and Jung Woo-sung. NA's "The Chaser" was the second highest grossing film at 5.1 million tickets sold. It follows an ex-cop-turned pimp chasing down an elusive prostitute killer.

Both films have won a slew of awards at home and abroad. The International Watch List is an unofficial U.S. industry survey. It considers foreign features and foreign shorts released in theaters internationally or shown at an international film festival in 2008, and directed by a foreign filmmaker.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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