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Korean Movies to Shine at Int'l Film Fests

2008/06/30 | Permalink | Source

By Lee Hyo-won
Staff Reporter

South Korean movies continue to make their way around the globe to vie for prizes and reach a wider audience. Some notable trips to international film festivals include feted director Kim Ki-duk's latest work "Dream", the anticipated summer blockbuster "The Good, the Bad, the Weird", which received rave reviews at the Festival de Cannes in May, and creative animations and documentaries.

"Dream" (Bimong) by celebrated director Kim Ki-duk will contend for the Golden Shell at the 56th San Sebastian International Film Festival running Sept. 18-27, the festival announced recently (Open the link). It is the only Asian film in the competition pool against five other works. It is Kim's third work after "3-Iron" and "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring" to appear at the event. Kim has won the award for Best Director at Venice ("3-Iron") and Berlin ("Samaritan Girl" - "Samaria"), while "Breath" competed at Cannes.

Starring top Korean actress Lee Na-young and Japanese heartthrob Joe Odagiri, it is about two people connected through dreams, a man who dreams compulsively and a woman who sleepwalks dangerously. Fans can look forward to seeing "Dream" here in the fall.

Kim Jee-woon's "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" starring top stars Lee Byung-hun, Song Kang-ho and Jung Woo-sung will appear at the 33rd Toronto Film Festival running Sept. 4-13, festival organizers announced Thursday (Open the link). This "kimchi Western", as the Toronto Festival calls it, is the first Korean movie to be featured in the prestigious gala section, which selectively screens 20 "high profile, major impact" films out of some 300 that are invited. The Canadian festival is considered among the top cinema events alongside Cannes, Venice and Berlin.

The action flick's export to 11 countries has already been sealed, and talks with American and Japanese buyers are currently underway, said the movie's local publicist. The screening at Toronto, a major playground for the film market, is expected to boost sales. It opens in theaters here July 17.

Korean Animations in Brazil

Creative homegrown animations will travel to Brazil for the 16th Anima Lundi International Animation Festival, the Pusan (Busan) International Film Festival organizers announced Friday. Four films will contend in the shorts section: "Christmas in Taxi" by Jo Young-kwang, "Eden" by Kim Hye-won, "Look Around" by Lee Kyu-tae and "Wanted" by Kim Woon-ki (from omnibus "Indie Anibox : Selma's Protein Coffee"). The festival runs July 11-20 in Rio de Janeiro and July 23-27 at Sao Paulo (Open the link).

"Bab Mook Ja" by Min Sung-ah and "Bulpyeoni" by Choe Hyeon-myeong will compete in the Shorts for Children. "The Things She Can't Avoid in the City" by Park Ji-youn will be screened in Anima Lundi's out-of-competition section Panaroma. It was recently shown at the 12th Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival (SICAF) and film buffs will be able to see this bittersweet story about a woman's survival in the urban jungle at the upcoming 12th Puchon (Bucheon) International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan), July 18-27, and Taiwan's 15th Women Make Waves Film Festival in the fall.

"Her Summer", a poetic documentary by Ahn Seon-hee, will compete in France's 19th Marseille International Documentary Film Festival, which runs Wednesday through July 7 (www.fidmarseille.org). Ahn captures the dexterous, hardworking hands of a woman who has spent 80 years of her life on domestic chores. It was shown here at last year's 9th Women's International Film Festival in Seoul (WIFFS), and will vie for the top Marseille prize against 19 other documentary movies.

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