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Time and The Host Compete in Spain

2006/07/12 Source

Two Korean films have been invited to competition sections of the 39th Sitges International Film Festival, one of the top three fantasy film festivals in the world, held annually in Catalonia, Spain. Running October 6th to the 15th, Sitges recently announced the selection of two films by South Korean auteurs: BONG Joon-ho's The Host and KIM Ki-duk's Time. It has not been decided whether both films will compete in the main "Official Fantastic" section for the Maria award for best Motion Picture, or whether one will be placed in the Orient Express Casa Asia section which awards the Best Asian Production.

Last year at Sitges, actress LEE Young-ae won the Best Actress award in the main section for her lead role in PARK Chan-wook's Sympathy for Lady Vengeance while Antarctic Journal by LIM Pil-seong won the Best Asian Motion Picture award in the Orient Express section.

Both BONG and KIM enjoy a strong international critical following, however, while BONG is celebrated at home, KIM is not so much in favor with the local press and is largely ignored by the Korean public. BONG's The Host , with a domestic release on July 27th, is now the most anticipated local film of the summer, while KIM's Time had no Korean release planned until local distributor Sponge stepped in to buy domestic distribution rights, with a limited release now slated for August.

The Host, a genre-bending thriller about one family's struggle against a monster that lives in Seoul's Han River, had its world premier at Cannes in the Director's Fortnight section. Time, which looks at modern love and the extreme measures a couple will take including plastic surgery to reignite their fading passion, had its world premier as the opening film at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

The two films will also be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival which runs September 7th to 16th. KIM's film will be shown in the Visions section which "spotlights works whose artistry challenge the confines and conventions of mainstream cinema".

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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