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Korean Film News

LEE Chang-dong’s Latest Scores Deals with 100 Markets

Jun 04, 2018
  • Writerby Pierce Conran
  • View1431
BURNING Fires Up Global Distributors



Director LEE Chang-dong’s new film BURNING has become a hit with international buyers, having already sold to 100 distributors shortly after its premiere in a competition last month at the Cannes Film Festival. Sales agent Finecut confirmed the sales in late May. 

In addition to deals struck prior to its Cannes debut for France, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Singapore, the film has now found distributors in Britain, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Greece, Poland, and Turkey among others.

“It is not easy for non-commercial films to be pre-sold in overseas film markets. But this film was sold so quickly even without any footage shown” conveyed a representative from Finecut, who went on to state that overseas distributors “have almost simultaneously expressed their intent to sign deals on the film after watching it or after the awards ceremony at Cannes.”

Based on a short story by MURAKAMI Haruki, BURNING features YOO Ah-in (Veteran, 2015) as a poor wannabe writer who strikes up a relationship with an acquaintance from his past, played by newcomer JUN Jong-seo. He takes care of her cat when she leaves on a trip to Africa, from which she returns with a rich young man (Steven YEUN of Okja) who shares his secret hobby with the writer.

Though the film took home no prizes from the international jury at Cannes, it became the first Korean film to earn the FIPRESCI Prize, and also picked up the Vulcan Award for the Technical Artist, which went to art director SHIN Jeom-hee.

BURNING received broad critical acclaim at Cannes, where it recorded the highest score in history on Screen Daily’s annual Cannes Jury Grid. The film was released in Korea on May 16, where it opened in third place.
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