Haeundae-gu, Busan, Republic of Korea,
A LEAVE Crowned Best Independent Film of the Year
Director Lee Ranhee’s Debut Honored by Association of Korea Independent Film & TV
Lee Ranhee’s debut film A Leave (2020) has been voted as the Best Independent Film of the Year by the Association of Korea Independent Film & TV. Director Lee recently picked up the Best Director Award from the 22nd Women in Film Awards.
A Leave had its world premiere last year in the signature New Currents competition of the Busan International Film Festival, a program that has launched other notable Korean indie works such as Park Jungbum’s The Journals of Musan (2010) and Kim Bora’s House of Hummingbird (2018). The film went on to screen at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and San Francisco International Film Festival, among other events. Lee’s work then met local audiences on general release on October 21, during which it garnered over 7,000 admissions.
The film stars Lee Bongha as a longtime activist who has been protesting for a long time with other colleagues following their unfair dismissal. After a major legal setback, he takes a break from his activism, returns to his daughters at home, and takes on some carpentry work from an old friend to make ends meet, only to be confronted with another work-related issue involving his new colleague.
Meanwhile, the Independent Film Person of the Year prize went to Won Seunghwan, the director of Indiespace, a theater dedicated to the screening of independent films.
The Association also selected a total of 27 titles as its 2021 Independent Films of the Year. Among them were the feature films Arreum Married (2019), Climbing (2020), Coming to You, Gull (2020), Hot in Day, Cold at Night, I Am from Chosun (2020), I Don’t Fire Myself (2020), In Front of Your Face, A Leave, A Lonely Island in the Distant Sea, A Long Way to School (2020), Loop Dreams (2019), Kim Jongboon of Wangshimni, Men Who Won't Pick Up Guns 2: Breaking a Taboo (2020), Mom’s Song (2020), Rolling Girl, Sasang: The Town on Sand (2020), Shadow Flowers (2019), Short Vacation (2020), Snowball (2020), Soup and Ideology, Ten Months, Three Sisters (2020), Through My Midwinter and Underground (2019), as well as the short films KIN Online and A Winter Glove.