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Ko - production in Busan
  • Korean World Premieres at PIFF 2008
  • by Nigel D’Sa (KOFIC) /  Oct 01, 2008
  • Korean World Premieres at PIFF 2008


    The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) is putting its weight behind local films this year, and, under the catch-phrase ‘Way to Go, Korea!’ will host the World Premier of 15 Korean features.  Headlining is closing film I am Happy by YOON Jong-chan, a psychiatric drama based on a novel by Korean literary giant, the late LEE Chong-jun.  The fest runs Oct 2 – 10 in the south-eastern port city of Busan. 


    PIFF’s competition section, New Currents, will see the World Premieres of 3 Korean features.  Land of Scarecrows is the sophomore effort by ROH Gyeong-tae (The Last Dining Table), a poetical cross-section of the lives of Korea’s outsiders in pursuit of vanishing dreams. Members of the Funeral by BAEK Seung-bin is an HD feature about a family mourning the passing of relative and the memories it triggers, while KIM Tae-gon’s The Pot focuses on the uncanny happenings surrounding a small family in their new apartment.


    In the Korean Cinema Today – Panorama section are several anticipated features, including offbeat comedy Crush and Blush, the feature debut by LEE Kyeong-mi, assistant director to PARK Chan-wook.  The film is PARK’ s first producing effort and centers on the awkward behavior of a jealous school teacher for her married colleague. 

    Indie-auteur JEON Soo-il is back with a drama set mainly in Nepal, called Himilaya - Where the Wind Dwells, starring top thespian CHOI Min-sik. 


    Other films making their world premiere in this section are Heartbreak Library, an erotic thriller by KIM Jeong-kwon, Sisters on the Road, by BU Ji-young, a drama following the journey of two half-sisters after their mother’s funeral, and KIM Jeong-jun’s Oishi Man, about a singer going deaf who travels to Hokkaido to rest.


    Accompanying Panorama is the Vision section with several debut selections including PIFF returnee AHN Seul-ki’s third feature, How to Live on Earth, a B-movie send up about the marital troubles of a top spy and her bookish husband, a poet.  Also on the program are the autobiographical drama, Breathless by YANG Ik-june, The Pit and the Pendulum, a labyrinth of memories induced by a funeral gathering by SONG Young-sung, street-drama Exhausted by KIM Gok, Let the Blue River Run by KANG Mi-ja, The Room Nearby by KOH Tae-jeong, and horror triptych VIY by PARK Jin-sung. 


    In addition, a Gala presentation will be given to Korean-American director SOHN Soopum’s Make Yourself At Home, psychological drama about a newlywed Korean couple, set in New Jersey.  It stars popular actress SONG Hye-kyo in her US debut. 


    Nigel D’Sa

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