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Locarno Grabs ALIVE and GYEONGJU for Competition

Jul 18, 2014
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
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CHOI Min-sik Hollywood Debut LUCY Opens Fest

The competition lineup for the prestigious Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland was revealed on Wednesday. 17 titles will vie for the top Golden Leopard and among those are a pair of recent films from Korea. Feature-length Jeonju Digital Project Alive, from director PARK Jung-bum will take part along with ZHANG Lu’s Gyeongju. Two more Korean titles will compete in the Filmmakers of the Present program. Opening the festival will be Luc Besson’s Lucy, which features CHOI Min-sik’s international film debut.
PARK Jung-bum’s Alive was one of three projects selected for the Jeonju International Film Festival’s first full-length Jeonju Digital Projects. Editing right until its first screening in Jeonju, the film clocks in at almost three hours. Director PARK debuted in 2011 with The Journals of Musan, one of the most successful Korean independent films to hit the festival circuit, winning top prizes at the Busan, Marrakesh, Rotterdam, Deauville Asian and Off Plus Camera Film Festivals among others.

Following his foray into documentary filmmaking with Scenery, Chinese-Korean filmmaker ZHANG Lu took on his biggest project to date with Gyeongju, a drama that stars PARK Hae-il. The critically acclaimed film has been compared to the works of HONG Sangsoo.
Screening in Concorso Cineasti del Presente will be another pair of Korean works. JANG Woo-jin’s A Fresh Start, which debuted at the Jeonju International Film Festival, where it picked up the JJ Star Award, the top Korean prize, and the US-South Korea-Portugal co-production Songs from the North by YOO Soon-mi, a documentary which will be having its world premiere.
Iconic Oldboy (2003) star CHOI Min-sik takes on his first Hollywood role in Lucy, the sci-fi actioner starring Scarlett Johansson. The film will have its world premiere in Locarno. CHOI will also soon be seen in local period naval war film Roaring Currents, opening domestically on July 30th.
Korea looks to have a strong showing in Switzerland this summer but with the full program yet to be revealed, there may be more surprises in store. Last year, HONG Sangsoo's Our Sunhi picked up the Silver Leopard for Best Director in Locarno. The 67th Locarno International Film Festival will take place over August 6th to 16th.
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