The 16th Jeonju International Film Festival, which will run from April 30th through to May 9th, has unveiled the full lineup of Korean and foreign films to be screened.
In terms of Korean cinema, in addition to the already previously announced Korean Competition and Korean Competition for Shorts that features new and emerging talent, films from the peninsula will feature within Korean Cinemascape and Korean Cinemascape for Shorts, as well as in other select programs.
With so many independent productions from which to choose, selecting quality films can be somewhat of a daunting task. As such, here are Hanguk Yeonghwa’s Hot Picks for the upcoming festival.
Jeonju Digital Project 2015
Samnye (삼례) – Director Lee Hyun-jung (이현정)
Director Lee’s previous JIFF film, Echo of Dragon, appeared in the 2013 Korean Competition and proved her art-house sensibilities. Samnye tells the story of a struggling screenwriter, who meets a charming yet strange girl. Art cinema fans should definitely take a look.
Snow Paths (설행 눈길을 걷다) – Director Kim Hee-jung (김희정)
Described by JIFF Head Programmer KIM Young-jin as, “undervalued in the Korean film industry,” director Kim (Grape Candy) returns with Snow Paths, a film exploring the life of an alcoholic seeking solace in the mountains who befriends a nun.
Black Stone (블랙스톤) – Director Roh Gyeong-tae (노경태)
Black Stone premiered at Rotterdam earlier this year. A Korean/French co-production, the film depicts highly controversial issues in contemporary Korea, involving inter-racial families and abuses within the Korean military.
Death in Desert (붉은 낙타) – Director No Zin-soo (노진수)
Director No has been busy recently with Total Messed Family (JIFF 2013), The Suffered (JIFF 2014), and The Maidroid (Yubari Fantastic Festival 2015). With Death in Desert, he explores an obsessive relationship between a couple who just can’t let go of each other.
Made in China (메이드 인 차이나) – Director Kim Dong-hoo (김동후)
There’s been plenty of buzz around the Kim Ki-duk produced Made in China, which premiered at Tokyo in 2014. Featuring stars Park Ki-woong and Han Chae-ah, the story involves a Chinese eel farmer and a cold-hearted Korean food inspector.
Speed (스피드) – Director Lee Sang-woo (이상우)
Director Lee is notorious for tackling controversial subject matter within his films, as exemplified by Mother is a Whore, Barbie, and Fire in Hell. Following short film Exit at JIFF 2013, he returns with Speed, a tale of four friends whose lives are intertwined.
Trap (덫, 치명적인 유혹) – Director Bong Man-dae (봉만대)
Director Bong’s Han River premiered at Busan 2014 to praise for exploring suicide with dark comedy. With Trap, a miserable screenwriter travels to an inn to finish a script, yet falls for the charms of a seductive teenage girl with increasingly dark ambitions.
Korea Cinemascape for Shorts
The Running Actress (여배우는 오늘도) – Director Moon So-ri (문소리)
Legendary actress Moon So-ri steps behind the camera for The Running Actress, a 24 minute short film. In it, Moon plays a woman trying to balance domestic life and hardships while attempting to forge a career on screen.
Like a French Movie (프랑스 영화처럼) – Director Shin Yeon-shik (신연식)
Director Shin has a rare ability to helm films both mainstream (Rough Play) and artistic (The Avian Kind, The Russian Novel). In Like a French Movie, which seems to be one of the director’s artistic endeavours, the protagonists all embody the traits of characters within a French film.