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Korean Film News
Korean Stars and Films Descend on Udine Far East Film Festival
Apr 12, 2013
- Writerby Pierce Conran
Italian Audiences to Get Big Taste of Korean Cinema
As a festival that focuses on popular cinema, it is only fitting that the opening film of the 15th FEFF will be RYOO Seung-wan’s spy thriller The Berlin File, which recently topped seven million admissions to become the most successful Korean action film of all time. For the European premiere of his film, director RYOO will be in attendance, along with producer KANG Hae-jung and star RYOO Seung-bum, the director’s brother. This marks the second year on the trot that a Korean film has opened the festival, following KANG Hyoung-chul’s Sunny last spring.
The Berlin File isn’t the only blockbuster on the lineup as two of last year’s three most successful films also made the cut. CHOI Dong-hoon’s ensemble caper film The Thieves will screen along with JO Sung-hee’s hit fantasy melodrama A Werewolf Boy. Already one of this year’s most popular films, PARK Hoon-jung’s gangster epic New World, starring LEE Jung-jae, CHOI Min-shik and HWANG Jung-min, is also featured on this year’s program. Director PARK will also be making the trip to Italy.
FEFF has never shied away from romantic fare and true to form it has invited a quartet of love stories this year. Including the aforementioned A Werewolf Boy, MIN Kyu-dong’s hit romcom All About My Wife, starring LIM Soo-jung, LEE Sun-kyun and RYU Seung-ryong, LEE Won-suk’s (one of this year’s guest) offbeat How to Use Guys With Secret Tips, billed as a Gangnam style-comedy-romance on the program, and the drama The Winter of the Year Was Warm from David CHO, starring guest actress YEA Ji-won, will also be featured.
A couple of weightier items also appear, including the drama Eungyo from JUNG Ji-woo, starring an aged PARK Hae-il and the much-talked about newcomer KIM Ko-eun, CHUNG Ji-young’s incendiary torture expose National Security (producer JUNG Sang-jin will be in attendance) and KANG Yi-kwan’s indie drama Juvenile Offender, for which the director will be present.
Among other works to be screened will be SHIN Jung-won’s ghost-comedy-horror Ghost Sweepers, one of South Korea’s zanier commercial offerings from last year. The North Korean comedy Comrade Kim Goes Flying, co-produced with Belgium and the UK, is also among the invited films.
Rounding out the list is KIM Dong-ho’s debut short film Jury, about a festival jury’s contentious (and humorous) deliberation. KIM, the honorary director of the Busan International Film Festival, is also the guest of honor at FEFF this year. In addition, producer HONG Hyo-sook will join the festivities. Italian viewers will no doubt be spoilt for choice when the 15th FEFF kicks off next Friday in Udine, a beautiful town in Northern Italy.