Announcing the Selections for ‘Korean Cinema Today – Special Premiere’ & ‘On Screen’

Published : Thursday, August 24, 2023, 12:14 pm
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The 28th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has unveiled selections for ‘Korean Cinema Today – Special Premiere’ and ‘On Screen’.

The 28th Busan International Film Festival has announced 3 selections for ‘Korean Cinema Today – Special Premiere’ and 6 selections for ‘On Screen’.

‘Korean Cinema Today – Special Premiere’ is a section that selects and premieres mainstream Korean commercial films. Introduced last year to much acclaim from both the press and audiences, ‘Korean Cinema Today – Special Premiere’ continues to garner attention for its selection of 3 highly anticipated Korean films.

Believer 2 (2023), the sequel to Believer (2018), which captivated over 5 million viewers, is set to premiere at BIFF 2023. Directed by Baik, renowned for his masterful direction showcased in The Beauty Inside (2015), Believer 2 (2023) promises dynamic action sequences and a star-studded cast, including Cho Jin-woong, Cha Seung-won, Han Hyo-joo, and Oh Seung-hoon.

Ballerina (2023), directed by Lee Chung-hyun who is acclaimed for Call (2020), will be screened as a world premiere. This film depicts a tale of revenge, centered around a protagonist with a past as a guard, driven by the pursuit of retribution for his late friend who had been unjustly accused. The portrayal of a formidable female warrior by the exceptionally charismatic actress Jun Jongseo will enthrall viewers with catharsis.

Hopeless (2023), officially selected for Un Certain Regard in 2023 Cannes Film Festival, will be screened as an asian premiere at this year’s BIFF. Marking the feature debut of director Kim Chang-hoon, Hopeless (2023) introduces a fresh paradigm of Korean film noir, generating heightened anticipation by enlisting the talents of Hong Xa-bin, a burgeoning rookie, alongside seasoned actor, Song Joong-ki.

‘On Screen,’ having gained remarkable prominence as the foremost official OTT section among Asian film festivals since its establishment in 2021, presents drama series that encompass the changing trends and values of cinema. Successfully asserting its stature, ‘On Screen’ showcases 5 Korean films and 1 Indonesian film as world premieres.

The Deal (2023), a Waave original series, unveils a riveting tale of criminal intrigue, in which two young men happen to kidnap their friend and demand ten billion won as ransom. The cast featuring the debut of Yoo Seung-ho in the realm of OTT content, along with Kim Dong-hwi, Yoo Su-bin, and Lee Jooyoung, garners considerable attention.

I AM A RUNNING MATE (2023), the portrayal of an ordinary student trying to become student president marks the directorial debut of Han Jin-won, winner of the Best Original Screenplay at the 2020 Academy Awards as a co-writer for Parasite (2019). Seamlessly merging the nuances of the coming-of-age genre with elements of a political drama, the film features the youthful talents of Yoon Hyun-soo, Lee Jung-sic, Choi Woo-sung, Hong Hwa-yeon, and Lee Bong-jun.

Vigilante (2023), depicting a scholarly student from the police academy who dispenses justice to crafty adversaries eluding legal boundaries, signifies the arrival of a novel Korean interpretation of the anti-hero genre. Nam Joo-hyuk, Yoo Ji-tae, Lee Jun-hyuk and Kim Sojin translate the essence of the iconic personas from the immensely popular webtoon of the same name on to the screen. The source-material webtoon has garnered an astounding 370 million global views.

Cigarette Girl (2023), which has caught significant attention due to the couple Kamila Andini—a leading female director in Asia—and Ifa Isfansyah, depicts a captivating narrative of mystery revolving around a legendary cigarette, set in 1960’s Indonesia. A female protagonist, tenaciously pursuing her aspirations despite obligations to her family and society during a turbulent era, creates a profound drama with strong supporting characters. This year’s BIFF will present the world premiere of the first two episodes, among the series of five episodes.

A Bloody Lucky Day (2023) directed by Pil Gam-sung unveils a narrative that commences with a happy-go-lucky taxi driver crossing paths with a young murderer as a long-distance passenger. Based on a highly acclaimed webtoon with the same title, A Bloody Lucky Day (2023) creates a palpable sense of tension. The story unfolds during a late-night taxi ride, intricately woven with the relentless compulsions and derangement of a serial killer. Lee Sung-min, Yoo Yeon-seok, Lee Jung-eun enhance the culmination of the movie with their skillful performances.

LTNS (2023) is a whimsical comedy that delves into the intricacies of human nature, unveiling the journey of a young couple’s transformation from indifference to becoming an unlikely “cheaters blackmailing duo,” anticipating a life-altering opportunity. Lim Daehyung, who directed Moonlit Winter (2019) and Jeon Gowoon, director of Microhabitat (2017) jointly contributed as co-writers and co-producers. E Som and Ahn Jae-hong, renowned for their captivating chemistry in Microhabitat (2017), are expected to rekindle their on-screen dynamic.

The 28th Busan International Film Festival, which has unveiled the selections of ‘Korean Cinema Today – Special Premiere’ and ‘On Screen’ will be held for 10 days from Oct 4 (Wed) to Oct 13 (Fri) in the vicinity of the Busan Cinema Center.

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