Wednesday, November 28, 2012

KCN: Festivals Awards and Invitations Glut (12/22-12/28, 2012)

Festival awards for Korean cineastes dominate the news this week as well as the further high profile selections during what has been a banner year for every sector of the Korean film industry.


Fatal Invited to Berlin International Film Festival
Lee Don-ku’s Fatal has officially been invited to the Berlin International Film Festival. Fatal, which debuted in the ‘New Currents’ section of the 17th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), was invited to the ‘Panorama’ section of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, which is going to take place in February 7th to 17th next year. (KoBiz, November 28, 2012)

Masquerade Unmasks Film Industry Schism
It should have been a big night for this year’s hit movie Masquerade when the costume drama - also known as Gwanghae - swooped up 15 of 22 prizes at the 49th Daejong Film Awards last month. Instead of putting the spotlight on Korea’s most honored feature film ever, Masquerade’s domination raises the question of whether making movies in Korea has become too much about money and not enough about art and created an environment stacked against small, independent producers. (Joong Ang Daily, November 28, 2012)

The Weight Picks Up Best Director at Black Nights Film Festival
The Black Night Film Festival in Tallinn (also known as PÖFF), which began on November 12th, held its closing ceremony today during which it dished out its awards. Jeon Kyu-hwanpicked up the Best Director prize for his film The Weight, which previously won the Queer Lion award at the Venice International Film Festival in September. (KoBiz, November 28, 2012)

Actor Kwon Sang-woo Eyes Chinese Film Career
After building a name for himself in the South Korean film and TV industries, Kwon Sang-woo is setting his sights on another booming Asian entertainment market -- China. The 34-year-old actor is shooting a Chinese-language romance alongside Hong Kong actress Cecilia Cheung and will next join the Jackie Chan project Chinese Zodiac. (, November 28, 2012)

Helpless to Compete at the 2nd Hanoi Film Festival
Helpless directed by Byun Young-joo has become the only Korean film invited to the feature competition section of the 2nd Hanoi International Film Festival, which started on November 25th. Leading actors Kim Min-hee, Lee Sun-kyun and Cho Seong-ha as well as the director BYUN showed up for a red carpet event, pre-screening greetings and a post-screening Q&A. (KoBiz, November 28, 2012)

Kim to Receive the Grand Prize at the ‘Beautiful Artist Awards’
Kim Ki-duk is going to receive the Grand prize at the 2nd ‘Beautiful Artist Awards’ hosted by the Shin Young Kyun Arts & Culture Foundation, where Ahn Sung-ki is the chairman. Besides him, the doyen actress Choi Eun-hui and the heroine of Eungyo Kim Go-eun will be awarded as the Artist with Contribution and the New Artist respectively at the awarding ceremony held on December 10th. (KoBiz, November 28, 2012)

Sleepless Night Picks up Award at Nantes’ Festival of Three Continents
Jang Kun-jae’s Sleepless Night has steadily gained momentum on the festival circuit since it began its journey at the Jeonju International Film Festival last April. Capping off a strong month, Sleepless Night was awarded a special jury mention at the Festival of Three Continents in Nantes, which ran from November 20-27. (KoBiz, November 27, 2012)

CineAsia to Honor Korean Star Lee Byung-hun
International television and film star Byung Hun Lee will be honored with the “Star of the Year” Award at the CineAsia 2012 Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. Robert H. Sunshine, managing director of the annual convention, stated, “Mr. Lee is a wonderful actor who has delighted television audiences and moviegoers not only in Asia, but internationally as well.” (Film Journal, November 27, 2012)

Choi Min-shik, Cho Min-soo and Lee Sang-woo Win Awards at Int'l Film Festivals
Actor Choi Min-shik, who starred in director Yoon Jong-bin's Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time, has won the Best Actor Award at the 6th Asia Pacific Screen Awards. The awards ceremony was held on November 23rd in Brisbane, Australia. Actress Cho Min-soo also won the Screen International Jury Grand Prize for her role in Pieta. (KoBiz, November 27, 2012)

Cahiers du Cinema Goes for In Another Country
Hong Sang-soo's In Another Country has taken the 4th spot in the annual top ten list of the renowned film magazine, 'Cahiers du Cinema'. The magazine announced its top ten films of 2012 on November 21st, In Another Country is the only Korean film that made the cut. (KoBiz, November 27, 2012)

Juvenile Offender Invited to Europe and the Philippines
Director Kang Yi-kwan's Juvenile Offender, which was invited by Toronto, Tokyo and Taipei, has now been invited by film festivals in Europe and the Philippines. The Cinemanila International Film Festival, Udine Far East Film Festival in Italy, BLACK MOVIE Geneva Film Festival of Switzerland and World Cinema ALE KINO+ of Poland have all invited the film with Cinemalina selecting it for their competition section. (KoBiz, November 27, 2012)

When Motherhood Turns Monstrous
Motherhood can drive women into doing illegal things. A case in point is the mother of a medical school student at Korea University who sexually harassed a female classmate when she was drunk. The mother handed out fliers to her son`s classmates that falsely claimed that the victim had a personality disorder to avoid having her son go to prison. The mother must have done this out of her sense of motherhood. She must have tried to avoid the horrible secondary damage to the victim and her family in the name of motherhood. On the day the mother began serving her one-year prison term in August, she must have worried more about her son than herself. (The Dong-A Ilbo, November 26, 2012)

Korea’s Multiplexes Expand to Southeast Asia
CJ CGV is working on taking over Blitz Megaplex, the second biggest multiplex in Indonesia. CGV, which took over Vietnam’s no. 1 theater Megastar in July last year, is now seeking to expand its Southeast Asian market share by taking over the Indonesian company. CJ CGV is going to conclude the agreement by the end of December when the negotiations with the major shareholders are due to finish. (KoBiz, November 26, 2012)

Acknowledged in Busan, Nevada and Costa Rica
Lee Ji-seung’s Azooma, which deals with one of the biggest social issues facing Korea today, child molestation, has received the Best Feature Film Award during the Costa Rica International Film Festival held from November 9-13. (KoBiz, November 26, 2012)

Documentary Is a Self-Examination of Korea’s Stifling Movie Industry
In Ari Ari the Korean Cinema, there are no heroes, lovers or bad guys, no fights or car chases. The debut documentary film by Heo Chul features more than a hundred respected film professionals talking about themselves and the industry they love. There are directors Park Chan-wook of Oldboy (2003), Bong Joon-ho of The Host (2006) and Kim Ji-woon, along with veteran actors Ahn Sung-ki, Park Joong-hoon and Kim Hye-soo. (Joong Ang Daily, November 23, 2012)

Pieta Screens All Over the World
Two months ago, Kim Ki-duk pulled off an unprecedented feat as his 18th feature Pieta picked up the Golden Lion prize at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, the first time that a Korean film has won the first prize at one of the world’s top three film festivals (along with Berlin and Cannes). KIM’s film quickly followed up its historic win with high-profile appearances at the Toronto, Busan and Sitges Film Festivals. (KoBiz, November 23, 2012)

Are Politically Sensitive Films Liberal-Oriented?
Is a series of politically sensitive films being released ahead of the Dec. 19 presidential election intended to favor or criticize specific candidates? Filmmakers, distributors, and marketers in the industry flatly deny such accusations of political bias. Yet, some of them admit they took the election into account when promoting their disputed movies, which, to some extent, seems to meet their expectations. (The Korea Times, November 22, 2012)

Korean Cinema Audience Doubles in 10 Years
The overall number of cinema-goers for Korean films this year surpassed 100 million on November 20th. The Korean Film Council announced that the Korean film industry has broken the barrier of 100 million spectators for Korean films for the very first time. (KoBiz, November 22, 2012)

Awards Motivate You to Make More Films: Kim Ki-duk
South Korea’s best-known filmmaker Kim Ki-duk is in Goa, where five of his acclaimed films including Pieta will be screened at IFFI as part of an exclusive Retrospective on the great director. The other films are The Bow, Time, Breath and Dream. His another masterpiece Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring will be shown in the Soul of Asia section. Kim has won many international awards including the top Golden Lion Award at the Venice Festival this year for his latest film Pieta. (India Press Info Bureau, November 21, 2012)


‘Werewolf Boy’ Gets Real
Actor Song Joong-ki talks about his phenomenal year: ‘I still have a long way to go. I don’t have enough experience to give a scene any structure or balance.’ Song Joong-ki has shot to success in 2012 on the strength of The Innocent Man TV series and the wildly popular A Werewolf Boy. By now, who hasn’t heard of Song Joong-ki? (Joong Ang Daily, November 22, 2012)


My Little Hero

Man on the Edge


A Werewolf Boy Claims 4th Win During Crowded Weekend
(Modern Korean Cinema, November 26, 2012)

Korean Cinema News is a weekly feature which provides wide-ranging news coverage on Korean cinema, including but not limited to: features; festival news; interviews; industry news; trailers; posters; and box office. It appears every Wednesday morning (Korean Standard Time) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at the Korean Box Office Update and the Weekly Korean ReviewsReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

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