The curtain has been pulled back on the official program of this year’s Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA), revealing a fairly strong lineup of exciting new features. Mixing up its selection, this year’s edition of KOFFIA boasts a solid variety of films from the unusual to the expected.
If you missed period gangster film Gangnam Blues or blockbuster period epic The Admiral: Roaring Currents during their original theatrical run here in Australia, the festival will be bringing them back into the fold.
Additionally, if you’ve missed the festival runs of films like the fun and thrilling A Hard Day and emotionally impactful Han Gong-ju, you’ll also be able to get a second chance and see these here too!
But what about the films that haven’t had a chance to make an impression on Aussie soil?
KOFFIA will also be offering plenty in the way of Australian Premieres as well with several of these films having already built a sizeable buzz either due to its local box office success or general presence around film festivals. Here are just a sample of Australian Premieres we’re keeping an eye on:
After making it’s World Premiere last year at Toronto International Film Festival, Cart has been travelling from one film festival to the next and now makes its way to Australian shores. Based on a true story, the film addresses the work rights of temporary contract workers who learn that the company they work for is avoiding its employment obligations to their workers. As a result, the female workers band in solidarity to fight against the injustices of their layoffs by going on strike. While Cart is a dramatised version of one event that happened in South Korea, look to find even more insight into the Korean working class/female working rights in Factory Complex, also screening at KOFFIA 2015.
Shin Su-won wowed audiences at KOFFIA 2013 when her independent high school thriller Pluto screened as the closing film of the festival. The director returns yet again with KOFFIA 2015’s closing film Madonna. Invited to the Un Certain Regard section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Madonna is something of a mystery film involving a nurse, her connection to a comatose pregnant patient, the hospital’s biggest benefactor and his unscrupulous son. Variety’s Maggie Lee called Madonna “an anguished cry against vicious class inequality and ingrained female abuse in South Korean society”.
Clearer Than You Think
Korean animation is certainly on the rise with family films like Leafie and the Hen and The Satellite Girl and the Milk Cow as well as viciously dark animations like The King of Pigs and The Fake making a splash. Yet rarely do audiences get the chance to see or hear of animation from South Korea which is why the inclusion of Clearer Than You Think should at least be worth noting. Made up of several short films, each short in this omnibus looks at the universal themes of dreams, love and life and has already drawn its creator Han Ji-won comparisons to Japan’s Makoto Shinkai.
To see the rest of the program and learn more about what’s showing and how you can see these films, head on over to the Korean Film Festival in Australia‘s website for more details.