The 16th Korean Film Festival will be held in Budapest from 13 to 20 October, featuring 24 new South Korean films and audience meet-ups. During the festival, the Oscar-nominated film Past Lives, which will be released in Hungarian cinemas next year, will also be presented before its premiere.
As stated in the organizers’ announcement, two Korean filmmakers will personally meet the Hungarian audience during this year’s festival. On 14 October, Saturday, director Kim Hee-jung, who studied at the Seoul Institute of the Arts and the Polish National Film School, will be present. On 15 October, Sunday, the audience can meet Park Ha-sun, the lead actress of the opening film, also known for her role as the queen in Dong Yi.
The opening film of the festival is Kim Hee-jung’s 2023 work titled Where Would You Like to Go? which, like the director’s previous films, deals with a profound life event and, more specifically, the altered perception of reality resulting from it. The story follows a woman who suddenly becomes a widow due to a tragedy and chronicles her journey from denial to finding new perspectives.
The organizers emphasized that in the ‘Faces’ section, which showcases outstanding representatives of Korean cinema, the Hungarian audience can also see two other films by the director. One of them, Snow Paths, portrays the struggle of an alcoholic who tries to stay sober with the help of a nun and develops an unusual connection with her in altered states of consciousness. The film has been selected for competition at the Karlovy Vary and Göteborg International Film Festivals. The other one, A French Woman, which tells the story of a woman returning home after twenty years abroad, freshly divorced, became an award-winning film at the Pusan International Film Festival three years ago.
The ‘Fresh’ section, showcasing the latest Korean box-office hits, includes a South Korean musical romantic comedy (A Killer Romance) and an action thriller based on a true story (The Negotiation). The latter is inspired by the 2007 Afghan hostage crisis involving a South Korean missionary group held captive by the Taliban.
The selection also features the latest martial arts action crime film The Roundup: No Way Out, in which Ma Dong-seok, also known as Don Lee in the West, portrays Detective Ma.
In the ‘Focus’ section, which focuses on a special theme each year, various genre films are featured, all exploring how people deal with each other, whether in family or workplace settings. Here, the audience has the chance to watch a critically acclaimed study of workplace exploitation, Another Child, which not only won awards from the Korean Film Critics Association but also became the first Korean closing film at the Cannes Film Festival. The film examines the stressful Asian work culture based on a real suicide story.
For the first time in Budapest, audiences can also see the Oscar-nominated Past Lives,
which was screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival competitions. Besides, Korean cinema enthusiasts can also experience the excitement of escalating conflicts and blossoming relationships amidst a world catastrophe in the disaster film Concrete Utopia, the festival’s closing film, which was released in South Korea two months ago. For more information, visit the event’s website.
Source: Hungarian Conservative/MTI/koreaifilm.hu