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Korean Film Festival in Australia 2014

BACK for a fifth year at ACMI, the Korean Film Festival in Australia brings 20 feature films to local audiences. Darren Boon spoke to Artistic Director, David Park, about this year’s installment of the festival.

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Adapted from a Hong Kong film, Cold Eyes was a smash hit in Korea. Image supplied.

The Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) will return for its fifth year in Melbourne from September 9 – 16 at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).

The line-up this year includes 20 features and a short-film competition. Audiences can catch a glimpse of heartthrobs du jour including Kim Soo-hyun in the action-comedy Secretly Greatly, Lee Jong-suk in period teen comedy Hot Young Bloods, Big Bang’s T.O.P in action thriller Commitment, and MBLAQ’s Lee Joon in the drama film, Rough Play.

The festival will open with Cold Eyes, a gripping and tense crime action film which dominated the Korean box office and stars renowned artistes Jung Woo-sung and Han Hyo-joo.

The festival will close with celebrated filmmaker Lee Joon-ik’s heart-warming drama Hope which has been touted as one of the must-see Korean films of the festival. Dealing with the recovery of an eight year old girl after being the victim of sexual abuse, this stirring drama will no doubt raise a few eyebrows.

These movies, along with other films to be feature at this year’s KOFFIA, had already been nominated at the 50th Baeksang Art Awards held in May this year.

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Artistic Director, David Park. Image supplied.

Speaking to Meld, KOFFIA’s new Artistic Director, David Park, said the film selections for KOFFIA were not based on whether the films have garnered awards to avoid biases, but rather on the premise of reaching out to “the Australian public with quality, stand-out Korean films that have not only had an impact in Korea but films that would be widely accepted in a festival setting in Australia”.

The organiser also drew on his knowledge of the likes and opinions of past years’ attendees in curating this year’s line-up which he feels has received the “best response so far”.

“I feel that there is no greater medium in introducing a country’s culture than film. Film encompasses life, emotions, style and the trend of a country and acquaints the viewer into friendly terms with it. I’ve heard many people say that their entry into wanting to discover more about Korean culture was through Korean film!”

On which films he believed would give insight into Korean society and culture, Mr Park recommended two films.

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Set in the ’80s, Hot Young Bloods could be a hit at KOFFIA this year. Image supplied.

The Dinner, is a fantastic family drama which gives you a scope into Korean society and the hardships some families face in our country. For a blast to the Korean past experience I’d highly recommend Hot Young Bloods which really delves into the 80s in an enjoyable rom-com experience.”

With KOFFIA playing in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide this year, Mr Park hopes to reach out to 10,000 patrons and expand the film festival’s fanbase.

Selected screenings will see patrons receive free Korean snacks upon arrival. There will also be in-session giveaways that include DVDs and coupons. The film festival’s official Facebook page will feature regular competitions for patrons to win your free double passes to any film.

Tickets are valued between $11.00 – $16.00 per film. Alternatively you can also purchase a six-session pass, currently on sale at their official website.

For more information on the films, schedules and event details, please also refer to KOFFIA’s official website

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