We’ve officially entered film fest szn, folks. And if you’re someone who enjoys K-dramas and films, the Korean Film Festival (KFF) happening this August should be at the top of your list. Yup, after being canceled for two years due to the pandemic, KFF is finally back with free special screenings and live forums with esteemed filmmakers from Aug. 10 to 14.
To formally commence the festival on Aug. 10, there will be a special screening of “Deliver Us From Evil” and a live talk with directors Hong Won-chan (“Deliver Us From Evil”) and Lee Woo-jung (“Snowball”) in SM Aura Premier.
Another live discussion with the directors will happen the next day at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, and this time, they will be joined by Filipino directors Jose Javier Reyes (“Shake, Rattle & Roll V”) and Maria Paiso (“It’s Raining Frogs Outside”). All four directors will talk about their experiences in producing films, answer questions from the audience, and share tips with aspiring filmmakers.
And finally, seven Korean films will be screened from Aug. 11 to 14 in five Metro Manila cinemas: SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM City Grand Central, SM City North Edsa, and SM Southmall.
Check out the diverse selection of films below, from thrillers to romantic dramas:
“Deliver Us From Evil” (2020)
Dir. Hong Won-chan
An assassin has decided to resign from his lethal job after completing a mission in Japan: to kill a mafia kingpin. Just when he thinks he can finally leave his old life, though, a kidnapping takes place in Thailand. The moment he learns that the case is closely related to him, he immediately flees South Korea to investigate. Enter the brother of the mob boss he killed—who is now seeking bloody revenge.
“Escape From Mogadishu” (2021)
Dir. Ryu Seung-wan
Set in 1991, rival diplomats from South and North Korea get trapped in Mogadishu as civil war breaks out in Somalia. With no one else to turn to, they work together for survival and later on, to escape from Mogadishu.
“The Novelist’s Film” (2022)
Dir. Hong Sang-soo
A female novelist meets an actress through a chance encounter. They talk over ramen and realize they’re more similar than they think. The novelist—who has decided to explore mediums other than novels—then convinces the actress to work with her on producing a film.
“The Novelist’s Film” won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival.
Dir. Lee Woo-jung
A group of friends decides to run away from home. Along the way, they make rash decisions they believe are best for them, creating cracks in their relationship. They return home not long after—only to encounter more problems.
“The Day I Died: Unclosed Case” (2020)
Dir. Park Ji-wan
A teenage girl who witnessed her father’s crime disappears one stormy night, only leaving her last will and a pair of shoes on a cliff. Although the case remains open as they have yet to find the body, local authorities have already dismissed her case as a suicide. The detective assigned to her case then embarks on a journey to find out the truth behind the girl’s enigmatic disappearance.
“Miracle: Letters to the President” (2021)
Dir. Lee Jang-hoon
A high school math prodigy lives in a roadless remote area of North Gyeongsang province. Determined to establish a small train station there, he and the villagers try various ways to make it happen—such as writing letters to the South Korean president.
Set in the 1980s, “Miracle: Letters to the President” is based on a true story.
“Perhaps Love” (2021)
Dir. Jo Eun-ji
A bestselling author hasn’t published a book in the past seven years due to a protracted writer’s block. During his lecture at a university, he meets an aspiring young writer and is intrigued by his writing style. He’s convinced that the student can help him with his slump, so he invites him to work on a novel together.
Things take a different turn, though, when the younger writer starts developing romantic feelings for his mentor.
Film posters from the Korean Cultural Center PH