10 Films you cannot miss at the 10th Korean Film Festival in Australia

koffiafilms2019We present a list of ten films you shouldn’t miss at the Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) which will take in Sydney (8/22 – 8/31), Canberra (8/22- 8/25), Brisbane (9/5 – 9/8) and Melbourne (9/5 – 9/12).

This year the organizers presented a line-up of 22 of the best Korean films. The Special Guest this year are Joe Min-ho (Director), Ko Asung (Actress) and Kim Ye-eun (Actress). Also, in commemoration of the 100 years of Korean Cinema there will be a Forum on August 24th (12:00 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Lecture Theatre Level 2) titled “Korean Cinema: Past, Present and Future”. Finally, there will be a Retrospective Section dedicated to Bong Joon-ho.

Schedule & Venues
Sydney – August 22nd – 31st
Dendy Cinema Opera Quays | Shop 9, 2 East, Sydney NSW 2000

Canberra – August 22nd – 25th
Palace Electric Cinema | 2 Phillip Law st. Canberra ACT 2061

Brisbane – September 5th – 8th
Elizabeth Picture Theatre | 175 Elizabeth St, Brisbane QLD 4000

Melbourne – September 5th – 12th
The Capitol | 113 Swanston St., Melbourne VIC 3000

Recommended Films

Another Child
Another Child (미성년) by Kim Yun-seok – Korea | 2019 – 95 minutes

17-year-old Ju-ri sees her father Dae-won engaging in an affair with local restaurant owner Mi-hee, it turns out she is pregnant, with his child. Running into Mi-hee’s daughter, Yoo-ah, who happens to be a schoolmate, she turns around and flees. The two girls meet at school and during a confrontation where Yoon-ah snatches the phone from Ju-ri, who has her mother on the line and screams out that her husband is having an affair with her mother. The two girls’ efforts to stop the affair and repair their respective families only seems to make things worse as all who are involved embark on a complicated journey of love, hate, jealousy, disdain and betrayal. (KOFFIA Website)

August 23rd | Friday | Palace Electric Cinema (Canberra) | 3:00 pm
August 31st | Saturday | Dendy Cinema Opera Quays (Sydney) | 7:00 pm
September 8th | Sunday | The Capitol (Melbourne) | 6:30 pm




A ResistanceA Resistance (항거-유관순-이야기) by Joe Min-ho – Korea | 2019 – 105 minutes

During the colonial rule of Japan, Yu Gwan-sun is imprisoned for being a key instigator of the March 1st Movement, a peaceful protest for Korea’s independence. Undaunted, 17 year old Yu unites her fellow inmates to resist Japan and raises the morale of the women in her cell. The chief warden senses a renewed resistance in the women and entices an inmate to find out that Yu is behind it, then tortures her. Yu’s will is left undeterred as she pretends to obey the wards while secretly planning another independence protest. This movement spreads beyond prison to the streets, and Yu is subjected to merciless torture again. A Resistance is the true story of patriotism, courage and undying strength displayed through a young liberated spirit. (KOFFIA Website)

August 22nd | Thursday | Dendy Cinema Opera Quays (Sydney) | 7:00 pm (Director/Actor Q&A)
September 5th | Thursday | Elizabeth Picture Theatre (Brisbane) | 6:00 pm
September 7th | Saturday | The Capitol (Melbourne) | 11:30 am




Extreme Job

Extreme Job (극한직업) by Lee Byoung-heon – Korea | 2019 – 111 minutes

After botching their latest mission, a team of ineffective young narcotics detectives led by the downtrodden Captain Ko are given one more chance to come through on an undercover surveillance gig monitoring the activities of a notorious international drug gang. But when their stakeout location, a rundown fried chicken joint, is about to close down, Ko and company decide to purchase the place as a cover. Things take an unexpected turn when the detectives’ chicken recipe suddenly transforms the rundown restaurant into the hottest eatery in town. (KOFFIA Website)

August 23rd | Friday | Palace Electric Cinema (Canberra) | 6:30 pm
August 24th | Saturday | Palace Electric Cinema (Canberra) | 6:30 pm
August 30th | Friday | Dendy Cinema Opera Quays (Sydney) | 8:15 pm
September 6th | Friday | The Capitol (Melbourne) | 8:30 pm




Granny Poetry Club

Granny Poetry Club (칠곡-가시나들) by Kim Jae-hwan – Korea | 2019 – 99 minutes

The grannies from rural Korean town, Chilgok, lived their entire lives illiterate in Korean. In 1937, during the Japanese colonization, the usage and education of the Korean language was banned in all schools. Despite only knowing the multiplication table in Japanese, these grannies went through backbreaking labor to support the education of their own children. One day a Korean school opens in their village sparking a fire in their hearts. Dedicating their time and energy into becoming literate ladies, they begin to write poems about various topics from their day to day. Inspiration is abundant all over the town of Chilgok! (KOFFIA Website)

August 29th | Thursday | Dendy Cinema Opera Quays (Sydney) | 6:00 pm
September 9th | Monday | The Capitol (Melbourne) | 5:45 pm




Hotel by the River

Hotel by the River (강변호텔) by Hong Sang-soo – Korea | 2019 – 95 minutes

An aging poet, Young-hwan summons his two estranged sons to a solitary hotel beside the Han River because he feels his death is near. While waiting for them to arrive, he meets two women out walking in the new fallen snow. The women have come to the hotel to do some healing of their own. As Young-hwan moves between the women and his bickering sons, he also moves between his two minds: one that walks on the street and the other that communes with the eternal. Shooting in gauzy black-and-white with a strikingly untethered hand-held camera, Korean master Hong Sangsoo interweaves the various dramas of his characters in a quiet, straightforward way. But small coincidences and privileged moments combine to create a powerful meditation on family and death, one of the most affecting films in Hong’s oeuvre. (KOFFIA Website)

August 28th | Wednesday | Dendy Cinema Opera Quays (Sydney) | 6:00 pm




Innocent Witness

Innocent Witness (증인) by Lee Han – Korea | 2019 – 129 minutes

Sun-ho is a former human-rights lawyer who gave it up in exchange for fatter pay checks that will help him repay the family debt. He is one case away from being promoted as a partner lawyer, and the case presents itself in the form of a caregiver, Mi-ran who is charged with the murder of her employer. Sun-ho is surprised to find that the only key witness to the crime is Ji-woo, a high school girl with autism. To prove the innocence of his client, he decides to put Ji-woo on stand. However, this proves to be difficult task, as when he approaches Ji-woo, she rejects him completely. But through Sun-ho’s continual efforts Ji-wo eventually starts opening up to him. The two become close, but must face each other in court, as lawyer vs. witness. (KOFFIA Website)

August 25th | Sunday | Palace Electric Cinema (Canberra) | 3:00 pm
August 26th | Monday | Dendy Cinema Opera Quays (Sydney) | 6:00 pm
September 7th | Saturday | Elizabeth Picture Theatre (Brisbane) | 6:00 pm
September 8th | Sunday | The Capitol (Melbourne) | 4:00 pm





Money (돈) by Park Nu-ri – Korea | 2019 – 115 minutes

Aspiring stockbroker Il-hyun, dreams of making big money, but being a rookie without the right connections makes it difficult for him to survive in the cut-throat world of the stock exchange market. When the young stock broker is on the verge of being fired his life is quickly turned upside-down when a colleague introduces him to a man who goes by the alias of Beonhopyo (Number docket), a mysterious figure who is an architect of shady but lucrative stock transitions. Cho’s new ascension into a life of luxury brings him the attention of attractive colleague Si-eun- Unfortunately, he also catches the eye of Han Ji-cheol, a maverick investigator of the Financial Supervisory Service better known as “the hunting dog”. (KOFFIA Website)

August 30th | Friday | Dendy Cinema Opera Quays (Sydney) | 6:00 pm
September 6th | Friday | The Capitol (Melbourne) | 5:45 pm





Parasite (기생충) by Bong Joon-ho – Korea | 2019 – 131 minutes

Ki-teak’s family of four is close, but hopelessly unemployed. Without prospects, they hustle as best they can to scrape up the money to survive in their subterranean apartment. Hope comes in the form of an unusual offer. The son, Ki-woo, is recommended for a very well-paid tutoring job. Though Ki-woo lacks a university degree, it turns out his sister Ki-jung is a master forger and soon, bearing a fake degree, he is being interviewed at the luxurious home of the very wealthy Park family. Ki-woo gets the job as tutor, and quickly realizes that the Park family could well prove to be the solution to his family’s money problems. With every frame beautifully composed, Parasite vividly contrasts the two families using humor, mystery, and a creeping sense of tension. Bong once again skillfully fuses genre elements with social critique in a wildly entertaining visually extraordinary and intoxicating manner (Sydney Film Festival)

August 24th | Saturday | Dendy Cinema Opera Quays (Sydney) | 2:00 pm
August 25th | Sunday | Palace Electric Cinema (Canberra) | 6:30 pm
September 6th | Friday | Elizabeth Picture Theatre (Brisbane) | 6:00 pm
September 10th | Tuesday | The Capitol (Melbourne) | 8:00 pm





Rampant (창궐) by Kim Sung-hoon – Korea | 2018 – 121 minutes

A darkness looms over ancient Korea. The second son of the current King, Prince Lee Chung, renowned for his supreme martial arts, returns to Joseon after the death of his elder brother, the Crown Prince Lee Young, only to find his home country swarmed with murderous creatures known as “Night Demons”. The Prince discovers that it will take the strength of his entire kingdom to stop the bloody rampage spreading across the nation but will soon find that there are other enemies lurking within the walls of the palace. (KOFFIA Website)

August 23rd | Friday | Dendy Cinema Opera Quays (Sydney) | 8:10 pm




The Gangster

The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil (악인전) by Lee Won-tae
Korea | 2019 – 109 minutes

Given to busting gambling dens just for the hell of it, Jung is a thorn in his captain’s side. Still, he can’t do anything about his insubordinate, especially when it’s discovered that there’s truth to Jung’s hunch that a series of apparently random roadside murders are all the work of one man. A motiveless psycho with an entirely arbitrary method of choosing his victims. One day the killer picks the wrong victim: a gang boos Jang, driving home from a beatdown with a rival mobster. Jang, though taken by surprise, is a powerful boxer and he not only survives the attack, but wounds and drives off his attacker. As the first and only witness to the serial killer Cop Jung will now need to work with gangster Jan in order to bring down the serial killer at hand. (KOFFIA Website)

August 24th | Saturday | Dendy Cinema Opera Quays (Sydney) | 4:30 pm
September 6th | Friday | Elizabeth Picture Theatre (Brisbane) | 8:30 pm
September 7th | Saturday | The Capitol (Melbourne) | 4:30 pm


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