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15 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 48th Seoul Independent Film Festival

These are fifteen films you shouldn’t miss at the Seoul Independent Film Festival which will take place from December 1 – 9, 2022.

A Table of Two by Kim Boram – Korea | 2022 – 90 minutes
Section: Feature Competition

In 2008, when she turned thirteen, Chaeyoung rapidly lost more than 20 kilograms of weight and was admitted to a closed ward of a psychiatric hospital. Her mother Sangok thought her daughter would recover after treatment, but Chaeyoung’s anorexia only turned into bulimia. As Chaeyoung continued to eat and vomit for more than 10 years, she and her mother stopped addressing the issue altogether. In 2019, Chaeyoung leaves behind her goal of full recovery and travels to Australia in search of a new life. After Chaeyoung departs, Sangok, alone in her home, tries to find the cause of her daughter’s symptoms in her own past, which she still cannot comprehend. In 2020, Chaeyoung returns from Australia because of the COVID -19 outbreak, and Chaeyoung and Sangok finally begin to talk about the “disease” they have kept silent about for more than ten years. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

A Wing and a Prayer by Lee Kwang-kuk – Korea | 2022 – 101 minutes
Section: Feature Competition

A day in spring. After finishing job interviews, Seol-hee and Hwa-jeong impulsively travel to the East Sea to make wishes on the rising sun. They stay up all night waiting for the sunrise, but then they miss it and have a serious fight. After separating, Seol-hee gets to know Ji-an and Hwa-jeong gets to know Han-na, and they each resolve to help their new friends attain their wishes. And in the process, they slowly come to know a bit more about what it is that they truly want. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

Archeology of Love by Lee Wanmin – Korea | 2022 – 168 minutes
Section: Feature Competition

Youngsil and Inseek become lovers in 8 hours. Inseek is certain that Youngsil is a free spirit. Anxious Inseek makes Youngsil promise that their love will be forever, whatever happens. Youngsil tries to keep the promise, even after their breakup. 8 years later, Youngsil likes Udo, but is unable to do anything. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

Big Sleep by Kim Tae-hoon – Korea | 2022 – 112 minutes
Section: Festival Choice

On a winter morning on the way to work, Kiyoung finds Gilho sleeping on the wooden bench in front of his house. Gilho is a teenager who has run away from home because he can no longer face the domestic violence he suffers there. Kiyoung, who seems tough but has a tender heart, lets Gilho stay in his house for a few days and Gilho comes to trust Kiyoung. It seems that Kiyoung must have recognized his own dark past in Gilho. However, as Gilho′s friends visit, conflicts happen betweenn Kiyoung and Gilho. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

Dream Palace by Ka Sung-moon – Korea | 2022 -111 minutes
Section: Festival Choice

Hye-jeong, who lost her husband in an industrial accident, moves into a sparky new town apartment called Dream Palace. However, things go awry, construction defect occurs in her unit. To scrape up the cost of repairs, she joins the discount promotion of the apartment. But her neighbors ostracize her for devaluing the apartment. To protect the unit she purchased as the exchange on her husband’s life, she dives into the demonstration once more. (SIFF 2022)

Hail to Hell by Lim Oh-jeong – Korea | 2022 – 109 minutes
Section: New Choice

Na-mi and Sun-woo, the outcasts in school, plan to commit suicide instead of going to the school trip. On the moment of success, they find out that the girl, Chae-lin, who made their lives miserable is living a new happy life in Seoul. So, they decide to make revenge before ending their lives. However, when they finally spot Chae-lin, they see a good-hearted girl in front of them which makes their plans go awry. But something seems to be strange about the religious institution she’s staying in and they start to think whether they should save Chae-lin from this weird place. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

Ice Poison by Midi Z – Taiwan, Myanmar | 2014 – 95 minutes
Section: International Invitation

A young farmer and his father are barely able to survive on their meagre corn harvest and so they make their way down from the mountains to the village to borrow money from their relatives working in jade mines or on opium plantations. But missing paperwork, deceit and corruption have left them impoverished too. Finally, the father pawns his cow for a moped so that his son can earn a living as a taxi driver. His first customer is Sanmei, who has returned to Myanmar to bury her grandfather. She decides not to go back to China and to get out of an arranged marriage in order to begin a new life with her son in her old country. When Sanmei accepts a job as a drug runner she persuades the young farmer to be her driver. As with his earlier films, Midi Z illuminates unobtrusively yet unsparingly the political situation in his country. Sensitively, with subtle humour and with a grand yet minimalist style the film quietly observes two people’s sense of alienation and their fear of losing their livelihood, pursuing them to an empty karaoke bar where they allow their dream of a secure place in the world to sparkle. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

Jeong-sun by Jeong Ji-hye – Korea | 2021 – 105 minutes
Section: New Choice

As her name indicates, Jeong-sun lives an uncluttered life with modest behave despite hard working at a food factory. Young-soo, a work colleague, approaches her. As they get closer, they enjoy their secret relationship, and he takes candid shots of her in beds with his mobile camera. One day, she starts getting inappropriate stares from others. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

Juhee from 5 – 7 by Jang Kun-jae- Korea |2022 – 75 minutes
Section: Festival Choice

Juhee, a drama professor who wants to quit teaching after this semester, finds out that she has a tumor suspected of malignancy in her chest after a medical examination. She is sure it’s cancer. She once dreamed of becoming a good actor and a good teacher. But now she’s tired of everything. She goes to her office to set her affairs, and some of her students come to her office and want to talk to her. Ho-jin, the director of a theater company, is busy preparing for a play ahead of its premiere. There is a scene where he is not sure if it’s the right way of directing, and it bothers him. Young members of the theater company whisper and gossip that Ho-jin’s play about the middle-aged couple’s crisis may be his own story. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

Peafowl by Byun Sung-bin – Korea | 2022 – 114 minutes
Section: Festival Choice

Myung is a transgender who cut ties with her hometown and her father, a Korean traditional performer, because of who she is. Now, all she needs is the surgery but the only way to earn money, by winning the Waacking dance competition, doesn’t go well. On that day, she receives a call that her father passed away and Myung finds out that her father left a will that he would give her the legacy if she performs Drum Dance during the memorial ceremony on the 49th day after his death. With no choice left, Myung goes back to her hometown to perform according to her father’s will. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

Queer My Friends by Seo Ah-hyun – Korea | 2022 – 83 minutes
Section: Feature Competition

Queer My Friends portrays a very important chapter of Kang-won’s life: his coming out as gay and the changes he goes through from the eyes of his best friend Ah-hyun. This 30s coming-of-age buddy film draws how these two from such different backgrounds grow up together by questioning, exploring and, of course, fighting each other. While Kang-won struggles to embrace his sexuality, nationality and identity, Ah-hyun asks herself what it means to find oneself and accept others for who they really are. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

Sanctuary by Wang Mincheol – Korea | 2022 – 120 minutes
Section: Festival Choice

Kim Jeong-ho, head veterinarian in Cheongju Zoo, dreams of turning his zoo into the nation’s first sanctuary. The zoo hires animal welfare activist Choi Tae-kyu in hopes of establishing a bear sanctuary for rescued farm bears. Meanwhile, employees at neighboring Chungnam Wildlife Rescue Center support the idea of sanctuary as they unwillingly euthanize rescued animals that are unable to return to the wild. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra by Park Sye-young – Korea | 2022 – 65 minutes
Section: Feature Competition

A creature born in an abandoned mattress travels around the country feasting on its victims’ vertebrae, struggling to break free from the bed, the mold, and its past. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

Together by Hsu Chao-jen – Taiwan | 2012 – 114 minutes
Section: International Invitation

Do you still remember being a 17-year-old? Everyone around Xiao Yang, a 17-year-old high school boy, keeps secrets and suffers from heartbreak. His father runs a print shop and meets a girl next door, Li who is about to get married soon. Meantime, his shopkeeper mother gets close to her neighbor tailor, Shian. Yang tries to set up a date for his sister Lang who just got dumped. Also, Yang needs to cover his friend Mao who has a lovers’ quarrel to girlfriend Tian. As the only one who’s alone, Yang quietly witnesses the romances from a distance and secretly reads those love letters he helps deliver. (SIFF 2022)

Withstanding and Existing by Gwon Churl – Korea | 2022 – 63 minutes
Section: Festival Choice

Cinema Gwangju is the first theater in the Honam region established by Joseon people in 1933. It is a single-screen cinema that opened in 1935, keeping its place and screening films up to this day. Choi Gonne invited seven musician groups to share “Gwangju-ness” in her own perspective, and they visited Cinema Gwangju to speak and sing about their own “Withstanding and Existing.” The movie also contains a story of a painter Park Taegyu, who continuously worked on hand-painted posters of Cinema Gwangju from the 1990s until today. (SIFF 2022)

Trailer:

For more information, please visit: https://siff.kr/en/

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