Recognised as one of the most exciting film industries in Asia, the Korean cinema scene has been knocking it out of the park for years now — without it, we wouldn't have Bong Joon-ho's Okja and Snowpiercer, or Park Chan-wook's Stoker and The Handmaiden, for example. And the fact that neither directors have made the bill at the 2017 Korean Film Festival in Australia shows just how much talent the country has to choose from. Basically, there's plenty of other filmmaking greats where they came from.
This year's KOFFIA, the festival's eighth, features straight-from-Cannes flicks, cinematic masters delivering their newest hits and many a movie in between. Boasting 24 films on its national lineup and bringing 15 to Melbourne, the festival will kick off on September 7 with The World of Us, a thoughtful drama about bullying and friendship, before coming to a close on September 14 with crime-thriller The Queen of Crime.
Other highlights include Hong Sang-soo's fourth film in less than a year, The Day After, plus The Bacchus Lady, which isn't your usual exploration of an ageing protagonist. Also on the program is The Net, the latest from divisive auteur Kim Ki-duk, historical crime drama The Age of Shadows, and the political machinations of legal effort The King.