A good film festival gives attendees a little of everything, and that's certainly the case at the returning Korean Film Festival in Australia. For its ninth year, the touring event jumps from the warmth of opening night's Little Forest, to the comedy of Midnight Runners, to the scares of Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum. The first tells the kind-hearted tale of a woman leaving city life behind to head back to her small home town, the second serves up Korean's take on the buddy cop storyline, and the third haunts and thrills in the found-footage mould.
They're just some of the titles on the lineup for 2018's festival, which comes to Dendy Opera Quays from August 9 to 18. Other highlights include A Taxi Driver, this year's Korean submission to the Oscar's foreign-language category; A Day, which takes Groundhog Day's repetitive concept into darker dramatic territory; and Believer, a slick crime flick about a determined detective on the case of a drug cartel that's also a remake of acclaimed Chinese-Hong Kong effort Drug War.
In total, 22 films will screen across KOFFIA's ten-day Sydney run, including some with guests on hand. If first-time female filmmakers making a splash is your idea of excellent cinema, then head to closing night's Microhabitat. It's about an ageing housekeeper who just wants to make enough money for her cigarettes, whiskey and boyfriend, and screens with director Jeon Go-woon, actor Ahn Jae-hong and producer Kim Soon-mo in attendance.