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Korean Film Festival in Australia 2022

Sydney's annual celebration of Korean cinema is back with the latest film from 'Oldboy' director Park Chan-wook — and the first Korean-language feature by Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda.
By Sarah Ward
July 19, 2022
By Sarah Ward
July 19, 2022

If you only know two things about South Korea's film and television industry, then you likely know that it's been responsible for Parasite and Squid Game over the past couple of years. The nation's big- and small-screen output spans much further than that, of course — and, since 2010, Australia has boasted a film festival dedicated to its cinematic prowess.

That'd be the Korean Film Festival in Australia, which returns to Sydney's Event Cinemas George Street from Thursday, August 18–Tuesday, August 23 with 13 impressive titles that showcase Korean filmmaking's finest. And while that lineup mightn't be huge numbers-wise, it's still filled with massive names, including two of the biggest movies from any country currently doing the rounds of the international and Australian festival circuits.

If you didn't catch up with it at Sydney Film Festival, make a date with Broker, the latest release from acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda. The 2018 Shoplifters Palme d'Or-winner has made a movie in Korea — his first Korean-language film, in fact, and it's still exploring the director's favourite topics. That'd be the ties that bind and the connections of family, following two people who illegally take an abandoned infant from a 'baby box facility'. In another drawcard, Broker stars Parasite's Song Kang-ho, who won Cannes' Best Actor Award for his efforts.

Also a must-see: Decision to Leave, a noir romance that saw Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook win Cannes' Best Director gong. Anything that the Stoker and Oldboy director helms is worth a look, but the fact that it has been six years since his movie — 2016's The Handmaiden — makes his latest even more exciting.

The rest of the KOFFIA lineup spans opening-night pick Special Delivery, a crime-action film from Park Dae-min that stars Parasite's Park So-dam; mystery Hommage, which again features a Parasite alum — this time Lee Jeong-eun — and charts the searching for missing footage from one of the first feature films directed by a South Korean woman; and In Our Prime, with Oldboy's Choi Min-sik as a North Korean defector and mathematical genius working as a school security guard.

Or, there's The Roundup with Train to Busan's Don Lee as a cop chasing a killer; the 80s-set Escape from Mogadishu; and Spiritwalker, about a man who loses his memory and wakes up in a different body every 12 hours — and the list goes on.

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