Monday, September 12, 2011

'Shim's Family': finding skeletons in every closet

If you think your family is weird, think again.

From the director who brought the touching and original Korean box-office hit, Marathon, Jeong Yoon Cheol’s second feature, Shim’s Family, is a black comedy wrought with surprises, eccentric characters and a brilliant cast that explore the dynamics of a bizarre Korean family. 

While a dysfunctional family try to maintain a sense of normality, despite their individual internal struggles and weird personalities, things prove increasingly difficult to hold together when old skeletons begin to emerge from their closet and haunt their relationships.

With a knack for finding dramatic power within original and distinct characters in his films, director Jeong infuses universal qualities and an ordinary sense of hope and failure into characters that have great depth and personality in Shim’s Family. This creative strength in his filmmaking makes Shim’s Family an atypical Korean comedy that is exciting, worthy of attention, and above all things, fun.

Written by Marketing & PR Assistant Hannah Lee

Catch Shim's Family tomorrow as our Closing Night film, Tuesday, September 13th at 8:00pm, only at ACMI Cinemas, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square.

Book your tickets now at ACMI Cinemas, or online at or by phone (03) 8663 2583.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

KOFFIA: More than just a film festival

The Korean Film Festival offers more than just a showcase of films. KOFFIA will host a range of cultural acts and performances to complete your Korean experience and hunger for more.

10th (Saturday)
3:00 PM
Traditional Music & Dance
A Barefoot Dream
11th (Sunday)
2:00 PM
Traditional Music (Gayageum)
2:30 PM
Have Your Name Written in Korean
12th (Monday)
7:00 PM
Hany Lee
Secret Reunion

The arrival of KOFFIA for the first time in Melbourne will be marked by a special Korean traditional music and dance performance by Melbourne based Korean culture club SORI. Enjoy the lively sounds of Korean traditional music and the beautiful dances performed in colourful costume. Performing in the heart of Federation Square, we hope it will your KOFFIA experience a memorable one!

The sound of Gayageum, a Korean traditional string instrument like a long zither, will fulfill your ears on this peaceful Sunday afternoon in the ACMI Foyer. Don't miss this rare chance to listen to a Gayageum performance in Melbourne and to experience authentic Korean traditional music.

Your own name written in Korean! A small souvenir from Korean Film Festival. The Film Festival Staff will write down your name in Korean - it looks awesome!

키에란 털리, 레일린, 오드, 샤나, 웬디!
An Australian born Korean rising star, Hany Lee (singer-songwriter) will perform at KOFFIA 2011. After her first performance at KOFFIA 2010 in Sydney, we are honoured to have her again in her hometown Melbourne. Enjoy her music before the film on Monday evening at ACMI as we celebrate the Korean Thanksgiving holiday, Chuseok!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

'Earth's Women': the story of real women, real friends, real farmers

KOFFIA is proud to be showcasing director Woo-Jung Kwon’s Earth’s Women – a lively and fascinating documentary that is as complex as it is engaging. 
Three women - Kang Sun Hee, Byun Eun Joo and So Hee Ju – are college friends who have all chosen to lead a rural life, supporting the farming work of their husbands. Despite their idealistic notions and love for rural living, a peasant movement soon sweep the women into facing the harsh realities of being female farmers. Being mothers, wives, and daughter-in-laws, the various roles the women play in their rural lives are both remarkable and fascinating. 
Shot over the course of one and a half years, Earth’s Women itself is documented from the creative and observant eye of Kwon Woo Jung, whose first feature documentary, Return of the Land, won the Human Rights Film Award of the Year at the 9th Seoul Human Rights Film Festival in 2005. With a career that is marked by a connection to women and the environment, director Kwon gives Earth’s Women a deeply felt personal touch and an a sense of authenticity, honesty and passion for the lives of these three women and their stories.
Winner of  Best Film at Seoul Independent Film Festival and Best Documentary at Busan International Film Festival, Earth’s Women is a Korean cinematic experience not to be missed.

Written by KOFFIA Marketing & PR Assistant Hannah Lee
Catch the moving documentary Earth's Women at KOFFIA in Melbourne on September 13th, at 6:00pm at ACMI Cinemas, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square.

Book your tickets now at ACMI Cinemas, or online at or by phone (03) 8663 2583.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Korean Cinema Downunder: Part 2

As we grace Melbourne for the 1st time, we thought it would be nice to start a dialogue about Korean Film in Melbourne. How do you access it? What is its history? What films have succeeded or failed in this city? To create this discussion we have formed an incredible lineup of experts to talk about their relation to Korean cinema.

Chat with Dr Adrian Martin - Monash University, Al Cossar - Melbourne International Film Festival and Christian Were - Madman Entertainment about everything from the critical point of view, analysis of distribution, and festival exhibition. For true hardcore Korean film fans this is an event not to miss!

Follow this FREE forum by watching possibly the best Korean film of all time on the big screen in 35mm, "JSA Joint Security Area".

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sydney has voted!

It is official, KOFFIA 2011 has once again satisfied Sydneysiders with a Hunger for Drama! We made people HOLD ON TIGHT with hard-boiled crime thrillers and gut-busting family comedies. Check out what the audience thought below. 

The 5 Most Popular Films of KOFFIA 2011 as voted by our Sydney audience

1. JSA Joint Security Area: 4.5 Stars

2. A Barefoot Dream: 4.5 Stars

3. The Man From Nowhere: 4.5 Stars

4. Secret Reunion: 4.5 Stars

5. The Unjust: 4.5 Stars

The top 4 of those are now heading down to Melbourne, so lets see if taste differs between the 2 cities. Overall 8 sessions received a 4.5 star average, 7 sessions a 4.0 star average, and just 2 sessions a 3.5 star average. Crime and Punishment (The Unjust, The Man From Nowhere), Brothers Divided (JSA, Secret Reunion) and Ride the Dream (Bunt, A Barefoot Dream) proved to be the most popular themes of the year. Another outstanding result for KOFFIA and further proof that our audience was highly satisfied. 

Melbourne, its almost time to ...... HOLD ON TIGHT!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

What are you doing this weekend? Coming to KOFFIA that's what!

After a week of university assignments, work, household chores and all that other boring weekday stuff, TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday!) seems like an apt thing to scream at the top of your lungs before you jump into KOFFIA’s exciting weekend of films, events and forums!

This Saturday, the Young Korean Filmmakers in Australia (YKFA) awards will be presented with a talk on digital aesthetics by lecturer and author Bruce Isaacs, whose expertise in critical approaches to film production will certainly get us thinking about the innovative practices currently used in digital cinema, and the endless possibilities that lie before future filmmakers.

The short film Night Fishing by Park Chan Wook (which was completely filmed on an iPhone!) will also be screened with Blue by Stephen Kang - a Grand Prix Canal award winner from the Critic's Week at Cannes Film Festival this year.

And just when you thought your brain wouldn’t be able to handle any more awesomeness, KOFFIA is holding a special ‘Meet the Director’ forum with director Ryoo Seung Wan, whose specialty in hard-boiled Korean thrillers will have eager fans and budding filmmakers fighting for a seat in this free event.

Catch the screening of Earth’s Women at 2.00pm, an industry forum on Korean cinema’s place in Australia, held by Richard Gray and Mathieu Ravier, and the final screening of The Journals of Musan at 4.30pm to close a fantastic Saturday with KOFFIA.

When Sunday comes around, the show must go on with a screening of… The Show Must Go On! Park Chan Wook’s riveting political thriller, JSA: Joint Security Area will also be screened before a thought-provoking industry forum is held on the representation of the Korean War in cinema, led by Dr. Jane Park and Dr. Leonid Petrov from the University of Sydney.

With these two experts combining their knowledge on Asian representations in film and Korea’s social, economic and historical background, audiences will be offered insightful views and ideas on the films JSA, Secret Reunion and The Journals of Musan.

With KOFFIA there are no excuses for staying home and being bored out of your mind this weekend! Join us at the Dendy Opera Quays for a cinematic experience like no other!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A successful opening for KOFFIA

With a serviette full of traditional Korean food, glasses of rice wine and sweet treats, those who were lucky enough to secure a seat to the opening night of the 2011 Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) were all smiles at the Dendy Opera Quays on Wednesday night.

In the crowd of excited festival-goers were students, couples, tourists, journalists and cameramen who thrived in the air of anticipation as The Unjust, was screened with a special Q &A session to be held afterward with director, Ryoo Seung-Wan, and producer Kang Hye-Jung. Thanks to the friendly service of the volunteers, the sold-out theatre was filled with ease and comfort before a few formal words were delivered by the directors of the festival, the Korean Consulate General, director Ryoo and producer Kang.

If you missed out on tickets for the big opening night, don’t be dismayed. There is still a fantastic screening schedule ahead and if the opening night is any indication of what the rest of the festival will be like, we can definitely look forward to a rollercoaster ride of excitement, fun and pure cinematic enjoyment.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Secret Reunion of Brothers Divided

Reunification is not easy, but friendships aren’t impossible

When a North Korean spy and a South Korean federal agent feature as the two central characters of a film, we're usually in for lots of action, close calls and chase sequences. What we don’t expect is a heart-warming friendship, light-hearted comedy and a touching story that challenges the importance of political ideologies in the face of love and compassion.

Secret Reunion is a film that is as thought-provoking as it is moving and hilarious. With strong performances delivered by acting-veteran Kang-ho Song and young heart-throb Dong-won Kang, Secret Reunion combines the best of Korea’s acting talent with a dually compelling and poignant plot.

Offering insights into the cinematic fantasy of North and South Korean friendship, Secret Reunion draws on Korea’s contemporary cultural and social life to signify the values and morals we all share, regardless of where we come from.

Book your tickets now with KOFFIA, and catch the film that thrived at the Korean box office in 2010.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

'Bloody Friday' A Double Headless Header Film Night

Fridays will never be the same with our FRIGHTFUL BLOODY FRIDAY film night on AUGUST 26th from 6PM starting with the ultra-violence hard-boiled Fight Club-esque flick NO BLOOD NO TEARS, then at 8:30PM with a trip to Blood Island for the bloodiest revenge drama you will ever see BEDEVILLED.

For $20 only, see two great films that are bound to keep you at the edge of your seats. Dress up in your best horror or thriller costume for your chance to win some amazing goodies! A door prize will also be available!

The director and festival special guest RYOO SEUNG-WAN (Arahan, City of Violence) will also be present for a Q&A after the No Blood No Tears session.

See our amazing flyer below for more details - to reserve your tickets, contact now!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

KOFFIA 2011 in Trailer Form!















Spotlight on: Ryoo Seung-Wan

More than just the Action Kid

The opening night for KOFFIA is just around the corner for Sydneysiders! With a special Q&A session featuring the producer and director of the opening film 'The Unjust', KOFFIA shines a spotlight on director Ryoo Seung-Wan, his career and his invaluable contribution to Korean cinema.

After creating one of the most phenomenal debut features in Die Bad, a kinetic coming of age drama, Ryoo Seung-wan was initially misunderstood as Korea’s answer to Tarantino. While influences of Peckinpah, Scorsese, Buster Keaton and the Shaw Brothers were apparent in his features, Seung-wan injected an enthusiasm and creativity that was missing in Korean genre and commercial cinema.

From the wild homage to films he grew up with in the Dachimawa Lee shorts to the gritty noir No Blood No Tears, the director balanced extreme realism with fantastical cinematic sensibilities. While most of this was due to Seung-wan’s partnership with action choreographer Jung Doo-hong, it also developed as the director matured in his filmmaking.

After the slapstick wuxia-styled Arahan, Seung-wan would return to a scrappier form of action in Crying Fist, which would also signal the director’s graduation from the “enfant prodige” label and his move beyond traditional critical boundaries. Perfectly blending action with story, Crying Fist was something entirely the director’s – completely stripped of his influences and defying generic conventions.

After returning to homage for City of Violence and a feature version of Dachimawa Lee, Ryoo Seung-wan’s newest feature, The Unjust, expands the director’s territory into social commentary, with a more solid, steady, and intense stylisation. A hard boiled thriller with heavy characterisations of prosecutors and the police force, the film continues his long-standing partnership with brother, Ryoo Seung-beom, and is his most commercially successful film. A further movement into new territory, The Unjust proves Ryoo Seung-wan is one of Korea’s most diverse and talented filmmakers.

By Julian Buckeridge ,

Can't get enough of Ryoo Seung-wan? Join us at our Masters & Students event where Variety's Russell Edwards will host a forum with Ryoo Seung-wan himself. The event also features a special screening of Park Chan-wook's award-winning Night Fishing and top prize winner at the Critic's Week at Cannes Film Festival Blue. Dr. Bruce Isaacs will also give a presentation on digital aesthetics. Watch the Young Korean Filmmakers in Australia finalist films, and the awards ceremony as well. This is an event you can't miss!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Its time to HOLD ON TIGHT!

Check out episode 1 of our HOLD ON TIGHT series.

Directed and produced by Sujin Jeong and William Suen.
Sound and music by William Suen
Talent: Ann Margarett Cortez, Aude Rey, Hyun Shin, Sujin Jeong, William Suen

Special thanks to Jimmy Le, Kenny Son, Claudia Sutiono, Timothy Duong, Yujin Choi and the staff at the Korean Cultural Office.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why the KOFFIA experience is worth a ride

The 2nd official Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) is on in Sydney this coming August 24 – 29, and will even be rolling into Melbourne for the first time this year in September.

While some movie goers may be deterred by the thought of reading subtitles and deciphering cultural differences in foreign films, the wicked line-up of films for KOFFIA will be sure to prove that there’s much to gain in checking out something outside of the comfortably familiar. Catering to the tastes of horror junkies, action/thriller lovers, indie hipsters and even family-friendly types, KOFFIA is a festival experience that celebrates the breakout of Korean films in international spaces – a phenomenon that could not have been foreseen a couple of decades ago.

Before the 90s, the Korean film industry wasn’t making back any of its money. Relying on Hollywood imports and cheesy melodrama to get people into cinemas, Korea’s film industry was on the verge of simply closing up shop due to its serious lack of profitability. But once the political and economic climate of Korea began to change so did the nation’s films. Even with direct American competition in the country itself, Korean production companies proved that strong concepts and innovative direction could beat foreign competitors, offering the world something that was culturally striking and yet, uniquely familiar.

KOFFIA: The History of Korean Cinema

Korean cinema now stands at a very interesting point in its history. As the eyes of international film festivals, leading American production companies and regional importers (such as China, Japan, and Vietnam) look to the Korean film industry for inspiration (and ways to make money), it seems like global audiences can’t get enough of what this geographically small but remarkable country has to offer in terms of its dramatic art onscreen.

And while celebrating Korean cinema’s success is a large part of what KOFFIA is all about, I think this special event in Sydney is more interesting and exciting in relation to Korean cinema’s rising position. That is to say, I don’t think Korean cinema has seen enough widespread attention (especially in Australia) in order to claim a dominant position in the international landscape of filmmaking. It is still a growing industry, and despite the success it may have seen in the past decade, the nation’s filmmakers are pulling all sorts of moves (good and bad) to win over an international audience. For this reason, Korean cinema deserves to be seen, reflected upon and at the very least, given a chance.

KOFFIA opens in 2010

The Australian film industry itself is continually looking for ways to tell exciting, culturally-specific and yet, widely appreciated stories. Australian filmmakers, film buffs and movie-goers are those who have an eye for originality, inspiration and the daring in film, as we ourselves live in a country full of diverse ideas and people. And considering 2011 is the year of Australia-Korean friendship, what could be a better way of getting to know each other than a movie date?

Whether you end up loving it, hating it, not understanding any of it or just getting weirded out, the distinctly different, new and eye-opening (literally!) experience of KOFFIA is definitely something to look out for.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The KOFFIA 2011 Official Trailer is here!

Hold on Tight! KOFFIA 2011 is here.

Experience the story, the adventure, the rollercoaster ride of Korean cinema this August and September.

KOFFIA 2011 Official Trailer from Koffia 2011 on Vimeo.

This trailer was edited by Kang Minji.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

KOFFIA: History of Korean Cinema

To tide you over until KOFFIA 2011 arrives, which is in just 3 weeks time, we take a look back at the History of Korean cinema. Taking special note as to how it has developed over the years, and highlighting some of the most critically acclaimed films of all time, take a look below

Thanks to Kevin Park for the slick editing and Samuel Choi for the great soundtrack.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

KOFFIA 2011 Film Line-up announced!

KOFFIA 2011 is coming! HOLD ON TIGHT! 

The KOFFIA Korean Film Festival is back in Sydney for the second time this August, bigger and better than ever, and it all begins here! KOFFIA 2011 will present 13 feature films and 7 shorts that showcase the great diversity of Korean cinema today, as well as providing a true Korean cultural experience with industry forums, cultural performances, food tastings and so much more. HOLD ON TIGHT!

The festival will take place from 24th – 29th August at Dendy Cinemas in Circular Quay, Sydney. In this Australia-Korea Year of Friendship, we are very excited to announce that KOFFIA will also travel down to the beautiful city of Melbourne! The festival will run from 10th – 13th September at ACMI Cinemas, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne. This is an extra special date, as 12th September marks the important Korean Thanksgiving Holiday of Chuseok, join us in this celebration.

This year our line-up will be centred around six key themes felt to represent particular recurring messages in Korean cinema. Experienced genre filmmaker Ryo Seung-wan’s latest box office and critical hit The Unjust (2010) will open KOFFIA 2011 in Sydney as part of our ‘Crime and Punishment’ selection. Known for his action hits Arahan and The City of Violence, we are delighted to announce that director Ryoo and Producer Kang Hye-jeong will be guests of the festival this year. Rounding out ‘Crime and Punishment’ is the number 1 Korean box office hit last year, The Man From Nowhere (2010), featuring popular actor and model Won Bin (Mother).

'Brothers Divided' reflects on conflict found in relationships and opens with Secret Reunion (2010) directed by Jang Hun (Rough Cut). One of the highest grossing Korean films of all time, it follows a tense partnership between a North Korean spy and a former South Korean agent. Also screening under this theme is Park Chan-wook’s classic J.S.A Joint Security Area (2000). Arguably Park’s best feature, the film tells the story of an unlikely relationship between the North and South Korean guards along the border. Both films star festival favourite Song Kang-ho.

‘Indie Cinema’ will introduce our audience to award winning independent films that have been making waves worldwide. The documentary Earth’s Women (2009) follows the stories of three female farmers and their livelong friendship, as they get caught up in a peasant’s rights movement. The Journals of Musan is Park Jung-bum’s first feature, made on a shoe-string budget, and highlights the isolated lives of North Korean defectors in South Korean society. Both films won their respective categories at the revered Busan International Film Festival, taking away Best Documentary and FIPRESCI prizes respectively.

‘Bloody Friday’ highlights the most thrill providing films of Korean cinema today! No Blood No Tears (2002), also directed by Ryoo Seung-wan, is a film noir crime caper with a difference, and launched stars Jeon Do-yeon (The Housemaid) and Jeong Jae-yeong (Castaway on the Moon). Director Ryoo and Producer Kang will attend for a Q&A. Former Kim Ki-duk assistant director, Jang Chul-soo, makes his debut with Bedevilled (2010), which has reinvigorated the Korean horror film industry.

‘Extraordinary Ordinary Families’ describes the very nature of the extended family in contemporary Korean society, with Shim’s Family (2007) uncovering many unknown skeletons, and The Show Must Go On (2007) giving us a look at the Korean Sopranos. The Show Must Go On won Best Picture and Best Actor at the 28th Blue Dragon Film Awards.

To celebrate filmmaking ‘Masters and Students’ highlights the best of the Young Korean Filmmaker Awards entries and short films from renowned Korean directors. Also screening in this section is Oki’s Movie (2010), the latest effort from the critically acclaimed auteur director, Hong Sang-soo.

Finally we focus on the hearts and dream of youth, with ‘Ride The Dream’. This year’s special school screening features Bunt (2007), a heart-warming film of a mentally challenged boy who strives to help everyone around him. Closing Sydney and Opening Melbourne will be Korea’s official submission for the Oscars for Best Foreign Language film, the beautiful A Barefoot Dream (2010), which tells the true story of a Korean soccer coach who gave hope to underprivileged children in East Timor.

What is most clear from this line-up, is that there is much more to see of Korean cinema than many people ever imagined. Come along for whichever theme takes your fancy, as you won’t be disappointed. Remember to mark the dates in your diary, August 24-29 in Sydney and September 10-13 in Melbourne, as KOFFIA 2011 will be one not to miss. Prepare to go on a rollercoaster ride of cinematic proportions, HOLD ON TIGHT!

For more information please see our website, Tickets are on sale 3 weeks prior to the festival dates. KOFFIA is organised by the Korean Cultural Office in Sydney.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reasons to keep your eyes peeled for Korean cinema

Korean cinema is a little like Kimchi (stay with me here). It has a taste like no other, the more you have it the more you’ll love it, and it’s an essential part of experiencing Korean culture. But unlike Kimchi, Korean cinema isn’t an acquired taste. Whether you’re a film buff, the occasional movie-goer or simply there for the popcorn, you will always be able to find something exciting and original in the distinctly different flavour of Korean cinema.

Especially over the last decade, Korean films have been drawing the attention of audiences from all over the world as the successful numbers of domestic bums on seats have expanded to regional exports, co-productions, and American remakes that recognize the talent of Korean filmmakers and the universal reach of their stories.

Coming from a nation that has undergone incredible political and economic change, the Korean film industry itself has transformed into one of greater creative freedom and international appeal. As a result, the subjects explored in Korean cinema look at a range of personalities, landscapes and ideas in both large-scale and intimate modes of storytelling, making it increasingly challenging and exciting for Korean filmmakers to continually push boundaries and expectations within well-established genres.

With Korea’s whacky sense of humour, rich cultural background and uncompromisingly innovative cinematic vision, the nation's film industry has continued to garner the respect and critical acclaim of prestigious international film festivals at home and abroad.

So if you're wanting to experience something unique, new and even daring (or just plain sick of seeing the same predictable Hollywood flick as I personally am),you should keep your eyes peeled for Korean cinema and the screening schedule for the Korean Film Festival in Australia. I can't say Kimchi's on the rise, but Korean cinema most definitely is.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ride the KOFFIA Experience

Just 5 weeks till we open in Sydney and we are all very excited here at the KOFFIA office. Preparations are steaming along, lets hope we can keep this train under control! Remember July 26th is when all will be revealed, including our film line-up, special guests and screening schedule. Watch this space!

This year we will have a wide variety of cinema on show, from current hits to past classics, with something for everyone to enjoy. Below are a sneak peek at the 7 themes of films we will be presenting, so watch out for your favourite!

The 5 week countdown begins. Check out our website for more information!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Nothing like bonding over a 'Night Fishing'

As we have already announced, Park Chan-wook's latest short film, Night Fishing, will make its Australian debut at KOFFIA 2011. Hannah Lee has contributed this piece on the collaboration Park has had with his lesser-known, but equally talented brother Park Chan-kyung, with whom he collaborated on the award-winning short.

By Hannah Lee
While little is known about Park Chan-wook’s younger brother, Park Chan-kyung, there’s no doubt that their first collaborative short film, Night Fishing, will reel in some much-deserved attention for the talented filmmaker.
Beginning with a Cannes jury prize for his visceral thriller Old Boy, Park Chan-wook has preceded his brother in establishing himself as a critically acclaimed director of feature-length films – drawing increasing attention around the world with a U.S debut, Stoker, set to hit cinemas next year. While such success should really call for bitter sibling rivalry, Park Chan Kyung proved his own individualistic and visually engaging sense of direction in his first feature-length film, Anyang, Paradise City. The film debuted as the Korean Feature Film Competition winner at the Jeonju International Film Festival last year, combining fiction and documentary in eight episodes that traversed Anyang city’s past, contemporary life, politics and ancient folklore.

As a prominent Korean artist with extensive practice in media and installation art, Park Chan Kyung’s combined talents in filmmaking and art production then rise to the surface in Night Fishing as his imaging techniques give his brother’s internationally-renowned vision an added kick of freshness and originality.
In joining forces, the Park brothers prove there’s more to engrossing storytelling than high-tech equipment as their award-winning short was filmed entirely on an iPhone 4 (because Apple doesn’t get enough attention already). This makes Night Fishing the world’s first smartphone movie to receive the Golden Bear for best short film at the Berlin International Film Festival, and the first to be released in cinemas with its unique technological origins.
As the Park brothers challenge the conventions of filmmaking with an iPhone in Night Fishing, this artistically daring and bold work is sure to recognize the talents of Park Chan Kyung as the short film’s compelling story is given life through a convergence of two distinctly different visions.
Although Night Fishing is only a 30-minute short film, it received global attention upon its announcement. You can read all about the hype surrounding the film in Richard Gray's previous KOFFIA blog entry which covers how it was created, how they achieved it technically, and what sort of scale the shoot was. It even includes behind the scenes footage so make sure you check it out.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

WIN tickets to Korean film at MIFF 2011!

Korean Cultural Office | KOFFIA Korean Film Festival

Prepare to HOLD ON TIGHT as the Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) graces Melbourne for the first time ever this September! In what will be 4 days of drama, comedy, action and more, KOFFIA will take Victorians on an intense ride of Korean cinema!

Taking place at ACMI Cinemas, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne, September 10-13 will see a Korean wave of culture and entertainment hit ACMI as we celebrate Korean Thanksgiving (Chuseok) on September 12th.

We are delighted to announce KOFFIA will be forming a special Festival Partnership with the iconic Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), which in 2011 is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Known for presenting a wealth of Korean cinema over the years, in fact more than 150 Korean films, this partnership will hopefully strengthen the presence of quality Korean content in Melbourne.

Due to a wealth of interest from Korean film fanatics, no doubt fostered by watching superb Korean cinema at MIFF, we decided to expand to this region. To thank those people for their passion, we are running a competition to WIN TICKETS to a Korean film of your choice at MIFF 60!

8 Korean feature films have been selected in the MIFF line-up for 2011. From the political thriller The Unjust and award winning indie drama The Journals of Musan, to Hong Sang-soo’s piece of meta-fiction Oki’s Movie and the action packed spectacular The Yellow Sea. The rest of the line-up includes Hong Sang-soo’s latest The Day He Arrives, the Park Hae-il KAFA hit End of Animal, the latest Jeonju Digital Project entry, and even a retrospective look at Bong Joon-ho’s quirky Barking Dogs Never Bite.

We are offering KOFFIA Melbourne fans the chance to win a double pass to one of the following:

  • The Journals of Musan (Wed 27th July, 11am, ACMI)
  • Oki’s Movie (Thurs 28th July, 4:45pm, Forum Theatre)
  • The Unjust (Tues 2nd Aug, 6:30pm, Forum Theatre)
To enter simply tell us:
  • “What is your favourite Korean film that has screened at MIFF and why?”
Can’t remember? Simply use The MIFF Archive search tool to refresh your memory!

Simply fill out the form below to enter! The giveaway closes on Friday 22 July 2011, so get your entries in quickly!


The Melbourne International Film Festival takes place from July 21st – August 7th. Get a glimpse at the wonders of Korean cinema before KOFFIA arrives this September! The Korean Film Festival in Australia is organised by the Korean Cultural Office. For details about KOFFIA including session times and how to buy tickets, visit our website

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This Week in Korean Cinema (5 July - 12 July 2011)

Welcome back to the column where the definition of 'week' is flexible, but the quality is always high. You may have noticed a change of colour scheme and that's because the KOFFIA 2011 banners and posters are now out, so please feel free to stick them on your own sites and spread the word.

If you have been following the Blog, you'll notice that we've already announced two short films have been announced for KOFFIA 2011: Park Chan-wook’s Paranmanjang (Night Fishing) and Yang Hyo-joo’s Pu-Seo-Jin Bam (Broken Night). The respective winners of the Berlin Film Festival's Golden and Silver Bears for Best Short Film, these will join an amazing list of films that we will reveal in the coming weeks.


Since our last column, only a handful of major realase have come out, but the most recent one is one of the most highly anticipated Korean horror films of the year. Byun Seung-Wook's The Cat made its debut in Korea last week, and follows So-Yeon (Park Min-Young, City Hunter) who starts seeing a mysterious girl (Kim Ye-Ron) after bringing home a cat. Kim Ye-Ron, the younger sister of Kim Sae-Ron (the award winning The Man From Nowhere) makes her feature debut in this chilling film. Cat lovers be warned: this is no Milo & Otis (although that reportedly had some unfortunate endings for the kittens, so we best no go down that path this week).


Unsurprisingly, The Cat made its way straight to #2, unable to conquer the monolith that is Transformers:: Dark of the Moon. Indeed, there was about a 13,000,000,000 won difference in taking between the two for the week. Sunny, Poongsan and White filled in the #3, #4 and #7 slots at the Korean box office, and new entries You Are Umasou (Japan) and The Men Who Stare At Goats (US) also made appearances. (Source).


MIFF 2011: The Melbourne International Film Festival launched its 60th program last week, and the Accent on Asia section has a strong showing of Korean films. There are in fact 8 South Korean films listed in the program, including seven features and one short film. Hong Sang-soo is represented twice with his latest film The Day He Arrives, and one from last year, Oki's Movie. Bong Joon-Ho (Mother) adds Barking Dogs Never Bite to the program, while Ryoo Seung-wan's epic crime drama The Unjust makes its Australian debut.The festival-favourite feature film debut by writer, director and lead actor Park Jung-bum (who was the assistant to the legendary Korean director Lee Chang-dong) Journals of Musan is a must-see at MIFF, and Na Hong-jin's The Yellow Sea is another film that comes highly recommended. Sydney Film Festival's only Korean film, End of Animal, also screens at MIFF. Finally, short film Ghost will also float past audiences during the massive festival. Stay tuned for news on how you can win tickets to see some of these films.

Spike Lee to Remake Oldboy: Cries went out from the masses at the new Park Chan-wook's masterpiece Oldboy would be remade, but these were somewhat sobered by the news the equally legendary Spike Lee would be directing. Reportedly being a "Departed-style remake", referencing Martin Scorsese's version of Hong Kong's Infernal Affairs films, this gives us some hope that it will not be a complete write-off. How is conservative Hollywood going to deal with that twist ending though?

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Richard is a KOFFIA Blog Editor and a Marketing Assistant for KOFFIA. He can be contacted via email on

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