Bringing the very best of Korean Cinema Down Under, the Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA), returns to Canberra (2-6 Sept) Palace Cinemas, Brisbane (16-19 Sept) Elizabeth Picture Theatre,ACMI, and Sydney (14-23 Oct) Event Cinemas George St, for another year, showcasing the best films from Korea's world-class film industry. On offer from KOFFIA are the biggest blockbusters, haunting arthouse dramas, rom-coms, thrillers and more. Not only is this a celebration of a great lineup of exquisite new Korean films from across all genres, it also celebrates 60 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and South Korea. KOFFIA Programmer Francis Lee says "Korea has always had one of the best filmmaking industries in the world, and with films like Parasite and Minari taking the western world by storm in recent years, we're seeing a growing appreciation for the incredible artistry of Korean cinema." See here for the program, and here for Ticketing Information.
Amongst the slew of masterpieces of cinema, is the aforementioned Minari. The winner of multiple awards since its debut at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival including the Golden Globe for Best Film in a Foreign Language, this is a beautifully shot heartfelt drama of one family's experience after moving from Los Angeles to Arkansas to start a farm in the early 1980s. Other gems include Paper Flower, which follows the life of an old mortician, his unwell son and the events that take place when a new family moves next door. Waiting for Rain does an old fashioned take on love in the form of love letters between two strangers. Way Back Home puts the life of a housewife in turmoil when the police alert her they have arrested the man who raped her 10 years prior, unbeknownst to her husband. This is but a small sample of Drama on the big screen.
In a heart-warming ode to family and the healing power of food, director PARK Hye-Ryoung's documentary, The Wandering Chef, embarks on a journey with Korean celebrity chef IM Jiho as he travels the Korean peninsula in search of the most authentic and unique ingredients with medicinal properties. For families, is the animated film Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs. The film is a parody of Snow White and follows seven dwarfs, once seven princes, who can only break their curse by kissing the most beautiful woman in the kingdom. It carries a strong message about not judging a book by its cover. If you're looking for action, you'll find it in the action-packed, thrillingly choreographed fight scenes of The Swordsman. It's set in the 17th-century during a time when ruling dynasties in Korea and China were in significant transition. Pipeline is another gripping crime film following six thieves who hope to change their lives planning an oil heist by drilling into Korea's biggest pipeline. Deliver Us From Evil on the other hand is a solid Asian action flick for those who love the genre. It follows a frenzied hit-man thriller following an assassin who goes to Thailand to solve a kidnapping case, only to find himself being chased by a man whose sibling he killed.
There are also laughs to be had in a surprisingly funny, smart and deep story - More Than Family. University student To-il gets pregnant while dating her 19-year-old tutoring student and embarks on a journey to find her biological father. Samjin Company English Class is about female empowerment, a classic David and Goliath story where three talented women who are trapped in roles as mere office assistants, eventually become key drivers against an unethical corporate scheme. Suspenseful mystery thrillers, adventures about a team of grave robbers, this Festival has it all. Enjoy eighteen of the twenty two Australian exquisite premieres from across all genres. Stay closely in touch with the festival via the given links as in these uncertain times, things could change - but here's to being positive.