October 12, 2005


Pusan International Film Festival keeps growing biggerThe Pusan International Film Festival wraps up this Friday, and like a giant monster that keeps growing bigger, it's announced that it will feature a mega-sized film market in next year's festival. Can nothing stops it from taking over the world? Pretty soon this will have to be called the "Pulgasari International Film Festival."

Here's a run-down of what's been happening while you've been napping and while the folks at the festival have been drinking each other under the table and signing deals:

- Concert promoters, Click Stars, have snapped up the US rights to APRIL SNOW, the Korean melodrama that did so-so in Korea but raked in $21 million in Japan in just three weeks. They plan on releasing it in Hawaii in November, and then releasing it to the rest of the US shortly thereafter. Click Stars wants to rapidly reach the Korean and Japanese audience in the US, much in the same way that Tartan had a very successful, rapid release of an unsubbed SILIMIDO in the US a few years ago.

- SPRING IN MY HOMETOWN director, Lee Kwang-Mo, has won the top prize of the Pusan Promotional Plan: $20,000 for his next movie, FAIRY TALE OF A PICTURE TREE, about families divided between North and South Korea. He actually shared the prize with the Thai project, HEARTBREAK PAVILLION, directed by Thunska Pansittivorakul and Sompot Chidgasornpongse about heartbroken people trapped in a boat. Like the POSEIDON ADVENTURE, but with more crying and less Shelley Winters.

- Kim Ki-Duk's next project, BEAUTIFUL, received the most number of meeting requests from people, demonstrating that THE BOW aside, Kim Ki-Duk is still the big daddy of Korean arthouse film overseas.

- LJ Films, which is looking to expand into the US market, released the next movie by Lee Yoon-Ki, the director of the acclaimed THIS CHARMING GIRL, called LOVE TALK, but Adam Hartzell found it underwhelming and has some choice words for the subpar Western talent in the movie.

- SAD MOVIE, another Korean melodrama, was sold to Japan for a price that covers 80% of its budget.

- Tartan bought the Taiwanese horror flick THE HEIRLOOM, as well as CELLO from Korea, and PRAYER and BOOTH from Japan.

- Andrew Lau (INFERNAL AFFAIRS) has a new movie called DAISY set partially in Amsterdam, and it's sold the Malaysian and Singaporean rights for $10 million

- BORN TO FIGHT, the Panna Ritthikrai, action flick from Thailand, and MIDNIGHT MY LOVE, the serious movie with Thai comedian Mum Jokmok, were both sold to CJ Entertainment in Korea (well, BORN TO FIGHT went to CJ, I'm not sure who MIDNIGHT went to, exactly).

You can read Darcy Paq's deep coverage of the festival over here and there's also an essay about the reception of the retro screenings of thriller director Lee Man-Hee's movies there as well. Also, you can read Adam Hartzell's reviews of a lot of what he saw here, here and here.

October 12, 2005 at 12:44 PM in News | Permalink


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