7 Korean Films Invited to 2023 Cannes Film Festival

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7 Korean Films Invited to 2023 Cannes Film Festival
poster film Hopeless (instagram.com/plusm_entertainment) | poster film Cobweb (instagram.com/thejokersfilms)

To be held in less than a month, the 2023 Cannes Film Festival has announced its official selection list since April 13. Not only that, the Cannes Film Festival sidebar, namely International Critics’ Week and The Directors’ Fortnight, has also released its official line-up.

This year, there are seven South Korean films invited to be screened at this prestigious film festival. Starting from films made by famous directors to new directors, here are the seven Korean films.

1. Hopeless – Un Certain Regard

Hopeless - Un Certain Regard
footage of Hong Xa Bin and Song Joong Ki in the movie Hopeless (instagram.com/megabox.log)

Hopeless is the first feature film directed by director Kim Chang Hoon. Formerly known as Hwaran, the film was officially included in the official selection list announced on April 13. As such, the first screening of Hopeless will take place at the festival, in the Un Certain Regard section.

This movie is a film noir that focuses on the story of a young man named Yeon Gyu (Hong Xa Bin). Yeon Gyu tries to escape the harsh reality that is like hell in his life. He then meets Chi Geon (Song Joong Ki) and enters the world of organized crime. Soloist BIBI will also appear in the movie as Ha Yan, Yeon Gyu’s younger brother.

2. Cobweb – Out of Competition

Cobweb - Out of Competition
Cobweb invited to the 2023 Cannes Film Festival (instagram.com/thejokersfilms)

Cobweb is one of the most anticipated Korean movies this year. The movie is directed by director Kim Jee Woon who previously directed the movie The Age of Shadows (2016). The director again worked with Song Kang Ho who became the main character.

Song Kang Ho plays director Kim who is struggling to finish his Cobweb movie. However, the conditions at that time, precisely in the 1970s during the enactment of the Yushin Constitution, made him trapped in various impossibilities.

Apart from Song Kang Ho, Cobweb also stars familiar faces. Call it Im Soo Jung, Oh Jung Se, Jeon Yeo Been, to Krystal f(x). The movie will be screened for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival in the Out of Competition section.

3. Project Silence – Midnight Screenings

Project Silence - Midnight Screenings
Project Silence invited to the 2023 Cannes Film Festival (instagram.com/cjenmmovie)

Project Silence, previously known as Silence, has been included in the additional official selection list of this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film directed by director Kim Tae Gon will premiere in the Midnight Screenings section.

The movie tells the story of people trying to survive on an airport bridge. The bridge is on the verge of collapse coupled with the thick fog that covers it. However, there are other unexpected threats lurking.

Actors and actresses involved in the movie Project Silence are Lee Sun Kyun, Ju Ji Hoon, Kim Hee Won, Moon Sung Keun, Ye Soo Jung, Park Hee Von, Park Ju Hyun, Kim Tae Woo, and Kim Su An. So far, detailed information about each character is still limited.

4. Sleep – International Critics’ Week

Sleep - International Critics' Week
Sleep invited to Cannes International Critics’ Week 2023 (instagram.com/thejokersfilms)

The Cannes Film Festival’s sidebar, International Critics’ Week, is devoted to selecting the first or second feature films of new directors. In the feature film category, 11 films were selected, including 7 films in competition and 4 films as special screenings.

Sleep, director Jason Yu’s first feature film, is one of the seven films competing in this year’s International Critics’ Week. The film stars renowned South Korean actors and actresses Lee Sun Kyun and Jung Yu Mi.

It is told that Hyun Soo (Lee Sun Kyun) and Soo Jin (Jung Yu Mi) are newlyweds. One day, Hyun Soo starts talking to himself while he sleeps. Hyun Soo then keeps turning into another person every time he falls asleep. Soo Jin is overwhelmed with anxiety that Hyun Soo could one day hurt her and also the baby that will be born later.

5. In Our Day – The Directors’ Fortnight

In Our Day - The Directors' Fortnight
In Our Day movie trailer (movie.daum.net/In Our Day)

Besides the International Critics’ Week, the Cannes Film Festival also has one other sidebar, The Directors’ Fortnight. This year, 30 films were selected with a composition of 10 short films and 20 feature films. One of the feature films is In Our Day by director Hong Sang Soo, which closed this year’s Directors’ Fortnight.

On the official website of The Directors’ Fortnight, In Our Day is introduced as an ode to everyday life. People get pleasure from gathering around a table. Artistic director for this year’s Directors’ Fortnight Julien Rejl said that In Our Day naturally shows all the pleasures in life.

6. Hole – La Cinef Selection

Hole - La Cinef Selection
short movie trailer Hole (youtube.com/한국영화아카데미KAFA)

La Cinef selected 16 films from around 2,000 films submitted by various film schools around the world. Of the 16 films, there are 14 short fiction films and 2 animated shorts. Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA) director Hwang Hye In’s film Hole was included in the selection list.

Hole is the graduation work of director Hwang Hye In who completed her studies at KAFA in February 2023. The movie tells the story of a social worker who visits a house inhabited by siblings and finds a large hole. The atmosphere of gloom and suspense is emphasized in this movie.

7. The Lee Families – La Cinef Selection

The Lee Families - La Cinef Selection
The Lee Families short movie poster (instagram.com/30thkarts)

Another Korean film has made it to the La Cinef selection list. The film is The Lee Families which is director Seo Jeong Mi’s graduation work from Korea National University of Arts (K-Arts). Seo Jeong Mi said that she wanted to question the validity of the outdated partiarchy through this work.

Director Seo Jeong Mi feels happy and honored that her work was selected and invited to the Cannes Film Festival. She also thanked the staff and cast who helped her with The Lee Families.

In addition to the entourage of the seven films above, the Hollywood series The Idol starring one of the KPop group members, Jennie BLACKPINK, was also invited. The aespa group will also appear as a global ambassador for the Chopard brand which is an official partner of the Cannes Film Festival. Wow, there will be many Korean celebrities attending the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

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