English poster of “Broker” directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda (CJ ENM)
One of the most recognized film festivals worldwide, Cannes Film Festival announced its official selection list for this year Thursday, including three Korean films-- “Decision to Leave,” directed by Park Chan-wook, “Broker” directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda and “Squid Game” star Lee Jung-jae’s directorial debut “Hunt.”
Park and Kore-eda’s films were invited to the festival’s main competition category. A total of 18 contenders were listed in this category on Thursday.
“At Cannes this year, I’m going to watch as many films as I can. I am also ready to give a longer standing ovation than anybody,” Park said in a statement.
Park’s new movie centers on a polite and honest police officer named Hye-jun (Park Hye-il). Hye-jun looks into a suspicious death that occurred on a mountain and comes to suspect the dead man’s wife, the mysterious Seo-rae (Tang Wei). At the same time, Hye-jun becomes attracted to her.
The script of “Decision to Leave” was co-written with Jeong Seo-kyeong, with whom Park has worked on multiple films, including “I’m a Cyborg, but That’s OK” (2006), “Thirst” (2009) and “The Handmaiden” (2016).
“Broker” is Kore-eda’s first Korean movie. The Japanese director, who won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018 for “Shoplifters,” wrote and directed the new Korean film and worked with CJ ENM, the entertainment unit of South Korean conglomerate CJ Group, which financed and produced the project.
It features famous Korean actors including Song Kang-ho, Bae Doo-na, Gang Dong-won and IU.
“Parasite” star Song and “Oldboy” director Park, who worked together on “Thirst” in 2009, will be competing against each other this year.
At that time, Park’s film “Thirst” won Prix du Jury prize at Cannes that year.
The Korean director Park was also awarded the Grand Prix, the second-highest prize at the festival, for his thriller “Old Boy” in 2004.
Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” starring Song grabbed the highest honor at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.
Both Park and Kore-eda’s films are set to hit local theaters in June.
Actor-turned-filmmaker Lee’s spy thriller “Hunt,” staring Korean heartthrob Jung Woo-sung, was invited to screen at the Midnight Screening, a non-competitive section of the festival. Lee also appears in the movie as one of the leading actors.
Set in the 1980s, elite agent Park Pyung-ho (Lee) works at the Agency for National Security Planning and got a mission to chase after a North Korean spy. While doing that he becomes increasingly aware of his own country’s dark truths.
Korean poster of “Decision to Leave,” directed by Park Chan-wook (CJ ENM)
“It’s a great honor to have my directorial debut feature screened at Cannes,” Lee said in a statement.
Lee participated in the film festival in 2010, in relation to his appearance in “The Housemaid.”
The 75th Cannes Film Festival will run from May 17-28.
By Song Seung-hyun (email@example.com