Poster for “Next Sohee” directed by July Jung (Twin Plus Partners)
Korean director July Jung’s second feature film, “Next Sohee” starring movie star Bae Doo-na, has been invited to the 26th Fantasia International Film Festival, which will be held from July 14 to Aug. 3 in Montreal.
Jung’s feminist police thriller will get its North American premiere on Fantasia’s closing night.
The Korean director is known for creating movies that realistically portray social issues in Korea.
The Canadian film festival organizer announced that “Next Sohee” was selected as the closer of the event due to the movie’s impressive final scene.
Several Korean films, including “Voice of Silence” directed by Hong Eui-jeong and “Bring Me Home” directed by Kim Seung-woo, were introduced to North American audiences through the festival in Montreal.
In May, “Next Sohee,” also closed Critics’ Week, a sidebar event dedicated to showing directors’ first and second films alongside the Cannes Film Festival. Jung’s film is the first Korean film that was selected as the closing movie of Critics’ Week.
Bae, who appeared in “Broker” and “Next Sohee” that were screened at Cannes this year, was unable to take part in the festival due to a scheduling conflict in the filming for Zack Snyder’s new Netflix sci-fi saga, “Rebel Moon.” Meanwhile, ”Next Sohee“ director and co-star Kim Si-eun attended the festival held in France.
In Jung’s film, So-hee (played by Kim) is a high school student working at a call center. One day, detective Yoo-jin (played by Bae) becomes suspicious of an incident that unfolds at the call center.
According to Jung, the film was inspired by a true event involving the death of a 19-year-old girl. An SBS investigative documentary program back in 2017 put a spotlight on the incident.
The film has also been invited to the competition section of the 12th World Cinema Amsterdam which will be held from Aug. 20 to 27.
“Next Sohee” is also the second project that Jung and Bae have worked on together, following the director’s 2014 debut feature, “A Girl at My Door,” which was invited to screen at the Cannes Film Festival as well. This movie deals with heavy topics like social justice, child abuse, small-town politics and migrant worker issues.
Jung won multiple awards with the debut feature including best first film award at the 25th Stockholm International Film Festival and best new director prize at the 51st Baeksang Arts Awards.