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Three Korean films head to 73rd Berlin Film Festival

Feb. 17, 2023 - 13:59 By Kim Da-sol

Director Hong Sang-soo (left) and actor Kim Min-hee (Yonhap)

Three Korean films have been invited to the 73rd Berlin Film Festival, which kicked off Thursday and runs until Feb. 26.

The festival picked director Hong Sang-soo’s “In Water” to compete in the newly established Encounters sidebar competition category. It is the 62-year-old auteur’s 29th project. Hong is competing at Berlinale for the fourth consecutive year, following “The Novelist's Film” (2022), “Introduction” (2021) and “The Woman Who Ran” (2020).

To promote his film, actors Kim Min-hee and Shin Seok-ho have arrived in Berlin alongside director Hong.

Hong's long-time partner and actor Kim does not appear in "In Water," but is said to have participated as a line producer. Hong and Kim have been involved in an extramarital affair since 2015, although he is still legally married to his wife.

In Berlin, Hong received the coveted Silver Bear for Best Director with “The Woman Who Ran” in 2020 and the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay with “Introduction” in 2021. Last year, he won the Grand Jury Prize for “The Novelist's Film.”

Jeon Do-yeon stars in Netflix action thriller “Kill Boksoon.” (Netflix)

Director Byun Sung-hyun’s Netflix action thriller film, “Kill Boksoon,” has also headed to Berlinale as part of the Berlinale Special program, a non-competitive section that includes "documentary, feature and short films that elevate and explore cinema as an art form."

The film features Cannes-winning actor Jeon Do-yeon as Gil Bok-soon, a single mom who juggles being a professional killer and raising her teenage daughter, Jae-young (Kim Si-a).

Although Gil has an unblemished track record as an assassin and has never missed a target, she decides not to renew her contract at the killing firm because she wants to figure out a secret that Jae-young has been hiding from her.

The director and actors Jeon Do-yeon and Kim Si-a will also attend the festival.

“Regardless of Us,” a debut film by drector Yoo Heong-jun, has been invited to the Forum section. The film centers on an actress who is unable to attend her film’s premiere due to a sudden stroke.

A romance drama film, “Past Lives,” written and directed by Korean-Canadian Celine Song and starring Korean actor Yoo Teo as the male lead, will be presented in the main competition section. South Korean entertainment conglomerate CJ ENM participated in the production and funding of the film.

Hong Kong-China film “Green Night,” starring Korean actor Lee Joo-young, will be presented in the Berlin Panorama section.