What to see at the Korean Film Festival 2017

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Korean Film Fest

For those willing to brave the weekend traffic and for those who are unapologetic Korean fans and even regular cinephiles, the Korean Cultural Center is back with its annual Korean Film Festival running from Sept. 8-10 at the Cinema 6 of SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

This time around, the center is presenting five drama films tackling issues of family, sickness, romance and sports.

Aside from the Manila leg, the Korean Film Festival will also be screened in other Philippine locations: Davao at SM Lanang Premier Cinema 1 from Sept. 14-17; Iloilo at SM City Iloilo Cinema 8 from Sept. 21-24; Cebu at SM City Cebu Cinema 5 from Sept. 28-Oct. 1; Pampanga at SM City Clark Cinema 3 from Oct. 5-8 and Cavite at SM City Dasmarinas Cinema 5 from Oct. 12-15.

How to Steal a Dog (2014) directed by Kim Seong Ho
Ten-year-old Ji-so lives in pizza truck with her family. Her father suddenly disappeared after their pizza business went bankrupt. When she sees a missing dog poster with a $500 reward, Ji-so simply believes that that amount of money would be enough to buy her family a house. She hatches a plan with her friend Chae-rang to find a dog with a rich owner, steal it and return the dog by pretending to have found it to get a reward. Their target is Wolly, the dog of an old rich lady who owns the restaurant where Ji-so’s mom works.

Twenty (2015) directed by Lee Byung Hon
Kyung-jae (Kang Ha-neul) and Dong-woo (Lee Junho) are best friends who’ve just graduated from high school and turned 20. Chi-ho is an unemployed playboy who prioritizes dating and chasing women. Kyung-jae is a goody-two-shoes university student whose goal is to get accepted at a corporate job. Happy-go-lucky Dong-woo dreams of becoming a cartoonist but when his family goes bankrupt he is forced to become the breadwinner of the family and take on several part-time jobs. Twenty is a story of three friends in their 20s and must decide what to do with their life.

My Brilliant Life (2014) directed by E J Yong
Dae-soo (Kang Dong-won) and Mi-ra (Song Hye-kyo) were both seventeen-year-old teenagers when Mi-ra became pregnant. Their son Ah-reum was diagnosed with the extremely rare genetic disorder Progeria, which makes him age prematurely and rapidly. Ah-reum grows up as a 16-year-old boy, but with a body condition of an eighty-year-old man. Sensing that he doesn’t have much time left, Ah-reum decides to write a story about how his young parents fell in love and how he came to be, hoping to give to them on his seventeenth birthday.

Very Ordinary Couple (2013) directed by Roh Deok
Lee Dong-hee (Lee Min-ki) and Jang Young (Kim Min-hee) work at the same bank. They are on an on-and-off relationship for three years before breaking up. Still working together in the same bank puts great pressure on the two, made worse by a scandalous confrontation between the former lovers during a company party. Though they end up screaming at each other, it’s vivid clear that they still have feelings for each other and decide to give their relationship another chance. However, they find that something between them has changed, and despite their best efforts to rekindle their relationship it seems like a happy ending might not be on the cards.

The King of Jokgu (2014) directed by Woo Moon Gi
Hong Man-Sub (Ahn Jae-Hong) is a 24-year-old college student majoring in food and nutrition. He is known to be the “King of Jokgu” (a Korean sport that shares elements of both football and volleyball) and is infamous for his unstoppable foot spike. On his return to university after military service, he discovers that the Jokgu court has been removed due to complaints from the Student Council. Man-Sub, along with his team of unlikely friends, decides to file a petition to the school President in order to get the court back.

All films are with English subtitles. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information email or contact Korean Cultural Center at (02) 555-1711. — Zsarlene B. Chua