Sunday, November 15, 2009

'Paju' to Open Rocarno Film Festival

"Paju," the second feature film by South Korean director Park Chan-ok, will open the upcoming International Film Festival in Rotterdam, the first Korean movie ever chosen to open the Dutch film fest, the event's Web site said Friday.

"Paju," which premiered at Korea's Pusan International Film Festival, has been praised as one of the most outstanding local creations of the year, drawing a realistic portrait of modern Korean society through the eyes of a young woman, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Director Park was the winner of the Tiger Award in the 2003 Rotterdam fest for her internationally-appraised debut "Jealousy Is My Middle Name."

Rutger Wolfson, director of the Dutch film event, called "Paju" a "triumph of resilience and a powerful female voice from Asia, ambitious and intimate at the same time."

The 39th Rotterdam festival will run Jan. 27-Feb. 7 next year in the Netherlands' port city.

The South Korean delegation that will introduce the film to Rotterdam's opening night audience will include director Park as well as lead actors Lee Sun-kyun and Seo Woo.

"Paju," set in the grim city where the film takes its name -- a longtime military garrison and now developing urban hub located close to the inter-Korean border -- was released locally on Oct. 29.

The movie drew some impressive reviews from overseas critics during the Pusan film fest with Screen International predicting the movie will "cement Park's reputation as one of Korea's most talented art-house directors," while Variety compared the film's handling of melodrama, action and mystery to a Bergmanesque thriller.

"Paju" won the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award at the Pusan fest with jury members describing it as a "fine example of passionate, high-quality filmmaking."

source: The Korea Times

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