Korean wave fans and film buffs once again swarmed the SM Megamall as the Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines (KCC), together with the Embassy of Korea to the Philippines, brought yet again another one of its most awaited and exciting events, the 2017 Korean Film Festival.
With the theme, “Boldness of Youth,” this year’s festival showcased five critically acclaimed films that features young characters who face various challenges in their lives and how they deal with them including:
The premiere movie “How to Steal a Dog” revolves around a 10-year-old girl (Lee Re) who concocts a plan to steal a rich woman’s (Kim Hye-ja) dog and believes the reward money would be enough to buy a home for her family.
How to Steal a Dog Director Kim Seong-Ho graced the 2017 KFF premier night with his presence.
“Twenty,” the coming-of-age movie showing the struggles of newly high school graduates namely Chi-ho (Kim Woo-bin), Kyung-jae (Kang Ha-neul) and Dong-woo (Lee Junho).
The family-drama film, “My Brilliant Life” focusing on the hardships of two young lovers (Kang Dong-won and Song Hye-kyo) having a child diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, Progeria.
“The King of Jogku,” a sports-comedy movie about the story of Hong Man-sub (Ahn Jae-hong) on his return to university after his military service only to find out that his beloved Jogku court has been removed due to complaints from the student council.
The romantic-comedy film, “A Very Ordinary Couple,” telling the on-and-off relationship of two normal couples in Korea, Lee Dong-hee (Lee Min-ki) and Jang Young (Kim Min-hee).
KCC Director Lee Jin-Cheol shared his thoughts in an interview before the screening.
KCC Director Lee Jin-Cheol stressed out that they want the viewers especially the young ones to have the same encouragement as the characters in the films and also for the older audiences to reminisce about their past and to understand the lives of the youth in this generation.
The Big Night Unfolds
This year’s Korean Film Festival kicked off on September 7, 2017 with the screening of the multi-awarded director Kim Seong-Ho’s “How to Steal a Dog,” a film adaptation based on a novel by Barbara O’Connor.
Audience anticipated for the start of the 2017 KFF premiere movie.
More than 500 moviegoers packed the SM Megamall Cinema 6 for the premiere night, which was graced by the presence of Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Jae-shin and Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairperson Liza Diño-Esguerra. Also present at the opening night were KCC’s sponsors, media partners, and several invited guests.
VIP Guests enjoyed the Korean food and refreshments that were served.
Director Kim Seong-ho was joined by Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Jae-shin and wife Madame Lee Jong-min.
Events Coordinator of KCC Philippines Ms. Paola Ebora hosted the event and welcomed the mostly young crowd, who even replied with “Annyeonghaseyo!” or hello in Korean.
His Excellency Kim Jae-shin in return addressed the audience in Tagalog in his speech, to the Filipinos delight, a gesture that strongly shows the Philippines-Korea long friendly relationship.
Ambassador Kim emphasized that it is the cultural connection that makes the Korean Film Festival important as it plays a significant role in promoting deeper and better understanding of the Korean history and culture among the Filipinos.
Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Jae-shin welcomed the audience at the premiere night.
FDCP chairperson Liza Diño-Seguerra also conforms to the two countries’ affinity saying that “the Korean culture has become an influence and a great part of the Filipinos’ sensibility. It’s such a powerful tool as it can educate, inspire, and move people to positive actions.”
FDCP chairperson Liza Diño-Seguerra expressed her gratitude during her speech at the premiere night.
The FDCP chair asserted that the Korean Film Festival uplifts the Asian cinema, a cultural revolution which the Philippines can learn from and can continuously collaborate with to take the country to a much higher level in the film industry.
The Director’s Talk
With the twists and turns, the crime-drama film “How to Steal a Dog” trickles the warmth, comic energy and tear-jerking scenes to the audience, as it resurfaces a more significant message, addressing perhaps a problem in the Korean setting.
The film has already bagged three awards at the 33rd Ale Kino! International Young Audience Film Festival in Poland, a People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and a Grand Prix at the 24th Kineko Film Festival Tokyo in 2016.
After the free screening, the audience had the chance to ask Director Kim Seong-Ho in a special talk.
Director Kim Seong-Ho answered questions from the audiences during his special talk.
On a question on why he accept the task to direct the movie, Kim said he thinks that Korea needs to see more of this kind of films – family-oriented films, and to address youth issues through the industry.
Kim said he didn’t had second thoughts in doing the adaptation film as he was inspired to relate his creation to younger viewers. “I want the youth to stand despite miserable circumstances.”, he said.
The director also pointed out that directing an animal was his hardest challenge in doing the film but he also revealed that he and his team only took almost three months to finish the movie.
On a side note, of course as Filipinos would really love to know, Director Kim said he was overwhelmed by the warm welcome of the Filipinos. He also added that he would definitely be back in the Philippines and if given the chance, he would love to direct a film in the country and cast Filipinos as the actors.
Director Kim Seong-Ho in a catch-up interview at the premiere night.
The 2017 Korean Film Festival, just like in the past years, partners with the SM Cinema and SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc. for the free screening, concluded its Manila leg last September 10.
For those who weren’t able to watch yet, fret not, as the KCC also brings the films in five more cities so make sure to catch on the following schedule:
SM Lanang Premier Cinema 1 in Davao (September 14 – 17),
SM City Iloilo Cinema 8 in Iloilo (September 21 – 24),
SM City Cebu Cinema 5 in Cebu (September 28 – October 1),
SM City Clark Cinema 3 in Pampanga (October 5 – 8), and
SM City Dasmariñas in Cavite (October 12 – 15).
The Korean Film Festival is the flagship annual project of the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, which aims to further engage the interests of the Filipino audience with the Korean entertainment and culture through film.
Written by Krew Member Junelyn Olivar