TIFF to feature eight South Korean films

September 12, 2014
Speaks onstage at "City To City" press conference during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 10, 2014. From right to left: Directors Kim Sung-hoon, Jung Joo-ri, Park Jung-beom, Bu Ji-young.

Speaks onstage at “City To City” press conference during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 10, 2014. From right to left: Directors Kim Sung-hoon, Jung Joo-ri, Park Jung-beom, Bu Ji-young.

The 39th Toronto International Film Festival will introduce eight South Korean films this year as a part of its City to City program.

That Seoul — chosen as the city of this year’s focus — is one of the most energetic places in the world can be felt through films, said Cameron Bailey, the festival’s artistic director at a press conference Wednesday.

Directors Park Jung-beom (“Alive”), Bu Ji-young (“Cart”), Jung Joo-ri (“A Girl at My Door”) and Kim Sung-hoon (“A Hard Day”) discussed depictions of Seoul in each of their works.

“Seoul is a city where one-fifth of Korea’s population of 50 million lives. There are countless people with hopes and dreams, but you can also see those who fall,” Park said. “Within that, people’s energies may contain anxiety, depression or fear. I wanted to show that in a film, to show that humans can rescue humans and give hope.”

Bailey said he visited Seoul in order to select the featured films. He said worldwide audiences know South Korean films for their violence and darkness, but that this year’s selections show another side to Korean cinema.

“I get a lot of questions about Korean films being violent and dark. It’s true that there are many violet scenes, but there are also very many warm movies. They just haven’t been invited to festivals to be introduced,” Kim said. “Korea is a country that has a warm and gentle side as well. A variety of films from a variety of people are made in Seoul, which has a long history.”

The films chosen for the program are: “A Dream of Iron” by Director Park Kyung-geun, “A Girl at My Door” by Jung Joo-ri, “A Hard Day” by Kim Sung-hoon, “Alive” by Park Jung-beom, “Cart” by Bu Ji-young, “Confession” by Lee Do-yoon, “Gyeongju” by Jang Ryul and “Scarlet Innocence” by Lim Pil-sung.

TIFF will run from Sept. 4 to 14.

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