Maverick Korean director Kim Ki-duk started shooting his 14th film, Breath, over the weekend (Jan 5).
The production is Kim's second with up-and-coming Korean actor Ha Jung-woo, on the heels of his Karlovy Vary opener Time.
Ha starred in last year's Cannes Un Certain Regard title The Unforgiven, directed by Yoon Jong-bin, and also features in this year's Sundance competition entry Never, Forever, a US-Korea co-production directed by Gina Kim.
In Breath, Ha plays a wandering husband whose wife finds out about her husband's affair. The wife is played by Park Ji-ah, another Kim Ki-duk repeat performer from films such as Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter And Spring.
Grieving and confused, she falls in love with a death row inmate, played by Taiwanese star Chang Chen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Three Times).
In the wake of Kim's August 2006 declaration to withdraw from the Korean film world after a public brouhaha over his disparaging comments on TV regarding local cinema-going tastes, Kim continues to blackball the Korean press.
However, the $1m-budget Breath is mainly financed locally by producer Kim Ki-duk Films and international sales agent Cineclick Asia, with pre-sales to Italy, the Benelux, Turkey, Mexico, Israel and Greece/Cyprus locked down at the AFM.
The project is also headed to Rotterdam's co-production market Cinemart (Jan 28-Feb 1).