Korean master Im Kwon-taek’s 101st film is set to be co-distributed by South Korea’s top three investor-distributors: CJ Entertainment, Showbox Mediaplex and Lotte Entertainment.

This is the first time the top three competitors are working together to co-distribute a film.

Dalbit Gileo Olligi — roughly translated as “Scooping Up Moonlight” — is about a journey of learning and discovery about Jeonju’s traditional rice paper hanji. Well-known actor Park Joong-hoon (Haeundae, The Truth About Charlie) plays a civil servant who sets out to restore the cultural tradition of making hanji with Kang Soo-yeon’s character, a broadcast documentary producer. Award-winning actress Kang previously starred in Im Kwon-taek’s The Surrogate and Aje Aje Baraje.

Shot in digital — a first for the 76-year-old veteran director — the film experiments with documentary and fiction by putting actors in the roles of real people and actual hanji masters in the roles of themselves.

The film wrapped production last month and is currently in post-production. Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) is the producer, with support from the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

At this point, the three distributors still have to discuss details, but it is understood that the production ran into financing difficulties and the distributors stepped in together so that the film could be released.

“Director Im Kwon-taek’s films don’t just represent an individual or a brand. They represent Korean cinema. We feel the master’s 101st film has tremendous significance, and so have agreed to discuss the details of co-distributing it on that basis. We are companies that invest in commercial films, but also feel it is our social duty because of this film’s great significance in Korean film history,” said Choi Min-soo, public relations manager in CJ’s Domestic Film Marketing Team.

The Korean Film Archive is also holding a major retrospective of Im’s 70 films still in existence. This includes newly restored prints of Mandara (1981) and Farewell Dooman River (1962). The retrospective runs Aug 12-Oct 3.