As the inaugural Asian FilmMarket (Oct 15-18) gets underway on Sunday, sales companies from the hostterritory will be laying out strong slates reflecting the current state of the boomingSouth Korean production industry.
Box office records for localfilms are constantly being toppled and in September local product had an 83%share. And although some of the hottest new Korean films have already premieredat autumn festivals, there are several highly-anticipated local titles amongthe 64 world premieres at the
But confidence on thedomestic front is slightly dampened by the country's export potential. Koreansellers have voiced concerns that the era of huge pre-sales to
Nonetheless, the Asian FilmMarket features several buzz titles including CJ Entertainment's card shark dramaTazza: The High Rollers (previouslycalled War Of Flowers), which iscurrently riding high at the Korean box office; Prime Entertainment's death-rowmelodrama Maundy Thursday, directedby Song Hae-sung, and festival opener TracesOf Love, about the Sampoong Department Store collapse.
Hot titles at the pre-salesstage include three from Showbox: Happiness,the upcoming project from April Snowhelmer Hur Jin-ho; English-language sci-fi film D-War, which will be completed in time for a premiere screening at theAmerican Film Market, and Shu Qi-starrer MyWife Is A Gangster 3.
Mirovision, which is sellingTraces Of Love, has two other worldpremieres in Pusan official selection: sexy high school comedy, Dasepo Naughty Girls, which has beenselected for the Panorama section of next year's Berlin festival, and KimTai-shik's Driving With My Wife's Lover.Mirovision is also handling select Asian territories on the Toronto Midnight Madness title Black Sheep, a horror comedy aboutmutant sheep taking over
Prime Entertainment has theworld premiere of Shin Dong-il's MyFriend And His Wife in official selection. Shin's Host And Guestwas popular at last year's PIFF and went to the Berlinale. Prime also hasmartial arts rom-com My Mighty Princess,by Kwak Jae-yong (My Sassy Girl), andThe World OfSilence from Joh Ui-seok in post-production.
New sales agent FilmMessenger has four world premieres in official selection - indie star directorNoh Dong-seok's Boys Of Tomorrow,Leesong Hee-il's gay melodrama No Regret,Min Byoung-hun's Pruning The Grapevineand Hyung Jung Choi's documentary KoreanDon Quixote, Lee Hise.
MK Pictures has two worldpremieres in official selection: the full version of the formerly censored The President's Last Bang and horrorcomedy musical The Fox Family. Thecompany is doing pre-sales on Nogunri (workingtitle), based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative report and the book The Bridge AtNogunri about a civilian massacre during the Korean War; and thriller Paradise Murdered, starring Park Hae-il(The Host), about an island where theentire population of 17 disappear.
KM Culture has drama The Railroad by Park Heung-shik (The Twins) in the New Currentscompetition. Studio 2:0 has Sa-kwa, the director's cut by Kang Yi-kwan inthe market and festival, and melodrama Shall I Cry'
Market premieres alsoinclude CJ's Righteous Ties byhitmaker Jang Jin, starring Jung Jun-ho (MyBoss, My Teacher) and Jung Jae-young (WelcomeTo Dongmakgol).
More than 2,000 filmprofessionals are expected to join the market, undeterred by events this weekin