Encouraged by the welcoming response from our audiences last year, the Hong Kong Arts Centre and the Seoul Independent Film Festival continue to bring you indie films by Korean women filmmakers! The liberal and ambitious spirit of Korean film development has allowed its creators to explore a great variety of stories and styles, and women are taking the stage to express themselves with films that are more widely available on global film distribution and festival circuits, gaining recognition and enriching different cultures.
This year, our selection carries on with telling stories of Korean women of different generations and their life choices – overcoming misfortune and stigmas to bring about new discoveries, enlightenments and connections with the hope of addressing realities that do not only involve women, but everyone – such as women’s changing priorities in their role, the phenomenon of holojok (the growing number of people who prefer to be left alone in one-person households), ageism, sexism, labour exploitation, historical tragedies, etc.
Do not miss the chance to chat with our directors at our after-screening talks!
Director: Sun Nam-koong
Moderator: Patrick Suen (Film Critic/Columnist)
Nominated for Ka’u Ka Hoku Filmmaker Award, Hawaii International Film Festival 2021
Seoul International Women’s Film Festival 2021
Jeonju International Film Festival 2020
Cast: Choi Sung-uen, Seo Yeong-ju, Eden Yoo
South Korea | 2020 | 92’ | In Korean with English subtitles | DCP | Colour
Expect the unexpected
Mirae is a mid-career game engineer pushing thirty, and has just quit her corporate job to be part of an ambitious start-up. She is full of hope for the future - until one day, her hangover turns out to be pregnancy, and she is shocked as the timing of her last sexual activity does not correspond. Abortion is illegal in South Korea; pre-marital pregnancy is taboo; her boyfriend proposes to her; her parents urge her to get married… – all the odds are against her - she does not want a baby and wants to move overseas for a major work project. What is Mirae going to do?
When Sun Nam-koong was pregnant in 2015, she wanted to explore the common concept of motherhood and started writing her debut light comedy feature. That was before the #MeToo movement and the decriminalisation of abortion in South Korea in 2021. Sun has directed several short films that were popular with audiences and won awards.
Ghost Walk 밤의 문이 열린다
26/6 (Sun) 3:00pm
Director: Yu Eun-jeong
Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Buil Film Awards 2020
Seoul International Women’s Film Festival 2021
Seoul Independent Film Festival 2018
Cast: Han Hae-in, Jeon So-nee, Gam So-hyun
South Korea | 2018 | 90’ | In Korean with English subtitles | DCP | Colour
What does it mean to live?
Hye-jeong is a factory worker living on the outskirt. She leads a solitary life and shuts people out. Once in the dead of the night, a little girl approaches her for help. Frightened by the mysterious encounter, she ignores her, but the girl keeps appearing near her doorstep. Later, Hye-jeong finds out that she has herself become a ghost after a case of murder that she does not recall. She goes back in time, and catches glimpses of scars and sorrows of her neighbours – from difficulties at home and with finances, realising that their deaths are closely related. Although she has become a ghost, she understands more.
This film asks about the meaning of life – the deep fears of people who face day-to-day problems which might be ordinary but overwhelming. Director Yu Eun-jeong’s debut feature has been described as “promising” by various critics. She has sensitively and intimately delineated these portraits of souls that are living in our time - who are isolated, forgotten and disappearing silently. Her shorts entered various film festivals.
26/6 (Sun) 7:45pm
Director: Jee Hye-won
Seoul Independent Film Festival 2021
South Korea | 2021 | 95’ | In Korean and English with Korean and English subtitles | DCP | Colour
Home is where the heart is
A 70-year history of overseas adoption of orphaned Korean children has scarred and stigmatised Korea and its many people. For the first time in 43 years, Anna, whose Korean name is Kim Myong-hee, recalls her memory as an adoptee that was sent to rural America when she was 14. Her past could have been traumatising and debilitating for most, but Anna is strong-willed and motivated. She returns to Deokjeok Island, a remote island in South Korea, to her earlier foster parents, Suh Jae-song and In Hyun-ae, who raised her like their own daughter. Together with a Catholic priest, Suh and In sent around 1,600 children to the US for adoption, in the hope that they could have a bright future, although some of those were not as fortunate as the others.
This deeply moving work marks the third documentary feature of International Emmy Award nominee Jee Hye-won, whose oeuvre of many TV documentaries has won multiple awards.
For details of each screening in this film series, please click on the months below.
Ticket Price: $80 / $64*
All Access Pass (one ticket each for all 8 screenings with 30% discount, service charge included) - $488
Programmes are subject to change without prior notice.
The following measures will be implemented for screenings, to combat the prevailing threat of Novel Coronavirus:
- All audience must wear face masks and comply with the requirements and restrictions announced by the Government
- No smoking, eating and drinking. Unauthorised photo-taking, audio and/or video recording is strictly forbidden
- Staff have the right to deny the admission of any person with temperature higher than 37.5°C