As the biggest Korean film festival in the United States, The Korean Film Festival in Los Angeles (KOFFLA) is being held March 4-7, 2010 at The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood and the Laemmle Music Hall, among other venues in Los Angeles, California.
KOFFLA’s main purpose is to introduce Korean films to avid film lovers and the industry alike. It aims not only to bridge the gap between Hollywood and Korea but also between Korea and the Korean-American community through the medium of film and visual arts.
Over 70 films are screening, with In-competition films being judged by a select jury board consisting of industry professionals and prominent figures in the Korean community.
Hosting the 2010 KOFFLA is Korean director Chang-Wha Chung, one of the first to introduce martial arts films to the U.S. through his film Five Fingers of Death, which helped light the kung fu movie explosion in the early 1970s.
This year’s spokesperson for the Festival is famed actor John Cho (Star Trek, the Harold and Kumar films, TV’s FlashForward).
Opening Night Film is Le Grand Chef II: Kimchi War , about two chefs who compete for bragging rights as "Kimchi-originator" and the future of a family restaurant. Directed by Baek Dong-hoon, the film stars Kim Jeong Eun (Lover in Paris) and Jin Goo (Mother), who are appearing with the director at the screening. A KOFFLA representative states, “[We] specifically chose this film to launch the festival because of what it symbolizes to the Korean community. Kimchi represents the specialty of the country and the feelings and sensitivity of a Korean.”
The Closing Night film is A Good Rain Knows, directed by Heo Jin-Ho, about two former students who meet later and discover the romantic connection they had not realized before.
Korean features include:
Memories of Murder / Salinui chueok, directed by Bong Joon-ho (Mother), starring Song Kang-ho (The Host, Lady Vengeance, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) and Kim Sang-kyung (May 18, The World of Silence) is based on a true story about two brutal and stupid local detectives who try to solve serial murders of young women.
White Night / Baek-ya-haeng, directed by Park Shin-Woo starring Han Suk-Kyu (The President's Last Bang), Son Ye-Jin, Ko Su and Lee Min-Jung. A long forgotten case reveals a hidden relationship between a victim's son and the neighborhood woman's daughter.
The Righteous Thief (aka Descendants of Hong Gil-dong) / Hong-gil-dong-eui Hoo-ye, directed by Jeong Yong-Ki (The Doll Master), starring Lee Beom-Soo, Kim Soo-Ro, Seong Dong-Il and Lee Si-Yeong, is a Robin Hood tale about a family who schemes to fight against corrupt business moguls.
Make Yourself At Home (aka Fetish) directed by Soopum Sohn, starring Song Hye-Kyo and Arno Frisch. A young woman marries and moves to New Jersey to avoid the power of shamanism—but Fate knows no borders. The director will be present.
Films by first-time directors include:
Daytime Drinking / Naj sul, by Noh Young-Suk. A young man who just broke up with his girlfriend only wants to drink and winds up on a road trip that makes a hangover from hell seem good. The director will be present.
Members of the Funeral / Jang-rae-sig-ui member by Baek Seung-Bin. The suicide of a 17-year-old dislodges secrets and hidden feelings in a dysfunctional family.
Rough Cut / Yeong-hwa-neun Yeong-hwa-da, directed by Jang Hoon, starring Hong Su-hyeon (Bungee Jumping of Their Own) and Kang Ji-Hwan (Host and Guest). A gangster-turned-actor does a film with an actor (who is practically a gangster), with the only condition that the violence portrayed in the movie has to be real.
Tokyo Taxi / Dokyo taekshi, directed by Kim Tai-sik. In this lighter side of road trips, a lead in a Japanese band must get to a gig in Seoul but he's afraid to fly, so he decides to take a taxi. The director will be present.
Korean-American features include:
God is D_ad, directed by Abraham Lim, starring Cy Shim, Carlo Corbellini, Lauren Mayer, Elvis Garcia, Derek Hicks, Davis Choh and Brett Emanuel. Another road trip movie, as strangers are bound for Chicago. But this one asks: are we bound by free-will, an omniscient God or the roll of the Dungeon Master's dice? The director will be present.
Munyurangabo, directed by Lee Isaac Chung. An orphan of the Rwandan genocide travels from Kigali to the countryside on a quest for justice.
Numerous short films are also being screened.
Other events include
Actorfest KOFFLA, at the Korean Cultural Center
Master Class at American Film Institute with cinematographer Kim Hyung-ku (The Host, Please Teach Me English, Memories of Murder)
a Surprise Screening on Friday, March 4
KOFFLA was first launched in 2007 by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC). Beginning in 2010, KOFFLA will re-emerge under the Korean Cinematheque, a non-profit organization that helps to bridge the gap between Hollywood and the Korean film industry as well as the Korean and the Korean-American community through the medium of film and visual arts.
For more information, visit www.koffla.org.
Korean Film Festival in Los Angeles
March 4-7th, 2010
6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Laemmle Music Hall 3
9036 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA
AFI Conservatory - Mark Goodson Screening Room
2021 N. Western Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Korean Cultural Center - Ari Hall
5505 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036