Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) presents a free online program in 2020

Korean Film Festival in Australia

Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) presents a free online program in 2020

The Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) is returning for its 11th year, presenting a free, fully digital program from October 29 – November 5. For the first time in the festival’s history, audiences all across Australia will be able to stream the entire program from the comfort of their own homes.

With an exciting program of 18 feature films, including dramas, comedies and thrillers, audiences will be treated to a unique glimpse into Korean cinema, culture and history.

KOFFIA Artistic Director, David Park, hopes that this year’s selection will help to bridge a cultural understanding between Australians and Koreans. Many of the films this year explore the issue of gender equality, illustrating the social challenges and hardships faced by women in Korea in their everyday lives.

“Our films this year have a lot of female directors; we’re definitely trying to highlight these amazing talented people in our program this year,” David shared.

Korean Film Festival in Australia

                                                                           ‘Kim Ji-Young: Born 1982’

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One of the standout films this year is Kim Ji-Young: Born 1982. This film is based on the best-selling novel of the same name, which has been hailed as one of the most important feminist novels in Korea. The film presents an honest portrayal of gender discrimination, seeking to find a middle ground between those divided on the issue of women’s rights.

Another highlight from the program is Lucky Chan-sil, which is Kim Cho-hee’s directorial debut. This film follows the story of a female film producer whose life takes a drastic turn when she suddenly finds herself homeless, friendless and penniless. Despite these tragic events, the film offers an optimistic and uplifting perspective.

“It adds very strong positive connotations which I really feel would resonate with audiences in this current era, particularly in aftermath of the pandemic. This film has a good moral and gives people a message of hope,” David shared.

Lovers of political thriller will enjoy The Man Standing Next, a historical retelling of the assassination of President Park Chung-hee in 1979. Sports enthusiasts should check out Baseball Girl, an empowering drama which deals with gender bias in sport.

Korean Film Festival in Australia

                                                                                  ‘Lucky Chan-sil’

David Park encourages audiences who might have never seen a foreign film to give Korean cinema a go. He echoes Bong Joon-ho, who famously said, “once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”

David adds, “once you become introduced to a whole new world of films, you get introduced to a whole new culture, a whole new ethos, a whole new way of thinking and a whole new way of registering simple human emotions”.

“Especially in this time of coronavirus when we can’t really travel to other countries to soak that in, I think the next best thing is film. So if anyone’s ever had an interest in Korean film, now is the time to do so!”

KOFFIA 2020 has been designed to replicate a physical festival as much as possible. Each film will become available online at a scheduled time and audiences will have a 30 minute window to begin watching. 2-3 films will be screened each night, so audiences can choose to watch one or alternatively, have a marathon of Korean cinema.

In addition, KOFFIA has partnered with SBS On Demand, presenting a selection of films from previous years of the festival.

If you’re interested in KOFFIA and would like to know more about the festival, click HERE.

Isabel Zakharova

Isabel Zakharova is a final-year student at UTS, studying Communications and International Studies. She loves reading, writing and exploring other cultures - through travel, film and cuisine. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: [email protected]