TIFF 2014 Shines Spotlight on Seoul

The 39th Toronto International Film Festival looks east for the 2014 City to City programme, introducing audiences to eight daring films from Seoul, South Korea. The lineup showcases adventurous new works by contemporary Korean directors that will expose audiences to the fearless cinema emerging from the region.

Already known as a hotbed of boundary-busting and internationally acclaimed film — and contemporary arts in general — the Korean capital is home to a number of up-and-coming filmmakers poised to contribute to the future of national, regional and international cinema.

The lineup of City to City films was programmed by Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, and Giovanna Fulvi, International Programmer for the Festival. The City to City series, now in its sixth year, focuses on the films and filmmakers from a selected international hot spot breaking new ground in cinema. Past programmes featured films from Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Mumbai and Athens.

A Dream of Iron (Cheol-ae-kum) Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, South Korea/USA. Canadian Premiere

Multi-media artist Kelvin Kyung Kun Park looks back to the “heroic age” of heavy industry in 1960s South Korea and the contemporary ruins of those utopian dreams of modernity.

A Girl at My Door (Dohee-Ya) July Jung, South Korea. North American Premiere

Banished to provincial purgatory after a censure for misconduct, a former star of the Seoul police force finds her maternal instincts unexpectedly awakened when she meets a troubled teenage girl. Starring Kim Sae-ron, Bae Doona and Song Sae-byuk.

A Hard Day, Photo Credit: Courtesy of TIFFA Hard Day (Kkeut-kka-ji-gan-da) Kim Seong-hun, South Korea. North American Premiere.

A luckless police detective becomes the target of blackmail after trying to cover up a hit-and-run in this wild neo-noir thriller. Starring Lee Sun-kyun and Cho Jin-woong.

Alive (Sanda) Park Jung-bum, South Korea. North American Premiere.

A simple labourer in a remote mountain village is driven to desperate measures to provide for the women in his life in this wrenching yet beautiful drama. Starring Park Jung-bum, Lee Seung-yeon, Park Myung-hoon and Shin Heat-bit.

Cart (Ka-teu) Boo Ji-Young, South Korea. World Premiere.

The employees of a big-box discount retail store band together when contract workers are summarily laid off. Starring Yum Jung-Ah, Moon Jeong-Hee, Kim Young-Ae, Kim Gang-Woo, Hwang Jung-Min, Chun Woo-Hee and D.O.

Confession (Jo-Eun-Chin-Goo-Deul) Lee Do-yun, South Korea. International Premiere

When a faked robbery ends in tragedy, three long-time friends have their fierce loyalty to one another put to the test in this noir-ish action thriller. Starring Ji Sung, Ju Ji-hoon and Lee Kwang-soo.

Gyeongju Zhang Lu, South Korea. North American Premiere

In this charmingly off-kilter romantic comedy, a Beijing university professor visits the ancient Korean capital of Gyeongju on a nostalgic quest to revisit a “dirty” café painting he first saw years before, and finds an unexpected connection with the beautiful present owner of the establishment. Starring Park Hae-il and Shin Min-a.

Scarlet Innocence. Photo Credit: Courtesy of TIFFScarlet Innocence Yim Pil-sung, South Korea. World Premiere

A university professor gradually succumbing to blindness is entranced by an obsessive love in this modern-day adaptation of a classic Korean fairy tale. Starring Jung Woo-sung and Esom.

The 39th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 4 to 14, 2014.

Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET daily at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, or visit the Gupta Box Office in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 20 while quantities last.

For more information visit tiff.net

Sonya is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of AZNmodern.com. She is also a well-established contributing lifestyle writer to other sites and magazines sharing her passion for arts & culture, fashion, beauty, travel and food. Sonya is based in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theculturepearl

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