Three award-winning contemporary Korean films will be screened at the 4th Bengaluru International Film Festival in Bangalore and at the 10th Third Eye Asian film Festival in Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur this December. The films, very different in content and treatment, some tragic, some comic, nonetheless share certain common features- sterling performances by lead actors, skilled story-telling and the abilityto depict the force and sweep of intertwining lives and relationships.

hahahaHa-ha-ha, Directed by Hong Sang-soo
Filmmaker Jo Moon-kyeong plans to leave Seoul to live in Canada. Days before his departure, he meets his close friend BangJoong-sik who is a film critic. After a few rounds of drinking makgeolli (a Korean traditional alcoholic beverage made from rice, they find out that coincidentally, they have both recently visited the same small seaside town called Tongyeong. They decide to reveal their accounts of the trip and agree that they will only relate pleasant memories. Not realizing that they were in the same place, at the same time and with the same people, the two men’s reminiscences of the hot summer they spent in Ha-ha-ha Poetry Tongyeong unfolds like a catalogue of memories.

The film is a wry comedy about two friends -a film director and a movie critic- who reminisce about their intertwining lives and relationships. In May 2010, the film won the Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and was critically acclaimed at the World Cinema section at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles. Critics hailed the film as "delicately sculpting a potent swirl of chance encounters, nostalgia, heartbreak and grace with composed irreverence."

poetryPoetry, Directed by Han, Jae-rim
Poetry, is a 2010 South Korean film written and directed by acclaimed director, Lee Chang-dong. It tells the story of a suburban woman in her 60’s who begins to develop an interest in writing poetry while struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and an irresponsible grandson. Yoon Jeong-hee stars in the leading role, which was her first role in a film since 1994. The film was selected for the main competition at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Best Screenplay Award. Other accolades include the Grand Bell Awards for Best Picture and Best Actress.

The film was lauded for its realistic depiction of the weight of a life that makes even the attempt to write a poem, a daunting task. Yoon Jeong-hee, returning to the screen after 16 years, stars as Mija, the old woman who struggles to write a poem.

oldpartnerOld Partner, Directed by Lee Chung-ryoul
Old Partner or Wonang sori which literally means ‘sound of a cow bell’ focusses on the wonderful relationship between a 40-year-old cow and Choi, an 80 year-old farmer. The film is set in the small rural town of Hanul-ri in Sangun-myeon, in the North Gyeongsang Province in South Korea. Even though the old cow cannot help him as effectively as in the past, the animal is still his best helper and best friend. One day, a doctor diagnoses that the cow has cancer. The old man realises that they only have only one year left together.

A conflation of documentary and narrative filmmaking, the movie is a snapshot of the last year of the cow’s life and a wistful portrait of South Korea’s agrarian past. The octogenarian farmer, Choi Won-kyun and his wife Lee Sam-soon, have not mechanized their farm because Choi insists on tilling the fields with his "old partner".

The film was a surprise success and set the record for the highest grossing independent film in Korean film history. It won the PIFF Mecenat Award at the Pusan International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Korean Independent Film Award. Lee Chung-ryoul became the first independent film director to receive the "Rookie Director Award" at the PaekSang Arts Awards event.

The 4th Bengaluru International Film Festival, 15-22 December 2011

The 4th edition of BIFFES, the annual Bengaluru International Film Festival, aims to bring to the city the best of cinema from around the world, along with seminars, presentations, and master classes. Giving due recognition to the aspirations of the film fraternity in the State, the Government of Karnataka has stepped into provide budgetary funding for the city’s own film festival in order to institutionalize it as an annual event and to enhance its scope. The BIFFES will be organized by the Karnataka Chalachitra Academy to promote cinema culture and education. The 4th BIFFES will feature both a Competion Section and Non-Competition screenings

The 10th Third Eye Asian Film Festival, Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur,
22-29 December 2011

The 10th Third Eye Asian Film Festival is the only festival in India that promotes Asian Cinema. The week- long festival will screen 120 feature films and 60 Short films. This year Afghan director, Siddiq Barmak will be felicitated with the Asian Film Culture Award. There will be a separate section to celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary year of Rabindranath Tagore, with a screening of films by Satyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha and Rituparno Ghosh that draw from stories written by Tagore. The 10th edition of the Third Eye Asian Film Festival will celebrate the Golden Jubilee year of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) at Pune by screening 6 films made by past students of FTII along with their diploma films.

15 to 22 December 2011, at the 4th Bengaluru International Film Festival, Bengaluru.
22 to 29 December 2011, at the 10th Third Eye Asian Film Festival, Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur
For further information contact InKo Centre T: 044 2436 1224; E: