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‘The King of Pigs’ becomes first Korean animation featured at Cannes

Five Korean films to be presented at upcoming film festival

“The King of Pigs,” director Yeun Sang-ho’s feature debut from last year, has been invited to the upcoming Cannes film festival ― becoming the first Korean animated film to be featured at the event.

The organizers of the film festival on Tuesday unveiled the full line-up of the Director’s Fortnight sidebar. Yeun’s film “The King of Pigs,” and director Hur Jin-ho’s latest work “Dangerous Liaisons” were among the 21 films selected for the non-competition section.
A scene from Yeun Sang-ho’s “The King of Pigs” (Adam Space)
A scene from Yeun Sang-ho’s “The King of Pigs” (Adam Space)

“The King of Pigs” won three awards at BIFF last year, including the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award and Movie Collage Award before its official release in November. The low-budget animated picture ($150,000) drew some 20,000 viewers, a good performance for a local indie film.

The vicious middle school flick received critical acclaim for its raw portrayal of bullying, violence and systemic poverty.

Yeun has also been nominated for The Camera d’Or ― “Golden Camera” ― prize of the festival, an award given to the best feature length debut film presented in the Cannes’ selections. 
Yeun Sang-ho (The Korea Herald)
Yeun Sang-ho (The Korea Herald)

According to the movie’s promoter Adam Space, director Yeun plans to attend the festival with actress Kim Ggot-bi, who voiced one of the leading characters in the film.

Meanwhile, “Christmas in August” and “Happiness” director Hur Jin-ho’s latest drama also has been invited to the same section. The film, titled “Dangerous Liaisons,” is an adaptation of French writer Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 novel “Les Liaisons Dangereuses (The Dangerous Liaisons).”

The novel has been made into film adaptations many times in different countries since 1959, including director Milos Forman’s famous 1999 film “Cruel Intentions” ― which starred Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar. In Korea, two film adaptations of the novel have been made in the past; one is director Ko Young-nam’s 1970 movie “Uiheomhan Gwangye,” the other Lee Je-yong’s 2003 Joseon period drama “Untold Scandal.”

Hur’s movie takes place in Shanghai in the 1930s, and features Jang Dong-gun and Zhang Ziyi.

A total of five Korean films have been invited to Cannes this year, including the two films to be featured in the sidebar. Director Im Sang-soo’s drama “Taste of Money” and Hong Sang-soo’s “In Another Country” have been invited to the festival’s competition section. Director Shin Su-won’s short “Circle Line” has been invited to the festival’s la Semaine de la Critique, a competition section dedicated to discovering new talents in world cinema.

By Claire Lee (