Opening June 19
Drama. Directed by Haifaa Al Mansour
Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) is a brave and adventurous 10-year-old girl living in Saudi Arabia. She wants to buy a green bicycle to race against her friend Abdullah (Abdullrahman Algohani), but her mother won’t let her, fearing a backlash from a conservative society that sees bicycles as dangerous to girls’ virtue. So Wadjda decides to raise the funds by herself. She enters a Koran recitation competition at her school for the cash prize. It will not be an easy competition for Wadjda, known as the troublemaker at school, as she has to compete with pious and studious students. But she is determined to fight for her dreams. Haifaa Al Mansour, the first female director in Saudi Arabia, received a number of international awards for this film.
Opened June 12
Drama. Directed by Zhang Lu
Choi Hyun (Park Hae-il) is a Northeast Asian Studies professor at Peking University. He visits Korea after a long hiatus when his friend passes away. During the short trip, he visits the ancient capital city of Gyeongju in North Gyeongsang Province, after remembering a painting on a wall of a teahouse that he saw seven years ago. When he arrives at the teahouse in Gyeongju, he encounters the beautiful and mysterious owner Gong Yoon-hee (Shin Min-ah). At first Yoon-hee thinks Hyun is a pervert due to a misunderstanding; however, as they spend time together eating, drinking and strolling around the city, they slowly grow closer.
High Heel (Korea)
Opened June 4
Noir, action. Directed by Jang Jin
Yoon Ji-wook (Cha Seung-won) is a homicide detective whose macho looks match his undisputed ability to nab violent criminals. He is revered as a legend in the police force and at the same time feared among the mafia for his brutality in cracking down on crime. But deep inside, his identity is quite different. Ji-wook has desired to become a woman ever since his teenage days. He tries to suppress the inner desire -- in vain. He finally reaches the point where he makes up his mind to live as a woman. The flick is the first attempt at action-noir by director Jang Jin, known for his maverick style.
Opened May 29
Action, adventure, family. Directed by Robert Stromberg.
In this hidden story behind Disney’s classic “Sleeping Beauty,” Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) becomes a vindictive fairy when her forest kingdom is invaded by a human kingdom. In order to exact revenge, she wages a war against the human kingdom and places an irreversible curse on infant princess Aurora (Elle Fanning). But as the princess grows up, Maleficent realizes that Aurora is the only one who can restore peace between the two kingdoms. The film is directed by Robert Stromberg, who is known for “Pirates of Caribbean: At World’s End” and “The Hunger Games.”
A Hard Day (Korea)
Opened May 29
Crime, action. Directed by Kim Seong-hoon
Ko Gun-su (Lee Sun-kyun) is a corrupt detective who receives a divorce notice from his wife on the day his mother passes away. On the way to the funeral, he drives recklessly and causes a hit-and-run accident, killing a man. He tries to conceal the accident by hiding the corpse in his deceased mother’s coffin, but someone has been watching him all along. Director Kim Seong-hoon, in his second film, was invited to this year’s Cannes Film Festival to premier the flick as part of the Director’s Fortnight program.