Opening Sept. 3
Drama, Directed by E J-yong
“My Brilliant Life,” based on Korean novelist Kim Ae-ran’s 2011 best-selling novel of the same name, centers on 16-year-old Ah-reum (Jo Sung-mok), who has progeria -- a rare genetic disorder that causes premature aging in children. At the age of 16, Ah-reum’s body is already 80 years old. As his parents, who had Ah-reum at the age of 17, cope with their son’s disease, they learn about parenting, life and love. Heartthrob Kang Dong-won and A-list actress Song Hye-kyo join the cast as Ah-reum’s parents, Dae-soo and Mi-ra, in their first roles as parents.
The Letters (U.S.)
Opened Aug. 21
Drama, Directed by William Riead
Based on Mother Teresa’s letters to her spiritual mentor, Father Celeste van Exem, over a 50-year period, “The Letters” is a biopic of her life in Calcutta, India. The film reveals that Mother Teresa had struggles with faith and doubts about God despite being a woman of strong faith. She was distressed when she left home in Albania at a young age to become a nun and felt agony over the hardships of the abandoned and the dying on the streets of Calcutta, where she lived and helped them. In celebration of the pope’s visit to Korea, the film made its world premiere here, two weeks ahead of its opening in the United States.
Sea Fog (Korea)
Opened Aug. 13
Drama, Directed by Shim Sung-bo
“Sea Fog” is adapted from “Haemoo,” a stage drama about a little-known tragedy that occurred in 2001. “Haemoo” is a Korean word for sea fog. In 2001, crew members of the Korean fishing ship the Taechangho allegedly threw the bodies of 25 Chinese stowaways overboard after they suffocated to death while hiding in the fish storage compartment. The film follows the basic plot of the accident in detail, attempting to piece together the truth and the motives behind the ship crew’s actions. Veteran actor Kim Yoon-shik and singer-turned-actor Park Yoo-chun star as captain and a crew member of the ship, respectively. “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-ho joins as an executive producer for the directorial debut of Shim Sung-bo, his cowriter for “Memories of Murder.”
The Fault in our Stars (U.S.)
Opened Aug. 13
Drama, Romance. Directed by Josh Boone
Based on John Green’s best-selling novel of the same name, “The Fault in our Stars” centers on a 16-year-old thyroid cancer patient, Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), who attends a cancer support group because her parents insist that she make some friends. It is at the group that she serendipitously meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), an 18-year-old teen whose basketball career was cut short when he lost a leg to cancer. They instantly bond due to having things in common, and talk about books, cancer and life. Their relationship deepens as they read Hazel’s favorite book together and visits Amsterdam to meet the author on a grant by the “Make-A-Wish Foundation.” However, happiness is short-lived as Hazel and Augustus face critical health issues.
The Pirates (Korea)
Opened Aug. 6
Adventure, Action. Directed by Lee Seok-hoon
“The Pirates” takes place on a pirate ship, and tells the story of a royal seal that went missing early in the Joseon era (1392-1910). Based on the true story of a missing seal, the movie fuses history and imagination in recounting the search for the artifact. The searches are conducted by a group of bandits headed by Jang Sa-jung (Kim Nam-gil), a group of pirates headed by Yeo-wol (Son Ye-jin), and government officials, all of whom are desperately hunting for the whale that swallowed the seal.