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Korean film directors venture for sci-fi anthology with ‘SF8’

8-episode sci-fi blockbuster to stream on OTT, TV platforms

Directors and lead cast members of upcoming series “SF8” pose for pictures during a press conference held in CGV Yongsan I’Park Mall in Seoul on Wednesday. (Wavve)
Directors and lead cast members of upcoming series “SF8” pose for pictures during a press conference held in CGV Yongsan I’Park Mall in Seoul on Wednesday. (Wavve)

Everything about the upcoming series “SF8” -- a sci-fi anthology series which will be streamed via streaming platform Wavve and TV channel MBC -- is new.

Under the collaboration of major TV channel network MBC and the Directors Guild of Korea, eight filmmakers from the association teamed up with production company Soo Film to helm each episode of the eight-part sci-fi anthology. After a year and half long haul of production, “SF8” will be released through local over-the-top platform Wavve on Friday.

Ahead of its premiere, the directors and lead cast members of each of the episodes attended a press conference in Seoul, Wednesday.

According to director Min Kyu-dong, who helmed the project, the upcoming series is a new mid-form anthology production of eight stand-alone episodes, each ranging around 50-minute in duration.

“I wanted to make a chance for (young directors) to create a new form of sci-fi content, in which they can talk about their own stories,” Min, who directed the episode “The Prayer” said during the press conference.

In response to the set’s comparison to the mega-hit British sci-fi series “Black Mirror,” Min said, “While ‘Black Mirror’ takes place inside a single universe created by the same screenwriter, we have different directors for each episode revolving around different subjects and audiences will be able to choose which episode to watch according to their preferences.”

 
“SF8” poster (Wavve)
“SF8” poster (Wavve)

Featuring Lee Yoo-young and Ye Soo-jung, episode “The Prayer” shows an unlikely human dilemma faced by a caretaking artificial intelligence robot, whereas “Manxin” from veteran director Roh Deok draws a society blinded with misled belief in an AI fortune-telling service. Actor Lee Dong-hui and newly-wed actress Lee Yeon-hee teamed up with Roh. Director Han Ga-ram’s “Blink” draws the teamwork of a human investigator, played by Lee Si-young, and an AI robot, taken up by Ha Jun, in resolving a murder case. In rookie director Kim Ui-seok’s “Empty Body,” veteran actress Moon So-ri stars as a mother who tries to revive her dead son by combining part of his brain with AI.

Rising star actors Kim Bo-ra and Choi Sung-eun star in director Lee Yun-jeong’s “Joan’s Galaxy,” a disaster piece that shows a new form of class division. Singer-turned-actors Uee and Choi Si-won partner in director Oh Ki-hwan’s futuristic rom-com “Love Virtually.” Another singer who recently embarked on her acting career, Hani of girl band EXID will star as a star game broadcaster who gets entangled in a virtual world in director Jang Cheol-soo’s “White Crow.” Director Ahn Guk-jin’s “Baby It’s Over” is an apocalyptic fantasy-romance piece starring actors Lee David and Shin Eun-soo.

According to the directors, all the eight episodes were produced with the same amount of budget, which -- although the amount was not specified -- in total was lower than the average budget of a small commercial film.

“While commercial film productions usually involve diverse conflicting interests that inevitably limit the directors’ freedom as a creator, (with ‘SF8’), we had more independence in production,” director Roh said. "Although there were physical limits, I think we went through the process of discovering what we can do inside those boundaries.”

“We have a stereotype that sci-fi productions usually come with visual spectacles. But with 'SF8,' we wanted to make a story that gives the viewers something to think deeply about,” Min said.

By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)
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