Cannes: "Korean Van Gogh" Biopic in the Works

Canola Movie - H 2016
Courtesy of Mirovision

South Korea's Mirovision says that Yim Soon-rye will direct the film about the late artist Lee Joong-seop, while it also sold family drama 'Canola' to China's Lemontree.

Top South Korean film production and distribution company Mirovision on Sunday unveiled plans for a biopic about local art icon Lee Jung-seop.

Director Yim Soon-rye (Whistle Blower, Forever the Moment) will helm the title, tentatively called Project Lee Jung-seop, while Jason Chae, head of Mirovision, best known for producing the 2010 Cannes competition title The Housemaid, will produce the project.

Often called Korea's Vincent van Gogh, Lee (1916-1956) is well known not only for his Fauvism-style oil paintings but also his tumultuous life. Though born into a wealthy family, he faced difficulties throughout his life from being married to a Japanese woman around the Japanese colonial era (1910-1945) to wandering throughout different parts of Korea until his life ended in misery and illness at the age of 40.

Fauvism emphasized painters' expression and strong colors over realism.

Currently in script development, the biopic is expected to go into production in spring 2017. Delivery is targeted for Cannes in 2018.

Meanwhile, Mirovision also announced that Canola has found a home for mainland China via up-and-coming Chinese distributor Lemontree during the Cannes film market. The family drama about an elderly woman (Youn Yuh-jung) who finds her long-lost granddaughter (Kim Go-eun) after 12 years is set to open Thursday in Korea.

May 16, 7:07 p.m. Updated with correct biographical information about Lee Joong-seop and English spelling of the filmmaker Yim Soon-rae. A previous version of the story reported that Lee was born in 1906 and Yim's name was spelt Lim. THR apologizes for this mistake.