Cannes: South Korea's M-Line Presents K-Pop-Fueled 'No Way to Go'
The independent sales banner also picked up period flicks 'The Tooth and the Nail' and 'Spirits' Homecoming.'
South Korean independent sales agent M-Line Distribution has picked up international rights to No Way to Go, an action noir starring K-pop star Choi Min-ho that makes its market premiere at Cannes. It will also rep two new titles from Kidari Entertainment at the French event.
Choi, also simply known as Min-ho from the boy band SHINee, stars in the feature debut of Lee Seong-tae about a group of teenage runaways that struggle to survive. The cast also includes Don Lee, who appears in Yeon Sang-ho's Train to Busan, which is receiving a Midnight Screening during the festival. The film marks the latest example of how Korean filmmakers are increasingly relying on the wattage of K-pop stars, who have pan-Asian influence and are credited with garnering auds for both small- and big-screen projects.
Another new M-Line title directed by an up-and-coming filmmaker is Kidari Entertainment's Special Lady, by Lee An-kyu. The assistant director for the 2008 Cannes title The Good, The Bad, The Weird makes his feature debut through this action-packed tale of jealousy and revenge, in which Korean sex symbol Kim Hye-soo (Cannes title Coin Locker Girl) stars as a prostitute-turned-gang member.
Also from Kidari is The Tooth and the Nail, a thriller set in the tumultuous years immediately following Korea's liberation from colonial Japan (1910-1945). Korean heartthrob Go Soo stars opposite A-listers Kim Joo-hyuk and Moon Sung-keun in this thriller about a magician. Its director, Jung Sik, is no stranger to period films, having previously directed 2007's Epitaph, a horror romance set during the colonial era.
Another colonial-era title handled by M-Line is Spirits' Homecoming, this year's sleeper hit about Korean women forced into sexual slavery (euphemistically known as "comfort women"). The box office-topping film hit U.S. theaters in March via Pan Media and was also shown in Australia and New Zealand. Taiwan's Long Shong and China's Red Apollo recently bought the film.