South Korean Star Filmmakers Make 2014 Toronto Film Fest Lineup

Courtesy of Jeonwonsa
"Hill of Freedom" will be presented at Toronto.

Auteurs Im Kwon-taek, Hong Sang-soo and Bong Joon Ho will bring their new projects to the Canadian festival in September.

SEOUL — Im Kwon-taek's Revivre (a.k.a. Hwajang) and Hong Sang-soo's Hill of Freedom will be presented at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), following their premieres at the Venice Film Festival. Also invited to the Canadian event is Haemoo, an ambitious new film produced by South Korean star filmmaker Bong Joon Ho.

Both Revivre and Hill of Freedom will be shown in TIFF's Masters section, which presents a dozen works by esteemed filmmakers from around the world. The 78-year-old Im has previously presented two works, Low Life and Beyond the Years, in the section.

"Im Kwon-taek's body of work is impressive and his 102nd film, [Revivre] is simply great. His powerful, signature filmmaking accompanies a particularly innovative storytelling in a mature, gripping reflection about life, death and love. A groundbreaking masterpiece and a must-see," said TIFF programmer Giovanna Fulvi.

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Based on a local novel Hwajang, Revivre is about a middle-aged man who falls for a younger co-worker while looking after his cancer-stricken wife. It will make its world premiere through a gala presentation at Venice next month.

Hong's Hill of Freedom will mark the minimalist filmmaker's eighth work to be presented at TIFF.

"A comedy of miscommunication and thwarted desire, so knowing about human nature, Hill of Freedom wears the pensive lightness of master Hong Sang-soo's classics. Witty, delightful and original, the film reads like an insightful anthropological study and provides a suspended time of sheer, intelligent entertainment," said Fulvi about the film.

Meanwhile, Haemoo will receive a gala presentation at Toronto. The maritime thriller is the feature debut by Shim Seong-bo, who is known for scripting Bong Joon Ho's Memories of Murder. Bong (Snowpiercer) produced the film.

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"It's rare for an Asian film to receive a glitzy gala presentation, which is often reserved for star-studded Hollywood films," said Suh Young-joo of Finecut, which is handling international sales for Haemoo as well as Revivre and Hill of Freedom.

Suh has high expectations for the three films in terms of sales.

"We are anticipating the Toronto film market for sales to North American territories, and the exposure at Venice [for Revivre and Hill of Freedom] will certainly help."

In addition to Haemoo, Revivre and Hill of Freedom, one or two other Korean titles handled by Finecut are expected to be included in TIFF's lineup. Finecut announced earlier this year that Haemoo was pre-sold to multiple territories in Asia and Europe at Berlin and Cannes.

TIFF will be held Sept. 4-14 this year.