The 5 highly anticipated Korean films at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival

Korean cinema, which boasts a long history of more than 100 yearshas been at the forefront of cinema, especially in recent years following the resounding success of Parasitethe multi-Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award film of 2019.

South Korea once again takes center stage at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, which opens May 17 and features five Korean works, including one by squid gameby SAG winner and Golden Globe nominee Lee Jung-jae, who will be making his directorial debut.

The latest installment of the international festival will also see two works from South Korea C.J. Entertainmentthe company that produced/distributed several other major Korean films (including visionary Korean filmmaker BAFTA winner Park Chan-wook The servant as well as Parasite and other Bong Joon-ho films, such as the murder mystery Mother and Hollywood action thriller snowdrops) are competing for the Palme d’Or, the festival’s highest honor.

This year marks the first time that two Korean works have been selected for the competition in the top category since 2017who saw Bong Okja (with Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and minariby Steven Yeun) and Hong Sang-soo The next day (a melodrama with The servant‘s Kim Min-hee on the affair of a married man) is competing for the Palme d’Or.

Here, we take a closer look at the captivating Korean films set to premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

Decision to leave

The highly anticipated new film from the aforementioned Park Chan-wook, which will compete for the Palme d’Or at the festival in 2022, marks his fourth film to premiere at Cannes. His others include a noir action thriller Old boy (which won the festival’s Grand Prix in 2004), horror peak The thirst (winner of the Jury Prize in 2009) and The servant (which was shortlisted for the Palme d’Or in 2016).

With Chinese actress Tang Wei and Park Hae-il (Korean actor of Bong’s The host and memories of murder) as well as Go Kyung-Pyo (seen most recently in Netflix’s gripping K-drama DP in 2021), the film sees a policeman Hae Jun (played by Park) investigate the death of a man in the mountainswho develops conflicting feelings of suspicion and self-interest for seo raethe mysterious wife of the deceased (played by Tang).

An intriguing teaser of the film, released by CJ Entertainment on May 6offers a glimpse of the intense exchanges between the two, from loving looks to creepy looks, ending with Hae-jun rushing towards the screen before the shot cuts to Seo-rae looking back from the edge of a waterfront.

Park is also known for his work as executive producer for the snowdrops series (2020 to 2022), the television series adaptation of Bong’s film of the same name, as well as for directing and producing The little thresher girl series in 2018, starring Alexander Skarsgard and Florence Pugh, and directing Driver, the 2013 thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska.

Decision to leave is scheduled for general release on June 29, 2022.


The next film by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, who received the Palme d’or in 2018 for his film Shopliftersis also in the running for the first prize of the festival in 2022.

Marking of Kore-eda first Korean film and 8th guest film at the festival, Broker follows a journey of “unexpected encounters around a baby box”, describes CJ Entertainment, where mothers anonymously deposit babies they are unable to raise.

The moving film features a star-studded lineup including Parasite actor Song Kang-ho (who plays one of the brokers trying to relocate the babies) as well as IU (also known as Lee Ji-eun, seen recently on Hotel Del Luna on Netflix). The K-pop singer-songwriter, who plays a young mother in the film, opens the movie trailer with a haunting lullaby about her baby. She comes back to her baby after putting her in the box.

The film also stars Song’s co-star from The hostBae Doona (seen especially recently in The silent sea and also known to Kingdom and other series on Netflix), which plays a detective who runs after the team of baby brokers.

Broker is planned for general release in June 2022. The exact date has yet to be announced.


squid game Actor Lee Jung-jae (who played contestant #456, one of the main characters who was set to return in the next season of the hit Netflix K-drama) is also starring in his directorial debut Hunt, which will be presented among the Midnight Screenings of the festival.

Leewho also participated in the elaboration of the scenario of huntstars alongside his best friend and fellow Korean movie star veteran Jung Woo-sung (who is the executive producer of The silent sea) as well as squid gameit’s Heo Sung-tae, who played contestant no. 101 of the series, the mobster who dove to his death during the glass bridge floor Stepping Stone).

The next film marks a Lee and Jung’s epic reunion, working together on the big screen for the first time in 22 years since their last film together (city ​​of the rising sun) in 1999.

The spy action thriller sees two agents from South Korea’s National Security Agency – Park Pyeong-ho (played Lee) and Kim Jeong-do (played by Jung) – who try to track down a spy in the within the organization and see themselves as the first. suspects during the investigation, describes the company of artiststhe Korean entertainment agency co-founded by Lee and Jung.

The 2022 festival marks Lee’s return to Cannes after his first appearance in 2010 for an erotic thriller The maid, the remake of the 1960s Korean film of the same name, in which he stars with veteran Korean actress Jeon Do-yeon and Oscar-winning actor Youn Yuh-jung. The film also competed for the Palme d’Or that year.

Reminiscing about his first visit to Cannes, Lee said: “It was so cool, as a film actor I had always wanted to go to Cannes. At the time I was wondering if I could ever go there. go back. So I ‘I’m very grateful to be back at the festival as a director’, in a video posted to the official Artist Company YouTube channel on May 5.

Asked for more details about his next film, the squid game The actor simply noted that “much desired” by fans, audiences can expect to see plenty of Lee and Jung’s “two shots” on screen.

Lee said he hopes “there will be a lot of discussion” surrounding the film throughout the festival, adding that hunt is slated for general release in the summer of 2022.

See a poster for hunt shared on Lee’s official Instagram account here.

Next Sohee

Next Soheefeaturing Broker‘s Bae Doona, will be the closing film of Critics’ Week at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, the festival’s side program, which has been running since 1962, featuring the first and second feature films by filmmakers worldwide.

Directed by Jung Julythe film marks the director’s first new film in eight years after the 2014 crime drama The girl at my door, also featuring Bae, who was selected in the Un Certain Regard category of the festival that year.

Jung’s latest work follows a detective (played by Bae) investigating the death of a high school student named Sohee, who begins a vocational training program at a call center and after dealing with the stressful pressures of working for a ” greedy company” too difficult to bear, the Critics’ Week website describes.

Next Sohee marks one of 11 Korean films in total that were invited to the Critics’ Week of the festival nowadays. Others include Han Jun-hee’s 2015 film Coin locker girlthe 1999 movie Happy ending from the 1998 film by Jung Ji-woo and Hur Jin-ho Christmas in August.


Known as Gakjil in Korean, Personage is among the nine works selected from 3,507 submitted films from more than 140 countries to compete in the festival’s short film category.

Directed by Moon Soo-jin, the six-minute short film, which explores “a character created in order to avoid criticism from strangers”, according to South Korea Kyungyang and other korean mediamark it first Korean animated film invited to the Cannes Film Festival.

The movie, which was Moon’s graduation project at Korea National University of the Arts in Seoul, also been selected to appear at France Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2022, described as “the world’s largest event dedicated to animation”, and to Animafest Zagreb Croatian Animation Film Festivalboth taking place in June 2022.

The winner of The Palme d’or for short films will be awarded on May 28 during the closing ceremony of the festival..

Bae Doona attends The Rapuez Same Launch on January 21, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea.
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