KOFFIA Korean Film Festival in Australia

Film, Film festivals
Be With You KOFFIA
Photograph: Supplied Be with You

Keep up with the lively offerings of Korea's thriving popular film industry at the ninth Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA)

Lots of cathartic crying, attractive stars and supernatural suspense: Korean cinema doesn't muck around when it comes to what's fun in movies, and the annual Korean Film Festival in Australia is always a highlight of the cinema year.

The KOFFIA is run by the Korean Culture Centre Australia, which offers public education programs about the Republic of Korea throughout the year. The 2018 film festival will be the ninth, with 22 feature films to be screened (all with English subtitles).

Opening night film is Little Forest, a feelgood film about a young women who leaves the big city to return to her rural hometown, while closing night's Microhabitat is a slice of life about a 31-year-old housekeeper who tries to live by couch surfing with her old college friends.

A nice'n'nasty chunk of K-horror arrives in the form of Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum, in which a team explores an allegedly haunted asylum for a YouTube horror web-series and gets more than they bargained for. 

A dark Korean take on Groundhog DayA Day is about a surgeon who must re-live the traumatic morning of his daughter's death over and over again.  

Cop buddy comedy Midnight Runners has a dumb jock and a shy bookworm becoming best friends at the academy and launching their own investigation into a kidnapping. The fantasy Glass Garden concerns a PhD student with a gift for communicating with nature who gets the attention of a novelist. 

Be With You is a poignant supernatural love story in which a deceased mother returns to her family during the rainy season, as foretold in a fairy tale. 

Another highlight will be Forgotten, a twisty tale of amnesia and murder in which a man investigates his brother’s disappearance after he reappears with no memory of it. Director Chang Hang-jun and producer Jang Won-seok will be guests of the festival and present a Q&A following the film’s screening in Sydney.

Hallyuwood meets Hollywood in A Taxi Driver, which was selected as South Korea’s pick for the Foreign-Language category at the 2018 Academy Awards. Set during the Gwangju Uprising of 1980, the film has a taxi driver ferrying a German journalist from Seoul to Gwangju city in the middle of the turmoil.

By: Time Out editors

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