Founded in 1951, The Berlin International Film Festival, also called Berlinale, is recognized as one of the world’s leading film festivals with approximately 20,000 professional attendees from over 130 countries. Annually held in February, this year’s festival was presided by actress Isabella Rosellini, opening with The Coen Brother’s highly acclaimed feature True Grit.
Brothers by blood, renowned film director and media artist, Park Chan-Wook and Chan-Kyung, respectively, received first place for their first co-production zombie fantasy film Night Fishing. Illustrating a man’s uncanny confrontation with life and death while fishing, this 33-minute short is the first film entirely shot by a smartphone to receive an award at an international film festival.
Newly emerging filmmaker, Yang Hyo-Joo triumphed with the Silver Bear award, exposing her looming creative potential to the international scene. As her graduation submission for the School of Arts at the Korea National University of the Arts, Broken Night depicts a collision of agendas between a middle-aged man and a homeless teenage couple as they stage automobile accidents to recoup fraudulent insurance money.
A total of 10 Korean films were invited to and screened at the Berlinale. As the most number of Korean selections ever to be showcased at the festival, it certainly solidifies the international hold of Korea’s contemporary cinema.