Header image courtesy of Hong Kong Arts Centre
Being a woman in the male-dominated film industry can be difficult, especially for women of colour. While there is no lack of wonderful female directors in the world of film, they often have yet to garner the same level of recognition and attention as their male counterparts. Riding on the popularity of its previous film screening series, Hong Kong Arts Centre is bringing back another of its popular programmes, “Women Direct. Korean Indies! Korean Women Independent Film Series 2023,” in collaboration with the Seoul Independent Film Festival to give a spotlight to Korean women directors at the Louis Koo Cinema.
Held from 29 June to 13 August, this film series will feature eight films directed by female Korean directors followed by virtual post-screening talks. From fictional films to documentaries, these movies address personal and social issues through the lens of Korean women in various genres. With topics ranging from forbidden love to relatable workplace struggles and motherhood, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this series.
Opening with Homage, directed by Shin Su-won and starring Lee Jung-eun (Parasite) and Tang Jun-sang (Crash Landing On You), this film explores womanhood through the lens of a middle-aged female director. Following the failure of her third movie and a lack of support from her husband, Ji-wan accepts a job to restore old films at an archive where she comes across a title produced by a female director from the 1960s. Realising the film is incomplete, Ji-wan is set on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to recover the missing footage.
Also featured are several debut directorial films, including the winner of the New Choice Award of Seoul Independent Film Festival 2022, Life Unrehearsed by Banpark Jieun, which follows the love story of two women who are in their 70s through an exploration of the discrimination towards the elderly and the LGBTQIA+ community in Korea; Climbing by Kim Hye-mi, an animated horror that discusses the duties and challenges of motherhood following an unexpected pregnancy that threatens one’s aspirations; and Jeong-sun by Jeong Ji-hye, which takes an intense dive into the issues of stereotyping, online sexual violence, and workplace bullying through the lens of a middle-aged single mother.
A list of full titles can be found on Hong Kong Arts Centre’s website.
Admission tickets for individual screenings are available for purchase with concessional tickets offered at a discounted price. If you can’t decide which film to watch, you can watch them all—just opt in for the series-wide ticket package (one ticket for each movie). If you are interested in Korean culture and dramatic cinematic storytelling, grab your tickets now and show your appreciation and support for female directors in the film industry!
When: 29 June–13 August 2023
Where: Louis Koo Cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai