This year’s event will feature nine titles to be screened in Vox Cinemas

The Korean Film Festival is making a comeback in Abu Dhabi.

The sixth event will be held at Vox Cinemas, Yas Mall, from June 29 to July 3.

Nine Korean films will be shown, under the theme “family on screen”.

“I believe the audiences from various backgrounds in the UAE will feel [a connection] with the Korean Film Festival theme ‘family on screen’ because stories about love, conflict and healing within a family are a universal story being told around the world,” says Nam Chan-woo, director of the Korean Cultural Centre.

The festival is organised by the Korean Embassy and the Korean Cultural Centre. All films will be in Korean with English subtitles, except the opening title, Escape from Mogadishu,which will have English and Arabic subtitles.

Here’s a look at the nine films to be shown.

‘Escape from Mogadishu’ (2021)

When: June 29 at 7pm

The opening film of the festival is an action-drama that takes place in the early 1990s and is based on real events. Rival diplomats from North and South Korea get trapped in Mogadishu, Somalia, as a civil war breaks out. With no aid from either government, their only way to survive is by uniting for a joint effort. The film was South Korea’s entry for Best International Feature film at the 2021 Academy Awards.

‘Miracle: Letters to the President’ (2021)

When: June 30 at 7pm

The romantic comedy is set in 1988 and follows genius teenager Jun Kyung, who lives in a village where there is no train station, even though trains are the only way to get in or out. He has aspirations to make a station so that his sister and other villagers will no longer have to walk alongside the dangerous tracks every day. He sends letters to the South Korean president but never gets a reply.

Ra Hee, who has a crush on Jun Kyung, does everything she can to help him in his quest to meet the president.

The film is based on the true story of a family in the 1980s who lived in a remote area of South Korea with no roads.

‘The House of Us’ (2019)

When: July 1 at 5pm

The film follows Ha-na, aged 12, who is worried about her parents who argue every day. She thinks everything will be OK if she can only take her family on a holiday. One day, Ha-na meets two younger girls named Yoo-mi and Yoo-jin, whose parents are always out of town struggling to make ends meet. The three girls become friends and share their worries with one another, trying even harder to save their homes.

‘Sinkhole’ (2021)

When: July 1 at 7pm

Park Dong-won is finally able to purchase a home for his family after saving for 11 years. During a housewarming party, a heavy overnight downpour creates an extremely big sinkhole. In only a few minutes, it swallows up the entire apartment and the people inside. Meanwhile, Dong-won and his guests must find their way out, as rain starts to pour again, quickly filling up the sinkhole with water.

‘Kim Ji-young, Born 1982’ (2019)

When: July 2 at 3pm

Based on the hit novel of the same name by Cho Nam-joo, Kim Ji-young is an ordinary Korean woman in her thirties who gives up her white-collar desk job to be a full-time mother and housewife. Soon, she begins to start showing strange symptoms that alarm her family, including impersonating other people such as her late mother, older sister and other women in her life.

‘Granny Poetry Club’ (2019)

When: July 2 at 5pm

The documentary follows South Korean grandmothers, between the ages of 70 to 80, from Chilgok who decide to enroll in school again to learn how to read and write in Korean. They memorise the multiplication table in Japanese but have spent their lives illiterate in Korean. This is because of a mandate in 1938 that barred the usage and education of Korean language in all schools.

The film follows their journey as they learn the Korean alphabet, finding beauty and poetry all around them.

‘Samjin Company English Class’ (2020)

When: July 2 at 7pm

This takes place in the mid-1990s, when sexual and academic discrimination was rampant in South Korea. The story follows three low-level female employees, Lee Ja-yeong, Jeong Yoo-na and Sim Bo-ram, who are looked down upon and given insignificant chores to do because they only have high school diplomas.

One day, Ja-yeong is sent to a factory in the city on an errand and, by chance, sees wastewater being poured into the river. She becomes convinced the company she’s working for is into illegal dealings and together with Yoo-na and Bo-ram, attempt to gather evidence to expose wrongdoing.

‘House of Hummingbird’ (2018)

When: July 3 at 5pm

The coming-of-age tale takes place in a rapidly changing Seoul in 1994. It follows Eun-hee, a lonely girl aged 14 who moves through life like a hummingbird. She is ignored by her parents, who favour her older brother, but then she meets and befriends a female teacher who seems to be the only one who understands her.

The film won the Best International Narrative Feature Award at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

‘Exit’ (2019)

When: July 3 at 7pm

The comedy-drama follows Yong-nam, who was a gifted rock climber in university but hasn’t had much luck elsewhere in life after graduation. He’s failed to get a job for many years and has to rely on his parents to get by. For his mother’s 70th birthday, he insists on having a party at a restaurant called Cloud Garden, because his old crush Eui-joo works there. When a disaster strikes, it leaves their entire district covered in mysterious white gas, and Yong-nam and Eui-joo have to team up and use their rock-climbing skills to rescue everyone.

Tickets start at Dh21 and tickets can be purchased at www.k-filmfest.com

Scroll through the gallery to see 10 South Korean films and television shows coming to Netflix in 2022

'Business Proposal' is based on a popular webtoon. All photos: Netflix

Updated: June 16, 2022, 2:42 PM

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