'For Eternal Hearts' to open event

Asia’s largest genre festival, the Puchon Intl. Fantastic Film Festival, will kick off July 12 with the world premiere of Korean director Hwang Qu-dok’s mystical romance “For Eternal Hearts.”

Based an hour outside Seoul, PiFan will screen 215 films and close July 21 with the world preem of Joko Anwar’s “Kala,” a thriller that became a hit in its na-tive Indonesia.

Centerpiece of the fest will be the main Puchon Choice competition section, which this year features 10 genre titles from Asia, Europe and the U.S. A 60-title World Fantastic Cinema section will also provide an overview of trends in popular cinema from around the world.

New Korean titles programmed at this year’s event have a strong independent slant, however, from low-budget competition entry “Resurrection of the Butter-fly” to DV works “The Code of a Duel” and “Aseurai.”

A series of workshops will bring in Asian masters of special effects makeup, with lectures scheduled by Michelle Wong of Hong Kong (“Shaolin Soccer”), the Nishimura Motion Picture Model Group of Japan (“Suicide Club”) and f/x firm Cell from South Korea (“Sympathy for Lady Vengeance”).

Fest will also organize a series of industry screenings that will present 19 genre films to Korean buyers and distributors.

Retrospectives and special screenings will explore the works of Japanese director Hiroki Ryuichi (“Vibrator”), Hong Kong director Herman Yau (“Cries and Whispers”), French sci-fi of the ’60s and ’70s, American B-movie legend Monte Hellman, Italian master Dario Argento, Korean veteran Lee Bong-rae, and Hol-lywood director Richard Fleischer (“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”).

Budget for this year’s event is set at $2.9 million.

Puchon Choice Competition Section, 2007
13 (Thailand), dir. Chookiet Sakveerakul
The Backwoods (Spain), dir. Koldo Serra
Dark Sea (Italy), dir. Roberta Torre
Diary (Hong Kong), dir. Oxide Pang
Grimm Love (Germany), dir. Martin Weisz
The Living and the Dead (U.K.), dir. Simon Rumley
The Matsugane Potshot Affair (Japan), dir. Yamashita Nobuhiro
Resurrection of the Butterfly (South Korea), dir. Kim Min-sook and Lee Jung-gook
Roman (U.S.), dir. Angela Bettis
Special (U.S.), dir. Hal Haberman and Jeremy Passmore

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