You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Paju’ opens Rotterdam

Screenings of the 14 Tiger competition pics begin Friday

The Rotterdam Film Festival opened Wednesday with “Paju,” the sophomore feature of South Korean helmer Park Chan-ok. Choice marks a return to familiar ground for the fest after last year’s Hollywood moment, when “Sopranos” thesp Michael Imperioli presented his directing debut, “The Hungry Ghosts.”

“This is the first time that we have had a Korean film as the opening film, and it’s high time that we did,” said fest topper Rutger Wolfson, before introducing Park to a packed theater.

Nine Korean films have appeared in the fest’s competition over the past 15 years, with three taking home Tiger awards. Park won in 2003 with “Jealousy Is My Middle Name.” “Paju” appears this year out of competition.

Set in a city close to the border with North Korea, pic tells the story of a teenager (Seo Woo) and her complex relationship with her older sister’s husband (Lee Seon-Gyoon).

Public screenings of this year’s 14 Tiger competitors begin Friday, including five world preems.

Lineup includes Paz Fabrega’s “Cold Water of the Sea” and Levan Koguashvili’s “Street Days,” the fest’s first competitors from Costa Rica and Georgia, respectively.

The U.S. is represented by the feature debut from Chicago-based filmmaker Ben Russell: “Let Each One Go Where He May” follows two brothers on a journey retracing the slave routes of Suriname.

Winners will be announced Feb. 5.

Fest’s co-production strand CineMart begins Sunday, with 33 projects looking for coin.

Big names in line include Russians helmers Andrei Zvyagintsev (“The Return”) and Alexey Balabanov (“Morphine”) and Mexican Amat Escalante (“Sangre”).

Also kicking off this weekend is Kino Climates, a meeting of more than 30 small and medium-sized independent cinemas from across Europe that will explore options for filling the niche between multiplexes and established arthouses.

Among Rotterdam’s many themes, early buzz centers on “Where is Africa?,” an extensive program devoted to independent filmmaking in sub-Saharan and central Africa. With the region largely unexplored by international film fests, no one knows quite what to expect.

More Film

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho reacts after winning the

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    CANNES — The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival wrapped with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu announcing the group’s unanimous decision to award the Palme d’Or to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his sly, politically charged “Parasite.” Following last year’s win for humanistic Japanese drama “Shoplifters,” the well-reviewed Asian thriller represents the yin [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão'

    A “tropical melodrama” is how the marketing materials bill “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão.” If that sounds about the most high-camp subgenre ever devised, Karim Aïnouz’s ravishing period saga lives up to the description — high emotion articulated with utmost sincerity and heady stylistic excess, all in the perspiring environs of midcentury Rio de [...]

  • Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The 10 Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The Cannes Film Festival is too rich an event to truly have an “off” year, but by the end of the 72nd edition, it was more or less universally acknowledged that the festival had regained a full-on, holy-moutaintop-of-art luster that was a bit lacking the year before. It helps, of course, to have headline-making movies [...]

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Soaring to $100 Million-Plus Memorial Day Weekend Debut

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” remake is on its way to a commendable Memorial Day weekend debut with an estimated $109 million over the four-day period. The musical fantasy starring Will Smith and Mena Massoud should uncover about $87 million in its first three days from 4,476 North American theaters after taking in $31 million on Friday. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content