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Cannes: Korea’s Ha Jung-woo to Direct, Star in ‘Blood Merchant’

Finecut to begin sales at upcoming market

HONG KONG – Top South Korean actor, Ha Jung-woo (pictured) will direct and star in “Chronicle of a Blood Merchant,” a 1950s drama based on a Chinese-best-selling novel

Production gets under way in May on a $5.5 million budget. Production is by Dhuta and Dasepo Club with distribution and finance through powerful indie distributor Next Entertainment World. International sales are handled by Finecut.

The 1996 novel is by Yu Hua, whose previous “To Live” was adapted as a film by Zhang Yimou that won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in 1994. It tells the story of a man who sells his blood over many years in an attempt to better himself and his family Ha (“The Berlin File,” “Yellow Sea,” “The Chaser”) will star opposite Ha Ji-won (“Haeundae”, “Sector 7”.)

Finecut is preparing a Cannes sales launch and will also unveil “Fashion King,” and stereoscopic 3D horror “The Tunnel.”

Now in production, “Fashion King” is a romantic comedy based on a hit web comic about a fashion terrorist who becomes a fashion leader. Directed by Oh Hi-kwan (“A Wedding Invitation”), it stars Korean TV drama stars Joo Won, Park Se-young and K-pop band member Sulli. N.E.W. will also distribute in Korea.

“The Tunnel” is a horror pic about teenagers in a soon-to-open theme park who are tormented by the denizens of an abandoned coal mine nearby. Production is by Filma Pictures, previously responsible for Critics Week entry “Bedevilled.”

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