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Paju to open Rotterdam film festival

39th International Film Festival Rotterdam January 27 - February 7, 2010

Paju, the second feature film by South Korean director Park Chan-Ok will be the official opening film for the 39th International Film Festival Rotterdam on Wednesday January 27, 2010. Park Chan-Ok was the winner of a Tiger Award in 2003 for her critically appraised debut Jealousy is My Middle Name. In 2006 her sophomore feature project Paju was launched at Rotterdam's co-production market CineMart.

Rotterdam festival director Rutger Wolfson states about Paju: "I am delighted to have the opportunity for the first time to present a Korean film to our Opening Night guests. Park Chan-Ok's wonderful film on many levels exemplifies what the Rotterdam film festival is about: the discovery and nurturing of the world's best independent film talent. I think Paju is a triumph of resilience and a powerful female voice from Asia, ambitious and intimate at the same time, and a film that ultimately really moves you."
The South Korean delegation that will introduce the film to Rotterdam Opening Night audience will include director Park Chan-Ok as well as lead actors Lee Seon-Gyoon and Seo Woo.
Starring Lee Seon-Gyoon, Seo Woo, Sim I-Yeong, and Kim Bo-Kyeong, Paju is the tale of a teenage schoolgirl (Seo) and her complex relation to her older sister's husband (Lee). Set in the city where it takes its name from - a longtime military area and now a developing city located close to the North/South Korean border - its elegantly complex narrative deals with guilt, love and redemption. The result is both uniquely Korean and universally resonant.
The film, produced by Myung Films was released in South Korea by MK Pictures on October 29. M-Line Distribution handles the world sales.

Paju played to highly impressed reviews in the Pusan film festival with Seo's performance a highlight. Screen International said of director Park, "This should help to cement Park's reputation as one of Korea's most talented art-house directors" while Variety praised the film's handling of elements of melodrama, action and mystery, saying they "make it function like a Bergmanesque thriller"
The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "Seo delivers one of the most believable depictions of conflicted female emotion as has ever been put on film in Korea".
Recently introduced at the 14th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF), Paju won the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award. The jury described Paju as 'a fine example of passionate, high-quality filmmaking.'


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