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AFM: Bong Joon-ho Backs Shim’s Shipwreck Tale ‘Haemoo’

Finecut launches watery thriller, erotic drama “Obsession”

Nemo Kim
SEOUL – Hot from “Snowpiercer,” Korean director Bong Joon-ho (pictured) is to turn executive producer on melodramatic thriller “Haemoo.”

The film is directed by Shim Sung-bo, who was previously Bong’s co-screenwriter on cult detective thriller “Memories of Murder,” and here makes his helming debut.

Based on real events and adapted from a theater production, “Haemoo” tells the story of young crewman who tries to save a female immigrant being smuggled across the border when their fishing boat has an accident. The film’s sales company Finecut pitches it as an “ultimate thriller that penetrates basic human nature with a story of sad romance.”

The picture began production this month with pop idol Park Yu-chun in the lead, pitched against Kim Yoon-sok as the boat’s captain. Made on a production budget of $6 million the film boasts “Snowpiercer” cinematographer Alex Hong, “The Thieves” production designer Lee Ha-jun and “G.I. Joe 2” martial arts coordinator Jung Doo-hong.

It will be pitched for pre-sales at next week’s American Film Market and released in Korea by investor-distributor Next Entertainment World in spring 2014.

A similar Finecut-N.E.W. combination is also behind “Obsessed,” an erotic romance set in 1969 at the end of the Vietnam War and starring “A Better Tomorrow” star Song Seung-heon. Production began this month under Kim Dae-woo, previously director of “The Servant” and writer of “Untold Scandal.”

South Korea’s Finecut adds Bong Joon-ho backed thriller for AFM

By Jean Noh

South Korean sales company Finecut has announced two new additions to their AFM slate, including a foggy thriller set at sea and executive produced by Bong Joon-ho.

The two titles are Haemoo (Sea Fog) and Obsessed, a Vietnam War-era tale of erotic romance starring Song Seung-heon.

Haemoo marks the Snowpiercer director’s first film as executive producer and features Kim Yoon-seok from The Yellow Sea and The Chaser.

Bong will be working for the second time with Shim Sung-bo since they co-wrote the 2003 hit thriller Memories Of Murder.

Shim is making his feature directorial debut with the $6m film based on a theatre production, itself based on true events.

The story is about a ship’s crew of desperate fishermen smuggling illegal migrants who get caught up in tragedy and chaos in the midst of a heavy sea fog.

The youngest crew member Dong-sik – to be played by K-pop group JYJ member Park Yu-chan – tries to protect a young woman migrant with whom he falls in love against the crazed Captain Kang (played by Kim) and the other crew members.

Snowpiercer cinematographer Alex Hong is attached along with The Thieves production designer Lee Ha-jun, veteran martial arts choreographer Jung Doo-hong (G.I. Joe 2, I Saw The Devil) and make-up artist Hwang Hyeon-kyu (The Man From Nowhere).

The second title, Obsessed, stars Song Seung-heon from A Better Tomorrow and TV series East Of Eden as an elite officer suffering from post-traumatic disorder upon his return from the Vietnam War in 1969. He falls into a fatally obsessive love affair that forces him to give up everything he had achieved.

The film is directed by Kim Dae-woo, who is known for writing and directing erotically-tinged period pieces such as The Servant and Forbidden Quest.

Both Haemoo and Obsessed began production this month and will be released locally by investor/distributor Next Entertainment World (N.E.W.) next year.

Credit: Variety + ScreenDaily
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