Cannes Film Festival 2015 to Screen Four Korean Films

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Often described as the crème de la crème of film festivals, the Cannes Film Festival annually offers some of the best narrative films and documentaries from all around the world. This year, Cannes will be screening four Korean films in its non-competition categories at its usual venue—the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in France.


Madonna (Un Certain Regard)


Director: Shin Su-won
Writer: Shin Su-won

Cast: Seo Young-hee, Kwon So-hyun, Kim Young-min

Madonna centers on Hae-rim, a caregiver assigned to aid the hospital’s chairman who is quadriplegic and in desperate need of a heart transplant. The chairman’s son, Sang-woo, asks her to track down a comatose woman’s next-of-kin in order to obtain consent for an organ donation. During her search, Haerim discovers that the woman was once a prostitute known as “Madonna” and learns a shocking secret.

This is director Shin Su-won’s first feature film. In 2012, she won the Canal+ Award for her short film Circle Line.

The Shameless (Un Certain Regard)


Director: Oh Seung-uk
Writer: Oh Seung-uk

Cast: Jeon Do-yeon, Kim Nam-gil, Park Sung-woong

The Shameless is a hardboiled melodrama that follows the budding romance between a detective and a bar hostess, whose lover is in the main suspect in a murder investigation.

This will be the fourth time Jeon Do-yeon, who plays the female lead, has been invited to attend the French festival. Nicknamed the “Queen of Cannes,” Jeon became the first Korean to win best actress at Cannes back in 2007 for her performance in Lee Chang-dong’s Secret Sunshine. 

Office (Midnight Projections)


Director: Hong Won-chan
Writer: Choi Yun-jin

Cast: Ko Ah-sung, Park Sung-woong, Bae Seong-woo

Office is a mystery thriller about an exemplary office worker who disappears after brutally murdering his family without any provocation. A homicide detective begins the investigation at the killer’s office, but finds something amiss with the workers there. He turns his attention to an office intern, who soon becomes a person of interest in the case.

Office makrs Hong Won-chan’s directorial debut. He previously served as the screenwriter for critically acclaimed films The Chaser and The Yellow Sea.

Coin Locker Girl (International Critics’ Week)


Director: Han Jun-hee
Writer: Han Jun-hee

Cast: Kim Hye-soo, Kim Go-eun

Coin Locker Girl, also known as Chinatown in South Korea, tells the story of an 18-year-old girl who’s been raised by a gang leader known as “Mother” after being abandoned in a coin locker at a Seoul train station. But when she befriends the son of a debtor and finds herself exposed to the outside world she never knew existed, her loyalty wavers.

This feature film marks Han’s directorial debut. Han previously served as the screenwriter for critically acclaimed films The Chaser and The Yellow Sea.


Cannes is a significant part of Korean cinema history, as several Korean filmmakers rose to international fame after their films were screened at the prestigious festival.

Park Chan-wook became a household name after he won the Grand Prix for Oldboy back in 2004. Bong Joon-ho jumpstarted his international career after his monster film The Host premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. In addition, writer-director Lee Chang-dong won best screenplay in 2010 for his film Poetry.

Although it’s been three years since the last time a Korean feature has been in competition at Cannes, Korean films—both shorts and feature-length—have continuously received high praises at the festival.

The 68th annual Cannes Film Festival will run from May 13 to 24 this year. To view the festival’s official selection, visit the Cannes website.

See Also


“L.A. Film Festival to Screen 3 Korean and Korean American Feature Films”

“Korean American Archive Adds 94 Rediscovered Korean Films to Collection”

“Bong Joon-ho on Mother and Filmmaking”

“Bong Joon-ho Releases His Version of ‘Snowpiercer’ in U.S.”


All images via Cannes and HanCinema