Korean Film Archive Adds 94 Rediscovered Korean Films to Collection


A Seoul-based nonprofit that functions as Korea’s film archive center announced this week the acquisition of 94 Korean films released between 1949 and 1981 that once were considered lost.

The Korean Film Archive (KOFA), which collects and preserves Korean films in order to pass down the country’s cultural heritage to future generations, said it received a total donation of 450 films from Han Gyu-ho, the former head of a film company. Within the collection were 94 titles believed to be lost from the likes of such notable directors as Lee Man-hee, Im Kwon-taek, Jung Jin-woo and Kim Su-yong, according to the Korea Herald.

Korean Film News reports that Han kept these films in his personal storage when his company, Union Media Company, closed. KOFA visited the storage collection in November and “spent two months to restore and identify” the films, KFN said, before Han decided to give the films to the archive.

The acquisition of these new titles is a major accomplishment for KOFA, which aims to keep films as close to their original condition as possible and restores older films through digitization. KOFA also works to make its library accessible to the public, showcasing classic films for free in its theaters as well as releasing DVD restorations.

Followers of South Korean cinema were left ecstatic by KOFA’s announcement this week. “I’m at a Korean Film Archive press conference, and there is very exciting news,” Darcy Paquet, a longtime Seoul-based film critic who runs koreanfilm.org, wrote on his Twitter page. “The recovery of 94—yes, 94!—previously lost films.”

The entire list of all 94 rediscovered films can be seen here:

The Korea Times reported that the rediscovered films include Korea’s second-to-debut female director Hong Eun-won’s, A Female Judge, (1962), Jung Jin-woo’s debut film, The Only Son, (1962) and No Pil’s Pilot An Chang-nam, (1949). Only five of the films will be screened this year since the rest require more restoration work, Paquet indicated on his Twitter feed.

Paquet, who attended the press conference, said that the screened clips of the five films “all look interesting.”


Featured image courtesy of Huffington Post Korea