Japan’s new movies showcased in SeoulKorea was reopened to imports of Japanese culture in 1998 and the successful start of the third Megabox Japanese Film Festival is proving that films from Japan now have a strong market here. Internet reservations for the opening film, “Tegami,” directed by Jiro Shono, and the closing film, “Tada Kimi Wo Aishiteru,” were sold out in three minutes.
The five-day festival, to start Wednesday, will showcase 18 Japanese films at the Megabox theaters in the COEX complex in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul.
The annual festival started in 2004. It featured 46 Japanese films and 78 percent of the tickets for the festival were sold. The first and second festivals focused on past Japanese films which hadn’t been shown officially in Korea. This year’s festival is concentrating solely on recent releases. “Tegami” opened in Japan on Nov. 3 and “Tada Kimi Wo Aishiteru” debuted seven days earlier.
The slogan for this year is “Dream and Love” and the films are from a variety of genres. Besides the opening and closing films, tickets for “Touch,” directed by Isshin Inudou, who recently won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival, also sold out within minutes. Other films expected to do well include “Ramblers” and “The Village Album.”
During the festival, Japanese actor Tetsuji Tamayama, who plays the tragic brother character in the opening film “Tegami,” will visit Korea and participate in the opening ceremonies. On the last day of the festival, Korean director Bong Joon-ho, who made “The Host,” and Isshin Inudo will discuss the relationship between Japanese and Korean cinema .
2006 Megabox Japanese Film Festival runs from Wednesday to Nov 19 at Megabox theaters in COEX. The nearest subway is Samseong Station, line No. 2, exit 6. Tickets are 5,000 won ($5.40) per movie. For more information, call (02) 511-5462 or visit www.j-meff.co.kr.
by Cho Jae-un