A number of Korean independent films are enjoying rising popularity among both critics and the public. Two Korean indie films that are gaining recognition this year are director Park Jung Bum’s Journals of Musan and director Yoon Sung Hyun’s Bleak Night, which jointly won the New Currents Award at the 15th Busan International Film Festival last year. Despite being produced with low budgets and rookie directors, the two movies showed depth, reflection, and a good sense of completion.
Yoon Sung Hyun’s Bleak Night has also been well-received at the 40th International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Swiss Black Movie Festival. At the 35th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), which took place March 20th to April 5th, Bleak Night took home the FIPRESCI Award. The FIPRESCI Award is presented by the International Federation of Film Critics to talented rookie directors at film festivals. The association is made up of film critics and film journalists from all over the world.
Yoon Sung Hyun beat eleven other talented Asian directors to take home the award. His first feature film won the prize for being able to show “Yoon’s confident and coherent vision as well his ability to draw out commanding acting skills from a young cast.” Bleak Night explores the life and emotional train ride of three high school students – Ki Tae (Lee Jae Hoon), Dong Yoon (Suh Joon Young), and Hee Joon (Park Jung Min) – after the death of a fellow student.
Since its release on March 3rd, Bleak Night is enjoying a steady increase in box office results.