K-Focus: Actor Jung Woo-sung
With a career spanning twenty years, the multi-talent Jung Woo-sung has starred in everything from big blockbusters such as The Good, The Bad and The Weird , to the romantic in A Moment to Remember to ratings grabbing TV, he has done it all.
Growing up in Sadang-dong, the poorest area of Seoul, actor Jung knew what he wanted from an early age as he unashamedly dropped out of high school after his first year. He quickly earned a living as a model before his debut feature in 1994’s The Fox With Nine Tails. It was not until Kim Sung- su’s 1997 film Beat that Jung found fame portraying a high school student who is forced into a life of gang violence.
Ever since, Jung Woo-sung has reached a level of popularity few experience. With each new role, be it a young boxer in City of the Rising Sun, a sailor in Phantom: The Submarine or a marathon runner in Love the actor garnered more praise and admiration. In 2001 his fans reached beyond his homeland after starring in The Warrior. Jung Woo-sung plays a slave in this epic period box office smash opposite Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon actress Zhang Ziyi.
Never one to sit still, actor Jung become director Jung as he went behind the camera and begun to direct commercials and short films. A number of these short films were in partnership with Samsung with his first, called Love, being viewed by over 1.5 million viewers on YouTube. His latest, The Killer Behind The Old Man, screening at the festival, has been praised for its visual style and storytelling.
Whether he is in front of the camera or behind it, Jung Woo-sung’s talent is undeniable so the London Korean Film Festival is proud to present this spotlight.
Director: Jo Bum-gu
Cast: Jung Woo-sung, Lee Beom-soo
Cert TBC, 117mins, 2014
Professional Go player Tae-seok loses a high-stakes game to the infamous underground gambler Sal-soo. The unusual consequences of which are that he is framed for the murder of his own brother and locked up in prison. Tae-seok spends his time jail time training and dreaming of his revenge.
After serving his seven- year sentence, he reaches out to his brother’s former associate Tricks, the blind master The Lord, and skillful junkyard owner Mok-su. Together, they begin look to plan the downfall of Sal-soo and his men. Tae-seok manages to slowly penetrate Sal-soo’s inner circle and his gambling joint, eliminating Sal-soo’s men one by one. But Sal-soo discovers Tae-seok’s true identity and engages him in one final game that will seal the fates of the two men involved.
Director: Jung Woo-sung
Cert TBC, 28mins, 2019
Hong Kong Int. Film Festival 2014
An incredibly meticulous hitman is contracted to kill an elderly man but while watching his target he begins to reconsider his actions. Commissioned by the Hong Kong Film Festival and compiled in the omnibus film Three Charmed Lives, Jung Woo-sung’s contribution has been described as the most stylish and compelling.
Director: Kim Byeoung-seo
Cast: Jung Woo-sung, Seol Kyung-gu, Han Hyo-joo
Cert 15, 118mins, 2019
Best Actress: Han Hyo-joo
Blue Dragon Film Awards 2014
Toronto Int. Film Festival 2014
Leeds Int. Film Festival 2014
Based upon the 2007 Hong Kong thriller Eye In The Sky, Cold Eyes features female police officer Ha Yoon-ju who has an uncanny memory and set of observation skills. Thanks to her talents she is accepted into the elite Special Crime Unit who specialise in the surveillance of high profile criminals. Tough veteran, Hwang Sang-jun, is enlisted to mentor Yoon-ju who is known for his recklessness but legendary animal-like senses and intuition.Though the pair’s hot tempers leads to them butting heads, they soon form a strong bond while tracking down their newest and biggest target. James is the cold-hearted and cruel leader of an armed criminal organisation who uses his unmatched intelligence to evade all of the Unit’s tactics. Even with all of their technology and special skills are Yoon-ju and Sang-jun up to the challenge in bringing this criminal mastermind to justice?
Though the project had its detractors from its onset the film quickly fulfilled all the filmmakers wildest dreams drawing over five million viewers in less than thirty days. The film did not only see success at the box office but toured some of the world’s biggest film festivals and won lead actress Han Hyo-joo The Best Actress award at the 34rd Blue Dragon Film Awards.
Cast: Jung Woo-sung, Ahn Sung-ki, Joo Jin-mo, Zhang Ziyi
3rd Place Best Asian Film
Fantasia Film Festival 2014
Asia Pacific Film Festival 2014
The year is 1375 and China is in constant turmoil. Koryo, one of Korea's ancient Kingdoms sends delegates to the new Chinese dynasty in power, Ming. The delegation is accused of spying and sent into exile. The group's sense of duty and patriotism soon disappear while wandering across the desert hoping of returning to their beloved families. The chain of command breaks down as the soldiers and diplomats bond together. Along the way they meet Han refugees who become a surrogate family that they look to protect with their lives. Will they ever reach their home?