Two Korean films invited to this year's Cannes International Film Festival

Cannes Film festival General Delegate Thierry Fremaux and Cannes Film festival President Iris Knobloch attend the presentation of the official selection of the 76th Cannes International Film Festival in Paris, France, April 13, 2023. [REUTERS]

Two Korean films were invited to the 76th Cannes International Film Festival to be held in May.

Director Kim Chang-hoon’s “Hopeless” and director Kim Jee-woon’s “Cobweb” were invited in the Un Certain Regard and Out of Competition categories, respectively. No Korean films were invited to the In Competition section, meaning no Korean films are eligible for awards such as the Palme d’Or.

The executive committee of the Cannes International Film Festival held a press conference Thursday local time and announced the official invitations to the film festival.

“Hopeless” from director Kim Chang-hoon is a noir depicting the story of Yeon-gyu, played by Hong Sa-bin, who wants to escape the harsh realities of his life. He meets Chi-geon, played by Song Joong-ki, and steps into the world of organized crime.

This marks Song's first invitation to Cannes.

“Cobweb” tells the story of a film director in the 1970s, who is obsessed with making a masterpiece and struggles to film his magnum opus amid government censorship and uncooperative colleagues around him.

Left, main poster for ″Cobweb,″ right, main poster for ″Hopeless,″ two Korean films invited to the Cannes International Film Festival this year. [EACH DISTRIBUTOR]

Song Kang-ho, who won the Best Actor Award at last year’s Cannes festival, takes on the role of the protagonist. Im Soo-jung, Oh Jung-se and Jeon Yeo-been also star. Jung Woo-sung also makes a special appearance.

This year’s invitation to Cannes is the third for director Kim Jee-woon and the eighth time for Song Kang-ho. Kim previously entered the Out of Competition category with “A Bittersweet Life” (2005) and “The Good, the Bad, the Weird” (2008).

“It feels more special to be invited to a festival where filmmakers and audiences from all over the world gather together in this time, when cinema needs to be revived after the pandemic,” said Kim through a statement from the distributor of “Cobweb,” Barunson E&A. “Above all, I am grateful for the actors who participated in ‘Cobweb’ who made this happen.”

A total of 19 films are up for the In Competition section of this year’s Cannes, including “Monster” by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda. American directors who have seen critical and commercial success such as Wes Anderson and Todd Haynes are also among the 19.

The opening film is “Jeanne du Barry” by French actor-director Maïwenn Le Besco. Swedish director Ruben Östlund, who won the Palme d'Or last year for “Triangle of Sadness,” serves as the head of the jury for the In Competition section.

This year’s film festival will be held in Cannes, France from May 16 to 27.