Udine 2019: Sewol Ferry Drama BIRTHDAY to Open 21st Far East Film Festival
Birthday, the hugely anticipated South Korean drama reenacting the horrific tragedy of the Sewol ferry disaster, has been announced as the opening film of this year’s Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy.
Produced by Lee Chang-dong, award-winning director of Burning and Peppermint Candy, and directed by Lee Jong-un, Birthday recreates the tragic events of 16 April 2014, when the Sewol ferry, travelling from Incheon to the island of Jeju, sank, killing more than 300 passengers. Many of the dead were teenagers on a school trip, and the event shook South Korea to its core. In the five years since, the disaster has triggered much debate, controversy and passionate mourning throughout the country.
Birthday stars Sol Kyung-ku alongside celebrated actress Jeon Do-yeon (Secret Sunshine), as the parents of one of the victims, and the film charts the family’s desperate struggle to remain together in the wake of the disaster. Lee Jong-un previously served as assistant director on Lee's acclaimed 2010 film, Poetry.
The film is scheduled to open in Korea next week, after which FEFF will host the film’s international festival premiere on 26 April, as it ushers in the festival’s 21st edition.
The Far East Film Festival runs from 26 April to 4 May in Udine, Italy. For more details, check out the official festival website.
Watch the trailer to Birthday below: