[PICK] Korean Short Films by Famous Directors

Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Short films are not studies for feature films. Rather, they hold difficulty in clearly conveying the meaning of the movie in a short amount of time. In this regard, short films convey a unique charm that cannot be felt in the feature film. Many prolific directors have first drawn attention with their impressive short stories. We will look at short films produced by directors known for their mesmerizing masterpieces at various film festivals.


Sprout �” Director Yoon Ga Eun

Credit: Daum

It is a short film directed by Yoon Ga Eun, known for The World of Us and The House of Us. After being unveiled at the 18th Busan International Film Festival in 2013 for the first time, it was invited to the leading film festivals worldwide amid favorable reviews from audiences and critics. Sprout tells the story of a 7-year-old Bory leaving the house for the first time for an errand to buy bean sprouts for her grandfather’s memorial ceremony. For Bory, the outside world is full of strange things, and her journey to the market becomes her own odyssey. The film was well-received for its heartwarming portrayal through the eyes of its young protagonist. Besides, acting prodigy Kim Soo Ah (of Train to Busan) certainly catches the eyes. Even during this short time, she gave a strong presence, making the audience cry and laugh with her.


The Window �” Director Yeon Sang Ho


It is a short animation directed by Yeon Sang Ho, best known for Train to Busan and Peninsula. The Window has a somewhat unique history. While most directors produce feature films after their short work, The Window came out after feature animation The King of Pigs was released. Despite its short running time, it carries a more solemn theme and message in terms of short films, making it an indispensable masterpiece in the director’s filmography. By densely portraying the violence within the military, the film evokes sympathy and anger. As a result, along with The King of Pigs and The Fake, it marked the apex of Yeon Sang Ho’s social commentary animations.


Don’t Step Out Of The House �” Director Jo Sung Hee

Credit: Daum

The film won the grand prize at the Mise-en-scène Short Film Festival, which is famous for giving the grand prize to works that received unanimous agreement (as of 2020, there are only 4 films that won the grand prize). Directed by A Werewolf Boy director Jo Sung Hee, it also won the Best Film in The Extreme Nightmare category as well as the grand prize. The film starts when a mysterious person breaks into a poor semi-basement house where the brother and sister live. Despite the rather unfriendly story, it creates an uneasiness atmosphere throughout the movie, increasing the level of immersion. The pure and innocent story, unraveled with its unique settings and sensuous productions, received explosive responses. Since Don’t Step Out Of The House, director Jo Sung Hee gained more recognition with Nice Short and End of Animal, and later presented a commercial film A Werewolf Boy that shows an entirely different mood. In the film, you will also be able to see the whole new side of actor Koo Gyo Hwan, who showed incredible performances in Jane, Maggie, and recently-released Peninsula.


A Perfect Red Snapper Dish �” Director Na Hong Jin

Credit: Daum

It is a short film directed by Na Hong Jin, who made back-to-back hits with The Chaser, The Yellow Sea, and The Wailing. A Perfect Red Snapper Dish tells the story of an untalented chef receiving an order to cook a red snapper and putting all his passions in creating a perfect dish. Based on a solid script, the laughter drawn out from an ironic setting evokes an odd feeling. Also, despite its 10-minute running time, the perfect production is undoubtedly admirable. Nowadays, when eating and cooking shows became the new trend, director Na Hong Jin’s unique cooking film gives fresh stimulation.

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