Bechdel Day 2023, dedicated to recognizing works that exemplify gender equality in the Korean cinematic landscape, unveiled this year’s “Bechdel Choice 10.”
Making the coveted list are independent films like The Apartment With Two Women, Next Sohee, Dream Palace, Kim Min-young of the Report Card and Netflix originals like Kill Boksoon and Jung_E. Widely loved films with powerful female leads, such as Soulmate and Phantom, join the lineup. Additionally, riding on the success of its prequel, the comic series Honest Candidate 2 and the sci-fi blockbuster Alienoid directed by Choi Dong Hoon have also made the cut.
While last year’s Bechdel Choice 10 saw six independent films and four commercial ones, this year, commercial movies have upped their representation, securing six spots. A prominent theme this year includes diversified roles of female protagonists, as seen in Kill Boksoon, Alienoid, Phantom, and Jung_E. Films like The Apartment With Two Women, Dream Palace, Kim Min-young of the Report Card, and Soulmate delve deep into relationships between women, offering layered insights.
Lee Hwa Jung, a programmer for Bechdel Day 2023, stated, “The works chosen this year not only achieve gender balance but also embody freshness and innovation in storytelling, effectively resonating with the audience. The balanced perspective of creators on gender equality has once again raised the quality bar for Korean cinema both this year and last.”
For the film segment of Bechdel Day 2023, a panel reviewed 120 theatrical and OTT originals. Criteria for selection encompassed: 1) At least two named female characters; 2) These characters converse with each other; 3) Their discussions aren’t solely about a male character; 4) At least one among the director, producer, screenwriter, or cinematographer is a female filmmaker; 5) The movie either has a sole female protagonist or equal representation between male and female leads; 6) The movie avoids discriminatory views on minorities; 7) Female characters aren’t depicted as mere stereotypes. Esteemed judges, including Shin Hye Yeon from Insight Film, film critic Joo Sung Chul from CinePlay, Kim Dong Hyun, executive chairman of the Seoul Independent Film Festival, and Kim Mi Jo, the director of Gull, participated in the screening.
Bechdel Day 2023 will soon announce its Bechdelian awards, divided into four categories – director, writer, actor, and producer – spotlighting notable figures in both film and series, following last year’s introduction of the Bechdel Choice 10 for series.
Source: Directors Guild of Korea