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Korean Film Fest set for Manila, Baguio and Cebu

Korean Film Festival 'Family Time' poster Celebrating the cultural similarities between Filipinos and Koreans when it comes to close family ties, the embassy of the Republic of Korea chose "Family Time" as the theme of this year's Korean Film Festival.

The annual filmfest, sponsored by the Korean Cultural Center, will feature seven movies that will be shown starting Sept. 18 at the SM Mall of Asia in Manila before being shown in Baguio and Cebu.

It's an event anticipated by local filmmakers and fans. The Korean film industry has grown in leaps and bounds in the past few years, with "Pieta" being recent proof of its position in the world stage. The movie by Kim Ki-duk won the Golden Lion for Best Film at the 69th Venice Film Festival.

The top-grossing movies that will screen, free of charge, are the following:

"Spellbound," a romantic comedy with horror elements starring the beautiful actress Son Ye Jin ("Personal Taste," "April Snow"). It's about a road magician and his muse who is haunted by ghosts.

"Jeon Woo Chi," the story of a playful apprentice who gets imprisoned in a scroll. He is set free 500 years later.

"Bunt," a survival story of a mentally challenged child who initially fills drinking water from a kettle. His task is soon overshadowed by the arrival of a water purifier.

"A Barefoot Dream," a sports drama about a former soccer prospect who goes for his dreams of joining the International Youth Soccer Championships despite hindrances.

"Late Blossom," the heartwarming story of two couples who live close to each other.

"Arahan," about  a police rookie who's honest yet klutzy.

"Highway Star," a musical comedy about  a singer who dreams of becoming a rock star but is forced to play trot to make ends meet.

The Manila leg of the 2012 Korean Film Festival will run from September 18 to 23 at the SM Megamall. The festival will also head to SM City Baguio on September 26 to 30, and SM City Cebu on October 3 to 7.

Admission is free and is on a first-come, first-served basis. For the full festival schedule, visit the Korean Cultural Center website.

Catherine Deen blogs for Yahoo! Philippines OMG! She lives, eats and breathes Korean music, cuisine, telenovelas, and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter @cathsdeen.

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