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Hong Sang-soo’s ‘By the Stream’ Acquired by Finecut Before Locarno Premiere

“By the Stream” (aka “Suyoocheon”), the latest work by prolific South Korean minimalist director Hong Sang-soo, has been picked up for international sales by Finecut.

The picture will have its world premiere in competition next month at the Locarno Film Festival.

No synopsis has been made available by Finecut or Hong’s production firm Jeonwonsa Film, but a press kit from the Locarno Film Festival describes the story as centered on a lecturer at a women’s university who asks her uncle, a blacklisted actor-director, to direct a skit at the university.

Hong is known for his micro-budget, minimalist drama films that emphasize conversation, chance encounters, and female protagonists. He prefers to work with a tight-knit circle of actors. This film features Kim Minhee, Kwon Haehyo, and Cho Young.

Hong’s previous film “A Traveler’s Needs,” an elliptical tale about a French teacher in Seoul, won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Award or second prize at the Berlin Film Festival in February this year.

Last year, Hong’s “In Water” played in Berlin’s Encounters section. That followed three successive years in which Hong has appeared in Berlin’s main competition, with: “The Woman Who Ran,” which earned Berlin’s Silver Bear for best director; the 2021 title “Introduction,” which won another Silver Bear for best screenplay at that year’s delayed festival; and “The Novelist’s Film,” which won a Grand Jury Prize in 2022.

Hong’s 2018 effort “Hotel by the River” previously played in Locarno.

Source: Variety