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“Iron Mask” wins Best Picture at LEAFF

LONDON (ANN/THE KOREAN HERALD) – South Korean Director Kim Sung-hwan’s first feature film, “Iron Mask,” emerged victorious by securing the Best Picture award at the London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF), as announced by the film’s distributor, The Coup Distribution on Monday.

Established in 2016, LEAFF has set its mission to foster collaboration in East Asian filmmaking, transcending the boundaries of cultural and cinematic norms within the region.

The festival serves as a platform for cinematic exchange, bringing together a diverse array of films from over 13 countries, including Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

In the competition, “Iron Mask” faced off against fellow nominees, including “Hopeless” by another emerging director from Korea, Kim Chang-hoon, Yusuke Morii’s “Amiko,” Fu Tien-yu’s “Day Off,” and several other exceptional entries.

A promotional poster of “Iron Mask” distributed by The Coup Distribution. PHOTO: The Coup Distribution via ANN/THE KOREAN HERALD

“Iron Mask” unfolds the story of Jae-woo, portrayed by the renowned “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” star, Joo Jong-hyuk. Jae-woo, who secures a spot on the national kendo team, confronts Tae-su (Moon Jin-seung), the man responsible for his older brother’s demise in his childhood. The film vividly illustrates Jae-woo’s internal turmoil as he faces Tae-su, an opponent seemingly invincible. The inability to overcome Tae-su becomes an overwhelming challenge for Jae-woo.

This accomplishment comes on the heels of “Iron Mask” earning two awards, including the Best Picture accolade at the 27th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival.

The film’s recognition extended globally as it was nominated to compete in the rookie directors’ section at the 47th Sao Paulo International Film Festival.

“Iron Mask” is set to premiere in South Korean theaters on November 15, offering audiences a compelling cinematic experience.