Big Budget ‘Bogota’ Adorns Megabox Plus M’s Busan Sales Slate

Bogota: City of the Lost,” one of the most expensive Korean films ever made, heads the sales slate presented at Busan by Megabox Plus M, part of Korea’s J Contentree listed company.

Crime noir, “Bogota” took 21 months to produce and saw its principal photography start in January 2020 but soon become a victim of COVID. Song Joong Ki (“Space Sweepers”) stars as a young man moving to Colombia with his family for a better life, but he ends up living from hand to mouth. He later goes against all odds to dominate Bogota’s black market. The picture also stars Lee Hee-jun (“The Drug King”) and was directed by Kim Seong-je (“The Unfair”).

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It is also pitching “Don’t Buy The Seller,” a thriller directed by Kim Hee-gon (“Fengshui”) that might make one rethink the purchase of second-hand items via online apps. Shin Hae-sun plays the protagonist who reports the seller of a broken washing machine to the police, only to realize he’s a psychopathic serial killer. 

Both titles were launched by the company at the Cannes Market, a reflection of the continuing burden placed on Korean film companies by the pandemic and its damage to the theatrical sector. And neither yet have confirmed Korean release dates.

Of the nine titles it has in the works, six were shot before or during COVID, while just three were filmed this year. “We have presented several older materials from Cannes 2022,”Oh Dabin, deputy manager of international sales at Megabox Plus M, told Variety.

“COVID is not over yet. Although the cinemas in Korea seem to be back in business, we are being extra careful when deciding on the release date,” said Oh.

This year’s works include “Seoul Spring,” a political drama film based on a true event after the assassination of President Park. The attempted coup leads to a conflict between military leaders. A star-studded male cast includes Hwang Jung Min (“Hunt”), Jung Woo Sung (“A Man of Reason”), Lee Sung-min (“The Man Standing Next”), Park Hae-joon (“Emergency Declaration”) and Kim Sung-kyun (“Sinkhole”).

Also on the list are: “Resonance” is a story of two musicians in their heyday until fate drives them apart. Jin Sun-kyu (“Space Sweepers”) and Kim Dong-hee (Netflix series “Extracurricular”); and “Escape,” an action drama film set in a North Korean military camp in which a sergeant planning to escape to the south is stopped by his comrades.

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