The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has unanimously chosen the disaster epic Concrete Utopia to represent South Korea in the selection for Best International Feature Film at the 2024 Academy Awards.
In a statement on their official website, KOFIC said that they tried to select “a film that is Korean, yet aims for a global standard, strikes a good balance between artistry and popularity, and appeals without resistance to the Academy Awards.” The judges unanimously selected Concrete Utopia “as it seems to be able to appeal to North America without being unfamiliar with the trend of K-culture and K-movie.”
Directed by Um Tae-hwa, Concrete Utopia is loosely based on Part 2 of the hit webtoon “Joyful Outcast” (“Pleasant Neighbors”) and stars an ensemble of A-list Korean actors including Lee Byung-hun, Park Seo-jun, Park Bo-young, Park Ji-hu, Kim Do-yoon and Kim Sun-young. It is a disaster thriller about the aftermath of a devastating earthquake. The film will follow the story that begins when the survivors gather at Hwang Gung Apartments, the only building left standing in an earthquake-ravaged Seoul.
Concrete Utopia is a sobering parable, following its characters’ gradual descent into ruthless tribalism in a way that eerily mirrors so many contemporary global events.
Watch the main trailer:
The 2024 Academy Awards will be held on March 10, 2024. The final list of nominees for Best International Feature Film will be announced on January 23. Prior to the Oscars, the acclaimed South Korean film will have its North American premiere and gala presentation at the 48th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 9.
TIFF is also delighted to announce that Concrete Utopia stars Lee Byung-hun (Inside Men, Mr. Sunshine, Squid Game) and Park Seo-jun (Itaewon Class, Midnight Runners, What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim) will be participating in the festival’s audience-pleasing “In Conversation With…” series, which features in-depth conversations with film artists, writers and cultural figures about their creative process.
Concrete Utopia, which opened at #1 in Korea on August 9, will open in Philippine cinemas September 20.
About Concrete Utopia
In Concrete Utopia, the world has been reduced to rubble by a massive earthquake.
While no one knows for sure how far the ruins stretch, or what the cause of the earthquake may be, in the heart of Seoul there is only one apartment building left standing. It is called Hwang Gung Apartments.
As time passes, outsiders start coming in to Hwang Gung Apartments trying to escape the extreme cold. Before long, the apartment residents are unable to cope with the increasing numbers. Feeling a threat to their very survival, the residents enact a special measure.