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Popular short films get adapted for cinema, streaming series

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Posters for Tving's new series
Posters for Tving's new series "Bargain," left, and film "Daemuga" / Courtesy of Tving, Cookie Pictures

By Lee Gyu-lee

A string of well-received short films are getting picked up and adapted for film and streaming series.

Tving's upcoming original series "Bargain," scheduled to hit its streaming service in October, is based on the short film of the same name which came out in 2015.

The 14-minute short film, led by filmmaker Lee Chung-hyeon, who is known for helming the thriller "The Call," is about a school girl and a man meeting to engage in sexual conduct for a fee. The man then tries to negotiate the price but it turns out that the girl lured him to the motel to steal and sell his organs.

The film garnered acclaim, notching several awards at film festivals including the Busan International Short Film Festival and Korean Film Festival in Paris.

The new adaptation, starring Jin Seon-kyu and Jun Jong-seo, will pick up on the original short film's plot and develop it into what happened after the original short film's ending. Amid the negotiation, the man (Jin) and the young woman (Jun) encounter an earthquake which puts them into a perilous situation where they need to find a way to survive.

Another short film "Daemuga," led by director Lee Han-jong, has been made into a feature film, keeping its original name and is slated to hit local theaters on Oct. 12.

This will be Lee Han-jong's first feature film debut. The film has a mixture of genres, containing elements of comedy, drama and even thriller. It revolves around three shamans ― Seung-joon (Park Sung-woong), Chung-dam (Yang Hyun-min) and Shin-nam (Ryu Gyeong-soo).

The three completely different shamans are put up against each other to perform the exorcism to gain vast sums of money.

These are not the first short films to be picked up and adapted. Netflix's sci-fi original series "The Silent Sea," released last December, was also made from the series director's previous 40-minute film "The Sea of Tranquility" in 2014.

The sci-fi film, about a clinical pathologist traveling back to the moon to find out about her sister's death, caught the eye of actor and producer Jung Woo-sung and was adapted into an eight-part series, starring Gong Yoo and Bae Doo-na.

Set in the year 2075, when Earth has become almost uninhabitable, a group of astronauts, including biologist Song Ji-an (Bae) and the team's leader, Han Yoon-jae (Gong), are sent to retrieve samples from an abandoned research facility on the moon.

The series made it into the third spot on the global streaming chart after its release.

Lee Gyu-lee

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