Back To Top

US documentary film on NK, ‘Assassins’ accepted as art film after reevaluation

Poster for film ″Assassins″ expected to be released on theaters starting August (Watcha-The Coup-Kth)
Poster for film ″Assassins″ expected to be released on theaters starting August (Watcha-The Coup-Kth)
The 104-minute documentary film on the 2017 murder case of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half brother Kim Jong-nam has been approved as an art film after reevaluation by the South Korean film authority.

The local importers and distributers of the film -- The Coup, Watcha and Kth -- announced Tuesday that the Korean Film Council has officially confirmed the film now qualifies art movie status.

“Assassins” had initially been informed of its denial as an art film by KOFIC on May 17. Two weeks later, the distributors jointly sent an application for a reevaluation.

The eligibility for an art film in South Korea should meet four factors, according to KOFIC: aesthetic value; creative theme, message and expression; showing lives of others rarely depicted in the domestic realm; and contributing to cultural exchange and diversity.

Local distributor The Coup on June 11 spoke to The Korea Herald on the difficulties of having to compete with popular commercial films and blockbusters at theaters, after the initial denial from KOFIC.

Upon hearing the result of the appeal, the distributors announced Tuesday that the “Assassins” case will hopefully serve as a pillar for improving future classification standards and the evaluation process of independent and art films in South Korea.

“There was no way to find out how the film was denied art movie status in the initial evaluation, but we do respect the council’s decision,” the local distributors jointly commented.

Directed by Ryan White and produced by Greenwich Entertainment, “Assassins” was delayed from its June release in local theaters, and will be shown from August.

By Kim Hae-yeon (