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Live in the Present & Plan for the Future

By Lee Gyu-lee

Poster for the film “Alienoid: Return to the Future” / Courtesy of CJ ENM

The sci-fi action film “Alienoid: Return to the Future,” the sequel to the 2022 blockbuster “Alienoid,” has been invited to two international film festivals — Italy’s Far East Film Festival (FEFF) and the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF).

The film’s distributor, CJ ENM, said Monday that both of the film series will be competing at this year’s FEFF, which will run from April 24 to May 2 in Udine, Italy.

The film’s director, Choi Dong-hoon, is expected to attend the film festival in Udine and engage with the audience.

“I am confident that this exciting story will garner a fandom in the West. Integrating various periods and genres, the ‘Alienoid’ series brings together science fiction, martial arts, mystery, comedy, drama, and top-notch action and will take the audience on a magical adventure,” Sabrina Baracetti, the director and co-founder of FEFF, said in a statement. “The best way to enjoy this movie is to watch both parts.”

FEFF, the largest film festival in Europe to promote Asian films, will feature 11 titles from Korea, including the recent smash-hit films “12.12: The Day,” “Exhuma” and the upcoming action film “The Roundup: Punishment.”

“Alienoid: Return to the Future” has also been invited to the 42nd BIFFF, which will be held from April 9 to 21 in Brussels. The film will be screened on April 13.

The festival, dedicated to acknowledging horror, thriller and science fiction films, is considered among the world’s most prestigious fantastic film festivals, along with the Sitges Film Festival in Spain and the Fantasporto Film Festival in Portugal.

Other Korean films invited to this year’s BIFFF include “Exhuma,” the upcoming thriller “4PM” and the horror film “The Sin.”

The star-studded action blockbuster film, which hit theaters in January, revolves around an android from 2022, Guard (Kim Woo-bin), who captures escaped alien criminals and his human daughter, Lee Ahn (Kim Tae-ri). While on the job to chase the criminals, a time portal opens, taking him and Lee to the 918–1392 Goryeo Kingdom.

After losing her dad and being stuck in time for 10 years, Lee fights to take over a legendary divine sword against Taoist magicians and save humanity.

Despite the high expectations set by its A-list cast, the first “Alienoid” film experienced a lukewarm reception at the box office, achieving just over 1.5 million ticket sales. Hopes were high that the sequel would outperform its predecessor with a more fast-paced plot and bigger action sequences, yet it similarly struggled to win over the hearts of moviegoers, selling only about 1.4 million tickets.

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