SEOUL - Hot from "Snowpiercer," Korean director Bong Joon-ho (pictured) is to turn executive producer on melodramatic thriller "Haemoo."

The film is directed by Shim Sung-bo, who was previously Bong's co-screenwriter on cult detective thriller "Memories of Murder," and here makes his helming debut.

Based on real events and adapted from a theater production, "Haemoo" tells the story of young crewman who tries to save a female immigrant being smuggled across the border when their fishing boat has an accident. The film's sales company Finecut pitches it as an "ultimate thriller that penetrates basic human nature with a story of sad romance."

The picture began production this month with pop idol Park Yu-chun in the lead, pitched against Kim Yoon-sok as the boat's captain. Made on a production budget of $6 million the film boasts "Snowpiercer" cinematographer Alex Hong, "The Thieves" production designer Lee Ha-jun and "G.I. Joe 2" martial arts coordinator Jung Doo-hong.

It will be pitched for pre-sales at next week's American Film Market and released in Korea by investor-distributor Next Entertainment World in spring 2014.

A similar Finecut-N.E.W. combination is also behind "Obsessed," an erotic romance set in 1969 at the end of the Vietnam War and starring "A Better Tomorrow" star Song Seung-heon. Production began this month under Kim Dae-woo, previously director of "The Servant" and writer of "Untold Scandal."


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