It might seem strange to describe a 12-minute film as epic yet that’s exactly what Korean writer and director Kiyun Sung delivers with his upcoming short film “The Destined King”. The first Korean fusion historical film to be made in the US “The Destined King” offersplenty of drama and action- packed fighting featuring a blend of nifty wushu-esque fu-fighting and exciting sword play.
An old master is urged by his young charge Yong-Mi (Elly Han) to tell her an exciting story to pass the time away on their long journey. The master recalls the story of the Destined King, the tale of Yushin (Hugh Cha) a warrior fleeing his war-torn city and charged with protecting an infant destined to become king. Along the way he encounters former student Sanggun(Christopher Kim) responsible for the city’s destruction and intent on killing the child so that he can seize the throne for himself.
Fans of historical martial arts action will enjoy the ever present familiar features including mystical prophecies, the burden of destiny and, in the film’s fight scene the classic standoff between a master and his former student. Kiyun Sung and fight choreographer Joey Min fill the compact battle with some flashy high flying wushu-style kicks that pack a wallop together with some impressive displays of the Korean sword art Kumdo.
Originally derived from the Japanese sword art of Kendo, Kumdo was introduced into Korea by the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai, an organisation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Japanese martial disciplines in 1896. Although they use the same terminology and equipment, Kumdo places more emphasis on movement featuring a variety of spinning manoeuvres compared to Kendo which favours an economy of movement. These spinning movements feature prominently in the film’s fight scene giving the sword play an exciting dynamic quality. Check out what Joey Min has to say about the art of film fighting;
“The Destined King” is currently touring film festivals around the world raising eyebrows and earning recognition including “Best Fight Choreography” for Joey Min as well as “Best Short Film” at the 2015 Urban Action Showcase. If you are in Dallas, Texas then you can see and enjoy the action at the Dallas Asian Film Festival on July 17th 2016, the full version will be available to view in September!