Nongshim America INC

International Premiere

The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra

Directed by Syeyoung Park

Hosted by Director and Screenwriter, Syeyoung Park.



Park Syeyoung


Park Syeyoung


Jung Sumin, Haam Seokyoung, Moon Hyein, Jihyeon Park, Seungki Jung, Oh Jeongyeon



South Korea 2022 62 mins OV Korean Subtitles : English
Genre DramaHorrorFantasy

Long classified as merely a sub-species of plants, molds and fungi have captured the imagination of scientists in recent years. Far more sophisticated and far-reaching than ever imagined, fungi not only stand out as nearly indestructible but are possibly the absolute rulers of our planet. In his feature debut, THE FIFTH THORACIC VERTEBRA, South Korean filmmaker Park Syeyoung tells the story of mold left behind on a mattress after a couple splits. Structured around a countdown to a mysterious birth, the film follows the life of the mold as it slowly grows into a creature that steals the vertebrae of humans who inhabit the bed. A movie filled with deep longing and even deeper loneliness, it captures the wistfulness of young love lost and the monster of despair that emerges from that sense of abandonment.

THE FIFTH THORACIC VERTEBRA presents a unique monster movie that embraces soft-romanticism and new lifeforms' fuzzy strangeness. Rather than adopt a uniquely human point of view, the film imagines a world of sounds and textures from the perspective of another form of life. As this ever-evolving mold slowly takes over the heartbroken mattress and eventually flees the confines imposed by the hard-stitching and overworn stuffing of its birthplace, we witness the birth of one era and the end of another. With a dreamy score and electric visual identity, it’s quietly romantic and captures with soft acceptance the finite control humanity has over their lives and, ultimately, the planet itself. With THE FIFTH THORACIC VERTEBRA, Park Syeyoung emerges on the international stage as a talent to be watched, offering a unique and tender perspective about the most important thing; love (and mold). – Justine Smith