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Director Bong's interpreter Choi to get prestigious diplomacy award

Art/Culture 11:05 July 01, 2020

By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, July 1 (Yonhap) -- Choi Sung-jae, known for her eloquent interpretation for director Bong Joon-ho of the Oscar-winning film "Parasite," was set to receive an annual diplomacy award in Seoul on Wednesday for her role in enhancing South Korea's national image, foreign ministry officials said.

Choi, better known as Sharon Choi, has been selected as a winner of this year's YoungSan Diplomat Award that the nonprofit Seoul Forum for International Affairs gives to a public official and a civilian each year for their contribution to improving Korea's image and diplomatic interests.

In this photo released by the Associated Press, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (L) speaks at the National Board of Review Awards gala in New York for winning the best foreign language film for "Parasite" on Jan. 8, 2020. His interpreter Sharon Choi stands next to him. (Yonhap)

Before Bong's black comedy "Parasite" won four Oscar awards, including the best picture, in February, Choi played a pivotal role in translating the director's messages for the world audience and media, which were replete with pithy punchlines.

Among Bong's sound bites that Choi translated to resonate with many moviegoers was "Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films."

Known as a young filmmaker without professional interpretation training, Choi had accompanied Bong in media interviews and award ceremonies to translate his oft-nuanced remarks about a class struggle in a capitalist society, a key theme of "Parasite," and what the movie's success meant for Korea's film industry.

Kang Hyung-sik, head of the foreign ministry's international safety management bureau, was also selected as the recipient of the award. He has played a key role in helping South Korean citizens return home safely from coronavirus-hit countries.

Kang Hyung-sik, head of the foreign ministry's international safety management bureau, speaks during a press briefing at the government complex in Sejong, 130 kilometers south of Seoul, on Feb. 18, 2020. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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