(ATTN: ADDS Park's acceptance speech in paras 5-7, new photo)
CANNES, France, May 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook was named Best Director at this year's Cannes Film Festival on Saturday for his romance "Decision to Leave."
Park received the honor at the awarding ceremony for the 75th edition of the festival held at Palais Lumiere in Cannes.
It is also his third prize given by Cannes, following the Grand Prix, the second-highest prize at the festival, for his thriller "Oldboy" in 2003 and the Jury Prize, the No. 3 honor, for the horror "Thirst" in 2009.
And Park became the second South Korean director to win the category, following renowned filmmaker Im Kwon-taek for the historical drama "Chihwaseon" in 2002.
In his acceptance speech, he praised the global film industry for overcoming the yearslong COVID-19 pandemic.
"Fans didn't visit movie theaters, but it was the time that we were aware of the value of cinema," he said. "As we have hope and power to overcome this pandemic, I believe that we cineaste will keep theaters and cinema for good."
And he did not forget to thank his main actors -- Park Hae-il and Tang Wei -- saying "Most of all, my love to Park and Tang is beyond expression."
Starring Chinese actress Tang Wei of "Lust, Caution" (2007) and Korean actor Park Hae-il of "Memories of Murder" (2003), "Decision to Leave" is about a detective who suspects a mysterious widow in a murder case and later becomes interested in her.