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(News Focus) S. Korean cinema comes up with successful collections of awards from renowned film fests

All News 05:57 May 29, 2022

By Kim Boram

SEOUL, May 29 (Yonhap) -- At this year's Cannes Film Festival that closed Saturday (French time), South Korea collected two titles -- Best Director for Park Chan-wook of "Decision to Leave" and Best Actor for Song Kang-ho of "Broker."

It is Park's third prize given by Cannes out of his four competition entries, while Song received his first Cannes' honor after visiting the festival seven times.

The two simultaneous prizes at Cannes this year made the presence of Korean cinema felt strongly on the global film scene again following Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite" awarded the highest honor of Palme d'Or in 2019.

In this Reuters photo. South Korean director poses after winning Best Director for the film "Decision to Leave" at the 75th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 28, 2022. (Yonhap)
In this AP photo, South Korean actor Song Kang-ho poses after winning Best Actor for the film "Broker" at the 75th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 28, 2022. (Yonhap)

The country's filmmakers started to knock on the door of the French film festival in 1984, when Lee Doo-yong's historical drama "Spinning Wheel" was played in the Un Certain Regard sidebar.

In 2002, renowned director Im Kwon-taek took the best director award with "Chihwaseon," which features a 19th-century Korean painter who changed the direction of Korean art, bringing home the nation's first Cannes' official trophy.

Two years later, Cannes' second-highest honor -- the Grand Prix -- went to Park's "Oldboy," helping the director rise to worldwide stardom. He also collected the Jury Prize, the third-highest honor at the French festival, for his 2009 horror movie "Thirst," becoming one of the most beloved directors at Cannes.

In 2007, Cannes granted Jeon Do-yeon the best actress award for her performance in "Secret Sunshine," while director Lee Chang-dong took home the best screenplay award in 2010 for his drama "Poetry."

In this Reuters photo, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho reacts after winning the Palme d'Or award for "Parasite" at the closing ceremony of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 25, 2019. (Yonhap)

Apart from their success in Cannes, meanwhile, South Korean films have fared even better at the Venice International Film Festival.

Back in 1987, the best actress award was given to Kang Soo-youn for her leading role in "The Surrogate Woman," directed by Im Kwon-taek.

Lee Chang-dong's "Oasis" and Kim Ki-duk's "3-Iron" won the Silver Lion for best direction in 2002 and 2004, respectively.

Finally, Kim made history when his drama "Pieta" won the Golden Lion for best movie at the 69th Venice Film Festival in 2012, becoming the first Korean film to attain a top prize from any of the world's three largest film festivals.

South Korean flicks have also made their presence felt at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Kim Ki-duk's "Samaritan Girl" earned the Silver Bear prize for best director at the 2004 festival, while Park Chan-wook won the Alfred Bauer Prize for his 2007 romantic comedy "I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK."

The festival presented the best actress award to Kim Min-hee for her role in "On the Beach at Night Alone" in 2017.


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