South Korean actor Song Kang-ho has been awarded the Excellence Award at the 72nd Locarno International Film Festival, becoming the first Asian actor to earn the honor. Since 2004, the Swiss film festival has given the special award to actors and actresses whose work contributed to the growth of the international cinema industry. Past recipients include world-famous stars including Susan Sarandon, John Malkovich, and Isabelle Huppert.
“It’s an honor to receive this great, meaningful award from the time-honored Locarno Film Festival,” Song said at an awards ceremony held Monday (local time) in Locarno, Switzerland. “I’m grateful that this place is filled with traces of world-renowned actors and actresses,” the 52-year-old actor said. He voiced his hope that this could serve as a comfort to numerous global artists, who are following their passion, being unafraid of hardships.
The ceremony was also attended by director Bong Joon-ho. After expressing his gratitude to directors Park Chan-wook, Lee Chang-dong, and Kim Jee-woon, Song said, “I want to give this trophy to Bong Joon-ho, who is my longtime friend and the great, proud artist of South Korea.” Bong congratulated the actor, saying that the four films they worked on together would not have been made without Song.
Seo-Hyun Lee firstname.lastname@example.org