American movie director Jeff Nichols, on the jury for the 75th Cannes Film Festival, announced this year’s Best Actor Award at a closing ceremony on Saturday (local time) at Grand Lumière Theater in Cannes, France. It was a new chapter in South Korean movie history that was written by actor Song Kang-ho. Clinching the best actor prize in Cannes for South Korean film “Broker” directed by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, Song has become the first South Korean actor who won acting prizes in the world’s top three film festivals in Cannes, Berlin and Venice.
"Merci beaucoup,” he said in French on stage trying to stay calm. He went on to express his gratitude toward his crew members, staff and family, saying in Korean, “I’d like to share this honorable moment. My thanks go to Mr. Kore-eda. This is for fans of South Korean movies.”
Twenty minutes later, South Korean director Park Chan-wook came on stage to receive the Best Director Award for “Decision to Leave” on his return to Cannes in six years. This year became the first time in the Cannes Film Festival’s history since 1946 that South Korean movies received two awards at the same time. Incredibly, Park and Song, considered the director’s persona, were awarded on the same stage for different films. The audience at the ceremony applauded Park as he said that COVID-19 taught him what theaters mean to him.
Since Im Kwon-taek’s “Chihwasun” brought him the Best Director Award in 2002, South Korean movies have successfully been awarded all seven major awards in competition in Cannes. “South Korea scoops record awards haul,” reported The Guardian. Some local media assessed that the event turned into a festival of South Korean movies thanks to growing popularity of K-content.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol delivered a congratulatory message to Song and Park. He wrote to Song, “Your excellent acting will leave a legacy in film history, taking our sense of pride for South Korea’s cultural and artistic capabilities to the next level. In the meantime, he wrote Park, “You reaffirmed how South Korean movies are originally creative and highly competitive.”
Hyo-Ju Son email@example.com