South Korean films won big at the 75th Cannes Film Festival held in France with actor Song Kang-ho taking home the best actor award for drama film Broker and director Park Chan-wook clinching the best director award for erotic crime film Decision to Leave.
Song Kang-ho, best known for his role in Academy Award-winning film Parasite, became the first Korean male actor to win an acting prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Song was recognized for his role in Broker, directed by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, where he played a well-meaning middleman, or “broker”, who sells babies that are abandoned in “baby boxes” to loving families.
Park’s win is his third prize at the Cannes Film Festival but his first director award. He is also only the second South Korean director to win the best director award at the festival, 20 years after Im Kwon-taek won for the historical drama Chihwaseon.
Park was previously recognized at the festival for his 2003 neo-noir thriller film Oldboy, which won the Grand Prix, the festival’s second-highest prize, and for the 2009 vampire film Thirst - a film that Song starred in - which won the Jury Prize.
Decision to Leave, starring Chinese star Tang Wei and Korean actor Park Hae-il centers around a detective who investigates a man’s death in the mountains when he falls for the man’s wife who is the prime suspect in the case.
Song and Park’s wins mark the first time South Korean films won two of the festival’s biggest awards in the same year, making a splash on its last day.
By Kim Yoo-tae, Kim Dae-gi, and Susan Lee
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