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'Crossing' to Represent Korea for Oscar

2008/08/07 | Permalink | Source

By Lee Hyo-won
Staff Reporter

The North Korean defector movie "Crossing" will represent South Korean cinema as a possible competitor in the foreign film section at the 81st Academy Awards, the Korean Film Council announced Thursday.

"The seven jury members decided, after a two-day debate from July 30 to Aug. 1, to submit `Crossing' for the competition spot in the foreign language film section of the Academy Awards", said the council. The film's publicist, Coming Soon, also confirmed the news.

"Crossing" beat other big Korean films "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" and "The Chaser", both of which were shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The nation's first movie tackling the issue of North Korean refugees was judged, considering its international appeal and potential to draw more public attention to the pressing issue, to be most appropriate, said Han Sang-joon, head of the jury.

Last year, Lee Chang-dong's "Secret Sunshine", which gave Jeon Do-yeon the Best Actress Award at Cannes, did not make the nomination list for the Oscar. Since veteran director Shin Sang-ok's 1963 film "Mother and a Guest' tried to make the competition pool. Others including Kim Ki-duk's "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring" and Lee Joon-ik's "The King and the Clown" followed but none made the final cut.

"Crossing" stars top actor Cha In-pyo as a father who crosses the border to China and becomes forever separated from his family. It was first shown in April at the North Korea Freedom Coalition meeting held in Washington D.C.

In July, the film was screened at the European Union Parliament in Brussels. A group of some 50 South Korean bicyclists took the film across Europe, from the Netherlands to Germany, as part of a campaign hosted by Justice for North Korea, an organization devoted to human rights issues.

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