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Korean Filmmakers to Appear at Cannes

2009/04/24 | Permalink | Source

By Han Sang-hee
Staff Reporter

Top Korean movie directors have been invited to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival running from May 13 to 24.

The festival delegation announced the list of this year's competitors and jury members Thursday through the festival's official Web site ― they included Koreans Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho and Lee Chang-dong.

According to the list, Park's "Thirst" will vie for the Palme d'Or, the highest prize awarded to competing films at the event. This is the second time that one of Park's films has been nominated, the first being "Old Boy" in 2004. The movie won the Grand Prix at Cannes that year. The thriller "Thirst" tells the story of a priest who becomes a vampire and falls in love with his friend's wife. It's slated for release here on April 30.

"I've worked on experimental works, even in the past, when people worried about the local movie industry, and I'm happy that my hard work has been recognized", Park said.

Fellow filmmaker Bong will also join Park at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section with his new film "Mother - 2009". Bong won the award for Best Director at the 2007 Oporto International Film Festival for his monster film "The Host" (2006). This is his third invitation to the event. Mother stars veteran Korean actress Kim Hye-ja as a distressed mother who fights to prove her son's innocence against false charge of homicide. The film is slated for release in May.

Meanwhile, Lee Chang-dong ("Secret Sunshine", 2007) will be part of the jury, headed by French actress Isabelle Huppert, Taiwanese actress Shu Qi and American director James Gray. Lee's "Secret Sunshine" was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2007, while "Oasis" (2002) won the Special Director's Award at the Venice Film Festival in 2003.

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