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Lee Young-ae to sit on Berlin Film Festival jury

2006/01/11 | Permalink | Source

Actress Lee Young-ae will sit on the jury bench of the International Berlin Film Festival next month as the first Korean juror in the prestigious competition.

The film festival committee asked Lee to sit on its international jury for the official competition that will decide the winner of the festival's main awards, including the Golden Bear Prize, her agent was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying.

This is the first time for a Korean actor or actress to be selected as a jury member of the international film festival. Overseas film festivals, including the Cannes and the Venice International Film Festivals, have tended to turn to China for Asian judges such as Maggie Chung and Gong Li.

Lee's role as the heroine of director Park Chan-wook's 2005 movie "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" seems to have left a strong impression on international audiences, leading to her jury status. Following "Old Boy", which won the Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm Award, the movie was director Park's final installment of his revenge-theme trilogy.

The 36-year-old actress has participated in the Berlin festival twice for her roles in Park's movies "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" last year and "JSA - Joint Security Area" in 2001.

Lee is also one of the main contributors to the ongoing Korean Wave with her role in the major hit MBC drama "Dae jang geum", which received an enthusiastic reaction from viewers throughout Asia.

Lee's agent received a complaint from the festival committee because the selection was publicized ahead of the committee's official announcement.

"The proposal came last September, but we didn't make it public for several months due to the committee's request", said Lee Joo-yeol, head of Door Entertainment. "I cannot understand how the news leaked".

Actress Lee will be judging about 20 films in the nine-member jury panel. The other jury members have not been announced yet.

British actress Charlotte Rampling, the heroine of "Swimming Pool", will head the international jury during the festival which will be held for 10 days beginning Feb. 9.

By Shin Hae-in

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