Korean films win big at Cannes 2022, bagging Best Actor and Best Director

The films ‘Broker’ and ‘Decision to Leave’ made history at the annual film festival

Korean films Broker and Decision to Leave have made history at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, marking the first time two Korean works have won at the same ceremony.

The upcoming Korean films Broker and Decision To Leave have both taken home one award each at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, marking the first time two Korean films have won an award at the festival in the same year.

South Korean actor Song Kang-ho, who rose to international prominence in Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite in 2019, took home the Best Actor award for his role in Broker, which was directed by Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda. This makes Song the second Korean, after Jeon Do-yeon for 2007’s Secret Sunshine to win the award, and the first Korean male actor to do so.

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During his acceptance speech, the 55-year-old actor thanked director Hirokazu Kore-eda, along with his Broker co-stars Gang Dong-won, IU, Lee Joo-young and Bae Doo-na. “I’m glad as this feels like a great gift to my lovely family who came here with me. I dedicate the honour of this trophy and the endless love [to them],” he said, per The Korea Times.

Later that same night, South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook won Best Director for his new mystery noir film Decision To Leave, starring Tang Wei and Park Hae-il. This made Park the second Korean director to win the award, and his third time receiving a prize at the film festival, according to The Korea Times.

“The film industry was suddenly met with an era marked by empty theatres. But this was also a chance for all of us to recognise how precious these movie houses are,” said Park during his acceptance speech, where he discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the industry.

“Just like how we have hope and power to overcome this disease, I believe that we cineastes can defend theatres and films for good,” he added.

Park had previously received the Grand Prix for his 2003 thriller Oldboy, as well as the Jury Prize for his 2009 horror film Thirst, the latter of which which notably starred Song in its leading role.

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