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THE FIRST LAP Earns Best Emerging Director Prize in Locarno

Aug 18, 2017
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
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Triumph in Switzerland for KIM Dae-hwan

KIM Dae-hwan’s second feature The First Lap has won the Best Emerging Director prize from the Filmmakers of the Present Competition at the recently concluded 70th edition of the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. The film also received a Special Mention in the Junior Jury Awards.

The film stars KIM Saebyuk (The Day After) and CHO Hyun-chul (Tunnel) as an unmarried couple that have been together for seven years and who face pressure from their families at the same time as they face an unplanned pregnancy.

The First Lap was one of this year’s Jeonju Cinema Projects and had its world premiere at the Jeonju International Film Festival in the spring. Locarno was the project’s international debut. It was the only Korean film at this year’s edition.

Director KIM debuted with the equally well regarded End of Winter in 2014, which picked up the New Currents prize at the Busan International Film Festival before debuting internationally at the Berlin International Film Festival the following year.

Two Korean films have earned the festival’s top prize, the Golden Leopard, in the past: BAE Yong-kyun’s Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? in 1989 and HONG Sangsoo’s Right Now, Wrong Then in 2015. HONG also picked up a Silver Leopard for Best Director for Our Sunhi in 2013.
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