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Korean Film News

BURNING Becomes 1st Korean Film Shortlisted for Foreign Language Film Oscar

Dec 21, 2018
  • Writerby Pierce Conran
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LEE Chang-dong Makes History for Korean Cinema


LEE Chang-dong’s BURNING has become the first ever Korean film to be shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the Academy Awards. The film is one of nine titles vying for a spot in the final five nominations in the category, which will be revealed on January 22. Other shortlisted titles include Alfonso CUARON’s Roma, KOREEDA Hirokazu’s Shoplifters and Pawel PAWLIKOWSKI’s Cold War.

Based on the short story ‘Barn Burning’ by MURAKAMI Haruki, BURNING stars YOO Ah-in as a poor young man with dreams of becoming a writer who meets by chance and becomes infatuated with an acquaintance (newcomer JUN Jong-seo) from his past. She asks him to mind her cat while she’s away and then introduces him to her new friend Ben (Steven YEUN) upon her return, an affluent young man with a mysterious hobby.

BURNING debuted to immediate acclaim in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The film earned the FIPRESCI Prize and Vulcan Award for the Technical Artist there and has continued to blaze a trail on the festival and awards circuit ever since. It has been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Award at 17 different awards groups to date, winning the prize from the Los Angeles and Toronto Film Critics Associations. The film has also drawn attention for Steven YEUN as a contender in the Best Supporting Actor race, after he won the Best Supporting Actor prizes also from the Los Angeles and Toronto groups.

Director LEE’s films have been selected as Korea’s official submissions to the Oscars twice before: Oasis in 2002 and Secret Sunshine in 2007. Other prominent official submissions over the years have included IM Kwon-taek’s Chunhyang (2000), BONG Joon-ho’s Mother (2009) and KIM Jee-woon’s The Age of Shadows (2016).
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