‘Night Fishing’ brings home Golden Bear

By Park Min-young
  • Published : Feb 20, 2011 - 19:05
  • Updated : Feb 20, 2011 - 19:05

Park brothers’ iPhone-shot short film wins award at Berlinale

South Korea’s highly acclaimed director Park Chan-wook and his younger brother, media artist Park Chan-kyong, captured a Golden Bear at Berlin International Film Festival for their first collaboration. 
Director Park Chan-kyong receives the Golden Bear award of the International Short Film Jury for the film “Night Fishing,” which he co-directed with his brother Park Chan-wook, at the Berlin International Film Festival held at Grand Hyatt in Berlin on Saturday. 
(AFP-Yonhap News)

The film “Night Fishing,” the first film the Park brothers have made together, won the top prize of the festival’s International Short Film Jury at the awards ceremony held at Grand Hyatt in Berlin, Germany on Saturday.

The 61st festival ran from Feb. 10 to 20 and showcased 22 films in its main program including 16 in the run for the Golden and Silver Bears in the competition categories.

A total of nine Korean films were invited to the festival, including three listed under the competition section ― “Night Fishing,” “Broken Night,” which won the second prize in the shorts section, and “Come Rain, Come Shine.”

“Night Fishing” is a fantasy film about a middle-age man (Oh Gwang-rok), who accidentally catches the body of a female shaman (Lee Jung-hyun) while fishing at night. The 30-minute piece was shot entirely with an iPhone 4.

The Park brothers have launched a co-directing brand called “PARKing CHANce” for this film. The younger Park hinted after the awards ceremony that the two will be collaborating more in the future.

“I was so happy to hear that three juries did a secret ballot and it was unanimous. You never know when you will get a ‘parking chance’ when you are driving, but I will do (another collaboration with my brother), when I get the chance,” said Park.

Only the younger Park, actor Oh and actress Lee attended the ceremony because Park Chan-wook is currently in the U.S., working on his next movie, “Stoker.”

Mia Waskiowska is to play a key role in Park’s first English-language movie and more Hollywood stars including Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth are reported to be in talks to star in the film as well. The movie is expected to be released in the U.S. next year.

For the older Park who is already internationally established for his award-winning films “Old Boy” and “Thirst,” this is his second win at the festival. He won the festival’s Alfred-Bauer award for the movie “I’m a Cyborg But That’s OK” in 2007.

The Silver Bear of the fete’s shorts section also went to a Korean film ― director Yang Hyo-Joo’s “Broken Night.” The movie, which tells a story of an unlucky young insurance fraudster, had won the Sunje Fund Award at Pusan International Film Festival last year.
Director Yang Hyo-joo poses with the Silver Bear award of the International Short Film Jury for her film “Broken Night” at the Berlin International Film Festival held at Grand Hyatt in Berlin on Saturday. (AP-Yonhap News)

“Come Rain, Come Shine,” a feature-length film which was the only Asian contender for the festival’s Golden Bear top prize, however, was not well received by the jury and critics, despite its prominent cast of heart-throb Hyun Bin and Im Soo-jeong.

Directed by Lee Yoon-ki, the slow-paced movie tells the story of a young couple who have been married five years facing a split.

The film “Nader and Simin: A Separation,” an Iranian family drama directed by Asghar Farhadi, won the festival’s Golden Bear for Best Film. Silver Bear Prizes for Best Actor and Best Actress also went to those who starred in the film ― Peyman Moadi, Ali Asghar Shahbazi, Babak Karimi, Sareh Bayat, Sarina Farhadi and Leila Hatami.

The feature-length film blends religious and social conflicts of Iran into a story about a crumbling marriage. Farhadi had also won a Best Director prize for the film “About Elly” at the festival in 2009.

The Silver Bear’s Jury Grand Prix went to Hungarian director Bela Tarr’s “The Turin House” and the Silver Bear for Best Director to German film-maker Ulrich Kohler for the movie “Sleeping Sickness.”

By Park Min-young  (claire@heraldcorp.com)