[Newsmaker] Hong Sang-soo wins Best Director at Locarno

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Aug 18, 2013 - 20:55
  • Updated : Aug 18, 2013 - 20:55

Director Hong Sang-soo, winner of the Best Director award at this year’s Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. (Locarno International Film Festival)
Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s latest film “Our Sunhi” has nabbed the filmmaker the Best Director award at this year’s Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. The award marks Hong’s first win at the annual film fest, which was held Aug. 7-17.

“Our Sunhi” is Hong’s 15th film, starring actress Jeong Yoo-mi and actors Lee Sun-kyun and Jung Jae-young. It tells the story of a young film studies graduate student named Sun-hi, who is about to leave for the United States to continue her studies. The main plot revolves around Sun-hi visiting three men in her life ― one of her professors, an ex-boyfriend and a director who is also a school alumnus.

Many of Hong’s films have received critical acclaim for the director/screenwriter’s portrayal and depictions of everyday human relationships. Although most of his works cannot be considered commercially successful, the 52-year-old filmmaker ― who is also one of the most well-known Korean directors in the international film world ― has received many international awards for his low budget art house films.

Hong began his film career at Chungang University in Korea, before moving to the States where he received his Bachelor’s degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his Master’s from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Hong made his official directorial debut at age 35 with “The Day a Pig Fell into a Well” in 1996. That same year he won five awards, including three for best new director.

Earlier this year, Hong’s film “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon” was screened at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival. His 2010 film “Hahaha” won the Prix Un Certain Regard at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, and “In Another Country” competed for the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)