The Korea Herald


“Beasts Clawing at Straws” wins jury award at Rotterdam

By Choi Ji-won

Published : Feb. 3, 2020 - 16:03

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“Beasts Clawing at Straws” (Megabox Joongang Plus M) “Beasts Clawing at Straws” (Megabox Joongang Plus M)

Crime noir film “Beasts Clawing at Straws” has won the special jury award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

The first feature from director Kim Yong-hoon nabbed the award at this year’s Rotterdam Tiger Competition, where up-and-coming international filmmakers compete with their debut pieces, the movie’s distributor Megabox Joongang Plus M announced Monday.

The jury for the Tiger Competition also honored “The Cloud in Her Room” by Zheng Lu Xinyuan. The Tiger Award comes with prize money of 40,000 euros ($44,300), while the special jury award doles out 10,000 euros.

The jury described Kim‘s film as “a strong first film which is resolutely inscribed in an existing genre but demonstrates undeniable craftsmanship -- from the screenplay to the performance to the temporal flexibility of structure.”

“Beasts Clawing at Straws” revolves around eight people struggling to grab a bag of cash, driven by different desires, but all aiming for what they believe is the last, best chance in their lives. The story is based on Keisuke Sone’s Japanese novel of the same title.

“Beasts Clawing at Straws” poster (Megabox Joongang Plus M) “Beasts Clawing at Straws” poster (Megabox Joongang Plus M)

Cannes-winning actress Jeon Do-yeon and actor Jung Woo-sung appeared together for the first time in the movie -- Jeon as a woman who deceives her lover for money, and Jung as the scorned lover seeking revenge.

Renowned actor Bae Sung-woo stars as the man who first discovers the central Louis Vuitton bag filled with cash, while actress Youn Yuh-jung plays the man’s elderly mother.

“Rotterdam has gifted me with so many special first moments. I met my first audience at the festival’s premiere and I was given the first prize in life. I’m grateful to the organizers for making my first experiences so beautiful,” director Kim said in accepting the award.

According to Megabox Joongang Plus M, the cast members will head for Switzerland next month to compete at the 34th Fribourg International Film Festival, slated to run March 20-28.

“Beasts Clawing at Straws” will open in local cinemas on Feb. 12.

By Choi Ji-won  (