|A scene from Bong Joon-ho's latest film "Parasite" / Courtesy of CJ Entertainment|
By Park Jin-hai
Cannes-winning Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite" won the Sydney Film Prize, the top prize at this year's Sydney Film Festival.
According to the film festival, the director received the trophy and prize money during the closing ceremony at the State Theatre in Sydney, Sunday. Earlier in late May, Bong's tragicomedy won Cannes Film Festival's most coveted Palme D'Or, making Korean film history.
The Sydney Film Prize is awarded to the most "audacious, cutting-edge and courageous" film in the festival's official competition. John Maynard, jury president of the festival, was quoted as saying, "Parasite has an outrageous disregard for genre conventions ― it is tender and brutal; beautiful and harsh; funny and tragic and a masterwork in its exploration of class."
The director's 2017 film "Okja" was selected as the closing film at the same film festival in the past. Australian movie fans can Bong's latest film when it is released in the country on June 27.
In the meantime, Bong's film, telling the story of two families, one rich and one poor, continues to show strong ticket sales at the local box office. Currently ranked second, the film has attracted over 8 million moviegoers since its May 30 release.
'Parasite' was sold to film contributors of a record 192 foreign countries. The film was released in France, on June 5, and showed a record first-week box office performance for a Korean movie, attracting some 260,000 viewers in the country.
It will be released in Switzerland on June 19, followed by Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore and others the same month. Also included countries are Romania and the Netherlands in November and Hungary in December.
The release date for the North American market is set for Oct. 11, during the wild "Oscar Race" season, when many Oscar contenders will be screened.